Processes? Sound boring don’t they? Something you might come across in work. More than likely they are complex, boring, procedure-like things that have to get signed off. How can they ever be important in your personal life.
Personally, my own experience of process hasn’t been altogether positive throughout my life and I never really understood their importance until recent years.
In fact I was introduced early in my career to them. At British Telecom where I started my career they had a library of TI’s (Technical Instructions) that had been developed over the years covering so much of what interested me in electronics and telecommunications at the time. I didn’t consider them as processes, more really as interesting How-To’s, but they did firmly put in place procedures, the way things must be done.
Later I unwittingly created my own processes when in the 80’s I tried to introduce computers into the manufacturing of the first CDs. Where I found myself creating them as flowcharts, just so I could figure out everything that was going on and trying to make sure everyone else linked into it. But even then didn’t really appreciate their real importance.
Then the real challenge came later in getting Quality Standards to work for a new rather anarchically proud division that prided itself on being creative. Borrowing as heavily as possible from the work that was being done by so many others in other divisions at the time but beginning finally to realise their importance. The company successfully achieved their ISO 9001 compliance but so many people created a tome of knowledge and procedure that it became quite a task to understand it all.
As the years have passed since my corporate life the ideas of having a process had not diminished, in fact it has become more and more important as the complexity in life and in myself has risen. I can comfortably predict now that you will find as time goes by many corporate methods will expand beyond their original purposes into the personal world. The reason for this is simply because even our personal lives are becoming as pressurised as we take on more, becoming as complex and demanding as any small enterprise was in the past.
To enjoy life more we have to learn how to manage our time, to efficiently use and account for the resources that we have, like money and belongings to achieve our goals. To research options and ever increasing systems quickly, so that we are able to make the right decisions more effectively. So many things are happening in our world today that struggle for our attention and with the Internet firmly part of our existence we find that we are right in the thick of it, working out our life as we go forward, almost second by second.
What does it all mean to us personally as we try to deal with this onslaught of information and choice.
We find our attention spans get shorter trying to juggle what we do from moment to moment.
We find we are the most fortunate generation of all with so many opportunities available to us but struggle to decide which ones to take.
We expect more and more from the services and products created to help ease the pressure of time, patience and options.
The most fortunate come with a price and this cost to us is somewhere in the loss of beauty of the simpler lives we led in previous generations.
More and more we need a plan, a method, a means of dealing with our distractions, desires and options. Sadly, at the time where time itself becomes so precious we find that to make these plans we need ‘even more’ time and the stresses begin to show.
We need desperately to simplify our lives so that we can handle the more complex but to do that we have to stop and work out what exactly we should be doing.
This is where the processes are needed. We need the ways of means of dealing with the possible noise and chaos that surround us. Being able to determine what needs to be done and when, not only for ourselves but for anyone or anything we delegate our desires to, just so that we can be doing more than one thing at once.
We need to ensure that we spend our lives on the most important things to us and find ways to remove the unnecessary or the unwanted.
The old and new models created to ensure quality that are delivered within the corporate world are needed now in a friendlier, usable and scalable fashion to maintain the most important quality of all – the quality of our lives.