Better Processes, Better (More Profitable) Projects
Project management is an exercise in maximizing effectiveness — doing the correct things correctly. Process management, on the other hand, through standardization, repeatability and continuous incremental improvement (sometimes monumental improvement), strives for efficiency — doing the correct things without waste.
There are a lot of programs out there that address process standardization and improvement in more words than I’ll use — programs such as Lean, Six Sigma, Business Process Engineering, SIPOC (Supplier, Input, Process, Output, Customer), and so on. More study on any of these topics will certainly yield positive benefits, especially at an AV integration firm characterized by many similar activities and deliverables over multiple projects (including service and warranty calls). But for now, let’s keep it simple.
I view process as simply how we do things. If you watch people and how they do something, you can measure their effectiveness (quality) and efficiency (speed and waste). You can look for areas to improve, steps that don’t add value, delays or wait times that could be removed, and steps that create errors, which may have to be checked and/or fixed by someone else.
Bradley A. Malone, MA, PMP, is a partner at Navigate Management Consulting, an organizational excellence consulting company serving the AV integration business worldwide. Brad is the architect and presenter of standard-setting management training programs, including InfoComm, NSCA, and the Project Management Institute. He holds the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation from the Project Management Institute (PMI) and is one of PMI’s and InfoComm’s highest-rated instructors. Please share your thoughts with him at Brad.Malone@navigatemc.com.