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Business Process Improvement: Putting Theory into Practice

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Over at TechRepublic, writer Chip Camden reminds us that “no methodology or theory is a silver bullet.” Project success depends on the quality of execution, not blind adherence to broad principles.

Camden offers this opinion in an article titled Consultants: It’s not the theory, it’s the execution:

Managers often fall victim to the notion that “if we adopt a specific methodology, we’ll fix everything”; this mindset can infect consultants and developers as well. We’re all tempted by the promise of not having to think about a certain subset of the actions we must perform; if we just follow the prescribed procedure, we’ll be all right.

You don’t want to have to reinvent all of your processes on every project, so you should standardize procedures to help avoid missing things. But nobody has perfected a methodology for a nontrivial activity yet, so you always need to consider when to break the rules – or at least bend them a little.

Buried in the above paragraph is a gem: the notion that there are no perfect methodologies—especially for nontrivial activities. Although Camden’s article is about software development, the larger field of change management is full of one-size-fits-all solutions. There are many Indianapolis consulting firms and probably as many approaches. Each have advantages and drawbacks. No approach and no expert can transform an organization without competent and dedicated leadership.

Process Improvement - Cookbooks

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However, if there’s no perfect way to do complicated things, there must be best practices for everyday tasks. Refining these are a matter of tactics, not strategy. We need to learn to think small as much as we need to think big.

An organization may need to focus on long-term success, which requires high-minded theory and experts to execute the plan. Likewise, a company also needs to constantly review and improve single actions taken every day by stakeholders. These processes and workflow enable individual productivity, satisfaction, and larger success. Learn more about what AccelaWork can do for your details.

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