Process overkill

I heard recently from a colleague who works in the IT division of a major South African bank about the incredible bureaucracy that exists in his company. The problem seems to be that the division has become mirred in its business processes, to the detriment of the business and to the results it is supposed to produce. For example, a project gets very high ratings because it follows process so closely, but no one gets scored down because what was produced was terrible.

Blogs elsewhere have talked about process angioplasty and end of process. The ERP industry has been a major proponent of business process efficiency, but it is about time people started to remember that the result is more important than the steps to get there. One problem is that following process has become a means that people use to protect themselves – the CYA phenomenon.

The problem seems to have started in the early 1990s, Michael Hammer being a major proponent. I would like to start asking how we get the pendulum moving back.

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