Friday, July 23, 2010

Follow the process, quality will follow you. Oh is it so?

Follow the process, quality will follow you. I read this somewhere outside the factory in industrial area. The statement is very true. If you follow the process, definitely the results will be as defined in the process. There are process experts and process engineers who define and develop the process. But sometimes, this process gets extra attention and people give the excuse of process for their non competence.

When the process is defined and is required to complete the cycle, you can not overlook the process parameters. If you overlook the process parameters then chances (!) of failure are more. However one should not overlook the theory of constraints. There are lots of constraints mapped in the process itself sometimes due to ignorance or just for the sake of putting the process in place.

In manufacturing and mostly in processes where the cycle time is sinew, the process has to follow. There are certain so called process experts who try to define the process in each and every function. Most of the times it creates the bureaucracy and is a common excuse for skipping the accountability and putting the monkey on another head.

I encountered with such so called expert (self proclaimed). He was deployment leader for six- sigma, senior member of steering committee and had a say in everything in the organization. I don’t know why but he was with obfuscated always on issues. There was one issue related to right recruitment. After lot of discussion and studying the procedure he designed the process for recruitment function; right from manpower requisition to placement of the employee on the job. I am the HR professional and respect the process. I am also a firm believer of following the process, if the process gives the desired result. But I also challenge the process on how are you going to ensure the result of quality, hence any process should be designed or amended considering the quality in mind. Our recruitment team was unable to work with the process to give the result as there was more attention on bureaucratic way of working, more focus on format filling, writing everything on the paper and documenting each and every steps recruiter, interviewer taken. If recruiter would go with the process, he would not be able to recruit the desired numbers in a month. However his main problem was, he never was holding himself accountable for the results.

The purpose of documenting the process is defeated if the process is not rightly documented and in common man language. I have seen SoP on Anti Sexual Harassment Process and it was 10 pages long with different legal jargons.

Any procedure and process should be very simple; common man should understand it. The designer/writer of the process should be clear for whom he is designing the process.

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