Monitor and control your process

Authored by George Zack, President Two Harbors Consulting

– As we have set for the question, “can the frameworks you utilize for business process improvement be leveraged for your personal life,” we will now start to explore that in detail.  In this series of posts, I will work through each of the elements of a what the Capability Maturity Model (CMMI) considers a managed or defined process.  The goal of this series is to provoke thought how the elements of such generic practices are not only applicable to business, but can have bearing on your personal life.  By tying these practices to you personally, I believe it will drive a greater understanding in how they are to be applied in the business setting.

The eight generic practice (GP2.8)  is “monitor and control the process”  The model specifically elaborates here to state that this is to “The purpose of this generic practice is to perform the direct day-to-day monitoring and controlling of the process. Appropriate visibility into the process is maintained so that appropriate corrective action can be taken when necessary. Monitoring and controlling the process can involve measuring appropriate attributes of the process or work products produced by the process.”

In this series of posts, I have often referenced my own personal pursuits in regards to running.  A monitoring of my personal process might include measures like daily and weekly mileage (or minutes run), calories consumed, resting heart rate when waking up, or even more subjectively but equally as important – how I feel on a day to day basis.  If I am so compelled I could even come up with a scale to turn such qualitative measures into quantitative ones.

My son in high school has a personal academic process which can be monitored in terms of his grades, completed assignments, hours of homework, number of times he needs to see a teacher for extra help, or even his stress level about a class or school.

Heck – even if your personal process is to drive to some location you are monitoring and controlling that process:  how much gas you have, how fast you are going, the time of day to assure you make it there at the right time, the engine temp, etc.

But to make a process managed, how a process is monitored and control needs to be institutionalized.   So the relevant stakeholders need to be clear on what is being monitored and controlled in the process.  In my running I could simply run only for high miles if I pursue that as the only measure of success.  It could drive me to an overuse injury though or leave me so fatigued that I am otherwise unable to perform.  My son could get really high grades if he chose to take the least challenging classes.  And if I only monitor the success of my driving in regards to how much gas is in the tank, I might not ever go anywhere.

The point is, be it in business or in personal pursuits, have you made it clear as to what attributes of a process you will consider in monitoring so that you can determine if your process is in control?  Are there considerations or measures that are implied and understood in tribal knowledge and / or are they well institutionalized?

How do you monitor your personal process pursuits?


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