Process fundamentals

 

A couple of days ago the Swedish newspaper Smålandsposten wrote about Tage, 93. Tage had fallen in his home and couldn't raise from the kitchen floor for a couple of days.

He had a service from home-help service for elderly that they call him daily by phone. They had indeed called him, but he couldn't answer as he was on the floor. The phone service didn't follow up when he didn't answer. Those who found him on the kitchen floor after some days later were there for another care reason, a visit planned earlier. They called for an ambulance and after a period at hospital he is now at home again.

Thankfully a happy end for that accident.

A manager from home-help service was interviewed how it could happen than nothing happened when call wasn't answered. Some of response was related to: Lack of knowledge about the routine, follow the known routine, knowledge about the purpose of the routine, thinking one step further by routine user what to do - written in the routine or not.

I have been into process management for several years. Based on my process experience, and with inspiration from this newspaper story, I write this list of some Process fundamentals:

  • Purpose

Why is the process needed? What is the purpose? The purpose of the total process, but also each step. In the home-help phone service above, the main purpose is to check if everything is well. A secondary purpose may be that the caretaker get a social contact. The purpose must be clearly understood by the process user.

  • Understood

The process must be written in such a way it is understood by the user. Not just understand what to do, but also why. When understood why, it is far easier to remember the process and do it right. Proper eduction in the process for the user.

  • Logical

The order of activities in the process must be logical and content must be in accordance with the process purpose. If connection between purpose and the activity is not obvious, the process will not be understood.

  • Common sense

In many processes, not at least the kind of engineering processes, the process cannot give all details. The user of the process must have competence in the specific area. The process is often at a general level and do not cover all activities, or some activities can be irrelevant for a specific case. Common sense is needed in addition to the written process.

Process fundamentals summary

Henrik Hemrin

13 November 2017

This article is also published on LinkedIn