If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.
W. Edwards Deming
McDonalds is less known for its food than for the consistency of its delivery. It is the same anywhere in the world. The Big Mac Index is now a valid measure used by economists globally. McDonalds executives can sleep at night because they have a system that manages itself, the same way every day.
Any business can be McDonaldised: bottler, aircraft maintenance, law firm, call centres, warehousing, medical, government, recruitment, insurance claims, crane sales and ice cream trucks.
Good processes reduce the reliance on people. If your people are having a bad day, goods still need to get delivered on time. If they are sick, costs must continue to be managed. If they are tired, quality must remain high.
Processes shift intellectual property from people to business rules. Which one is more consistent? The business is impacted less by the loss of key staff. Induction of new staff is faster.
Know the key principles of process redesign. Effective process design involves the ongoing balancing of design constraints against the needs of the organization.