How The Need For Immediate Business Benefits Is Killing Process Management

Short term return-on-investment figures are killing process management.

Sounds extreme, doesn’t it?

Let me tell you a story. It may seem frighteningly familiar.

I was tasked on a project to implement a new system. The features and benefits seemed great. User friendly, made the journey for the customer easier, and the business side seemed fairly straight forward. The sponsor was happy with what he saw, and we began an implementation.

The process was only focused on in the first part of the project to understand the end-to-end journey of what was being managed, but quickly fell to the wayside as we were pushed to deliver under an unreasonable timeframe. To compound things, the project manager was more focused on the agile methodology and how the team should be delivering, rather than actually delivering value.

What resulted was a frustrated team, an unhappy sponsor that timeframes were slipping, and no benefit being delivered.

Sound familiar?

As projects get greenlit, sponsors want certainty that there will be a solid return on the funds they are investing. This includes all costs from system licensing to labour. The problem begins when there is a short term plan reflects immediate benefits.

Business is about staying in the game. There is no hurry. Yes, there are competitors to be thinking about. There are external forces such as customer demand or regulatory change. But lack of long term game plan will ultimately end your time playing.

In short, a sacrifice of doing process management correctly upfront may end up delivering benefits earlier, but the opportunity cost is the next time you go to change the process (which could be the following sprint), it will be slower.

Why?

Because the team will have to continually relearn what was done last time.

In summary, getting the documentation and order right in delivery will make sure the flywheel keeps momentum.

Don’t sacrifice long term benefits for short term delivery.

Manage the process and what goes into it from the beginning.

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