Process 2006 Day 1 – Martin Ould

At last year’s conference, I really enjoyed Martin Ould‘s presentation, and bought his book online before I even left the conference. This year, he talked on process architecture as part of the whole “rigourous approach” theme. I felt some amount of repetition with last year, although with enough new material to keep it interesting.

He railed against the tendency to break processes down into discrete steps or subprocesses that can be handled independently, what he calls “the curse of the 5-bite kebab” (picture a 5-step chained linear flow), and discussed a diagramming method, or process architecture, that looks as much at the links between steps as the steps themselves. These relationships between the steps/subprocesses allow for scheduling, monitoring and management of the overall flow by capturing the true dynamics within the business process, not just a simplified flowchart.

He focussed on drafting a process architecture quickly (within a day or two) that will survive changes to the organizational structure and even the processes themselves.

His summary slide says it well:

  • Your organisation is a network of processes
  • As it runs,
    • there is a flux of case processes
    • under the control of a set of case management processes
    • all under the strategic eye of a set of case strategy processes
  • Forget the myth of chains and hierarchies

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