On Process Intervention

Some words have lost some of their meaning through over-use. They are becoming – as we say in Linguistics – “dematerialized”. Such is the case with the word “intervention”. We started with “the action of becoming intentionally involved in a difficult situation, in order to improve it or prevent it from getting worse”; we ended up with a myriad of definitions and use of the word in all kinds of problem solving situations.

RANA’s view is that an intervention needs to take place when an organization wishes to change, i.e. move to a higher level of operational quality. We also believe that the best way to make that change is through looking at how an organization is carrying out its activity. In other words, we believe that examining and aligning the organization’s processes provides a simple and powerful approach to change.

RANA believes in intervention: however, we don’t see ourselves as the agents who intervene. If an external agency intervenes inside an organization, ownership of the change won’t take place. Only the people of the organization can intervene effectively in how they are doing things.

So, RANA sets up the “Process Intervention” whereby the people of the organization, led by enlightened management, examine the processes by which activities are taking place, compare them to the body of processes in play, figure out if they are working correctly and make decisions on how to fix, eliminate or highlight them. They are then in a position to align them to the Core Competency of the organization.

Unaligned processes are the bane of organizations, whatever their size. You might have Strategic Planning taking place without considering the organization’s Financial Management. You might have projects being launched that have little to do with what the organization professes to do. You have Information Technology acting as a governor over the growth of the organization, because only the technologists have a grasp over the increasing amount of hardware and software available and what they purport to offer. This gives rise to the term “Silo Management”; it is the syndrome that takes place in organizations where its different parts don’t relate to each other. So, you have people going off in every which direction often without consultation or purpose.

A Process Intervention simply re-aligns the “how-to's” of the organization, provides owners for each process, makes those owners accountable while granting them authority and puts everyone to work in aligning all of the processes to each other. The result is astounding and gratifying: the organization is easier to manage, motivation increases, people can see a career path and products and services are getting to clients more quickly and certainly more effectively.

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