Thursday, May 6, 2010

Transcending from Process Definition to Process Design

It is now becoming very clear that the need for process definition is slowly moving away from defining for software/systems lifecycles and operations, to entire supply chain & business processes. The need is also moving towards ‘design’ instead of ‘define’.

With the advent of technology and the change in the global scenario in terms of better communication and the availability of better opportunities to obtain something when compared to 20 years ago has changed the game of process improvements.

It is no more looking at how a typical SDLC (Software/Systems Development Life Cycle) should be defined, but about covering the end to end scope of the present and future business of a company. Many of the complex tasks of time management, effort, productivity, defect etc have been converted into tool based solutions that aid in better, faster and easier project management. The revolution of ‘tooling’ all SDLC activities has enabled good project managers to be better informed and have reduced their work load to a great extent. This tooling revolution has also triggered the thought on the need of a role of a project manager whose work now can be done via a set of intelligent tools. All it requires now is for a technical person to double up as a project manager and manage the team and thus reducing the overhead of the role of a project manager.

This aspect is also applicable to various roles in Quality or that of Human Resources, where these roles would ultimately be part of the tooling revolution and be part of the day-today activities of the employees of the organization – apart from doing the development tasks.

This emphasises the need of ‘designing’ processes to fit this future mode of operation so as to enable businesses and people in a much better and an efficient manner. The word ‘define’ will soon loose its significance as the word is more about being concise and limited to the entity that needs definition, while ‘design’ is a more creative word. This would; I believe be the new lexicon when it comes to Processes.

Transcending from 'define' to 'design' would also require people with special skills and creative talent. The new “Quality Designers” should understand the human and business behaviour and should be able to apply concepts of Cognitive Psychology, Anthropology, Behavioural Economics, and Interactive Design and also be able to move around with present and futuristic technologies – to be able to transform the existing paradigm to a new and usable personal processes that are designed to fit the business need of the company.


Linga said...

Hi Vijay,

This article is excellent and I am confident that this will enable the software professionals to adopt tangible process improvement methods.

I feel that if this article is going to further enhanced in the view that the combination of process definition & design are to be transcended in a re-engineering approach. The re-engineering shoould be free of all types of complex methodolgies and it should be performed in a smarter approach. If this transcending strategy is going to be executed in that the above suggested way, that organizations will be benefited in all the aspects.

I hope my comments makes sense.

Please share your opinion.

Thanks and Regards,

C K Vijay Bhaskar said...

Yes PLR. You are very right in the aspect that the all future engineering and re-engineering approach should be free of all the complex things.
Also, I am looking not just at an organization, but the entire world which can benefit out of such a design based approach.
Ultimately it is all about patterns of working to patterns of behaviour that will have to be translated into a design which factors these patterns into tangible and simple processes.
But at the same time, these will have to factor the variation aspect to ensure that the learning process is not hampered in any way.
I do agree that this is a challenge, but not impossibility.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.