From Stilgherrian’s post: The tyranny of the ideal:

  1. Design idealised processes, safely away from the people doing the work. You are the consultant, you know best.
  2. Idealised processes make great flowcharts to present to the board (the people paying your fees) – especially when you remove the messiness that is humanity. Yuck.
  3. Implement the process. They, the people doing the work, will take it (or leave). More importantly, they will go on doing what is required to keep the business going, regardless of the process anyway. The ingrates.
  4. So what’s the point of your beautiful process? Ah, here be the secret grasshopper… when something goes wrong, your rules become the ideal scapegoating device. And it can help you cut some staffing costs too.

On a slightly more serious note, there is a real need to design processes that embraces the messiness of being human. Rules alone will never truly modify behaviours – it takes belief and buy-in. Which is engendered from respect and listening to begin with.

When was the last time your process consultant say down with the little people on the front line? They should be spending more time down in the trenches than in the boardroom with you!

* BPM: Business process management. I need to stay current with my acronyms. Apparently this is the new name for BPR, R for Reengineering.