Value of Processes

I was really impressed with a conversation I had recently about the value of processes.  I have always in the past found that a perscribed process meant that people were more concerned about checking off the boxes or filling in the blanks rather than doing what was asked for.  Some people did not seem to care about doing the right thing and only going thru the motions.  However I changed my mind about all this because of the converation.  The example given was a pilot and co-pilot going thru a checklist.  They do it routinely but they also pay attention when something is off normal.  It really helps them to remember everything they need to check for take off or landing.  I think we need to think of these processes as checklists.  However if the process suggests reviewing something, one must do it rather than just give it lip service.

Sometimes they seem to be tedious and not really getting at the issues but if it is a good process, they will help you discover things you might not have discovered otherwise.  However like the pilot finding a problem, we must follow up and not just push on.  If the process reveals a flaw, maybe the project should not proceed until the flaw is corrected.  Difficult to hold up the project, however we are glad when the pilot does not take off with the hatch open or land with the landing gear not down.

Good lesson to learn.  Metaphors or examples from other fields really help.  We certainly do not want our project to crash like a plane.

So going thru the process will avoid our project crashing.  So we should be careful when we reach a glitch in the process we do not just press on because we completed the step.  Process should be like the pilot’s checklist.  The item must pass before we go to the next step. 

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