“Process serving People”

RTW matters latest newsletter advises why they wish they hadn’t had that tattoo done last year – and I couldn’t agree more.
<a href="Process SERVING People“>This brief excerpt from their update:

Last year, RTWMatters’ New Year’s Resolution was to flex our collective bicep, bite the pain bullet and get a “People over Process” tattoo.
A reader and soon-to-be blogger for RTW Matters wrote saying:

“I’ve been struggling with one of your resolutions—People over Process. I do understand the sentiment that drives you to that tattoo but I’ve spent a working life focusing on improving processes!

“If the staff of an organisation have no carefully thought through and established processes then they will be mired in uncontrollable work, forced to learn the same lessons over and over, to reinvent ways to do things again and again and have no time to deal with people.

The secret is to be clear about the purpose of the organisation (“what are we here for”) so the processes are not an end in themselves but exist to deliver better outcomes for people.

Developing, and more importantly, implementing and using ‘good’ processes can be bloody difficult. It might sound easy, but good intentions are not simply enough.


RTWMatters’ Publisher Robert Hughes believes that, “in some instances process does become an end in itself and then it can lose sight of the problem it was intended to resolve. This kind of lost process is often that which is developed at arm’s length from the problem the process is notionally intended to resolve.”

Oh yes indeed. It’s the same argument I have had for some time about ‘quality management’. Let’s not get all excited about ‘tidying up’ some of the messy processes involved in helping people with chronic pain – let’s think first about what we’re hoping to achieve by it, and how we’re going to measure whether it’s worked. Then once that’s identified I’m sure there will be more ways than one to get to the same end point – and that variation is what distinguishes humans from machine parts.

I hope you enjoy this taste of RTW Matters, and take a peek at their content – and maybe subscribe, it’s worth it!

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