How do you train for an endurance event like the Comrades Marathon, the Cape Epic or the Iron Man? Well most of the people who have been through this personal achievement will probably give you their own regime and how they prepared, but the common element that all of them will have put in is time! ie there are just no short cuts to the training itself.
The time that it takes to participate in these events is much longer than the event itself, and normally can start up to a year in advance.
So whats this got to do with Process ?
Changing most things are hard, and changing processes is even harder. People resist it, because its hard to see the benefit, untill you’ve done some of the training, invested the effort and actually seen some results. A bit like the regular smoker who is trying to quit and going to gym in the new year… It takes a lot of discipline to get out there and just form new habits to get the mind and body to change the regular activities that get us through the day.
If new technology or new systems is like a new carbon race bike or running shoes designed to “ASSIST” when train for the big event, then I would put to you that the people who will be getting on that bike / putting on those shoes also need to put in the time / train themselves for Process thinking because its hard.
Busines Process Management and Enterprise Content Management that form a core part of our consultancy offering are often strongly associated with technology and large enterprise vendors because when Process or Content “Race” fit, an organisation can leverage that powerful technology to business benefits like faster customer on boarding, service delivery etc.
So if new process technology is like a new carbon race bike or running shoes designed to “ASSIST” you run / race and train for the big event, then I would put to you that the people who will be getting on that bike / putting on those shoes also need to put in the time themselves for the change thats coming to their working day.
So be careful of buying that shiny new carbon bike (think $$$$ enterprise software tools) and having it hang in the garage like so many do, with the impression that its going to pedal itself over the finish line. Getting a business ready for process maturity and a mature content approach over the chaos of fax, paper or even email / attachments is not something that can happen magically as the technology project closes out and the staff are trained.
So how do you get your business ready for new processes or content management behaviour? Well just like you should probably get a check up from your doctor (before doing a marathon) if you are really starting at the beginning, we would advise the same assessement or check up on your business to measure where you are at.
We often talk of maturity in terms of process or content in a business, but health would be just as good an analogy. Getting fit starts best with knowing where you are in order to work out what remains to get to where you want to be. Knowing what race you want to run and by when also helps. Many of the top levels of process and content maturities are extremely hard to reach for most current orgnisations. Aiming for the middle tier levels still represent a huge advancement from where most are.
We can’t all shoot for the olympic gold in our businesses, we may not have the time or the resources to invest in the training and technology required. But most businesses would do well to aim for a better level of fitness around Process and Content that at least allows them to get on that road to gold.