PM Articles > Alan S. Koch > Process Genesis*

Process Genesis*

Chapter 1 of 2 -- Creation

In the beginning, God said, "Let us create!"

And the unnamed Us asked, "What is this 'Create'?"

And God said, "Let there be Process." And it was so.

And God made a Creation Process. And He socialized it with the unnamed Us, and explained, "A Process is a series of Activities that is triggered by a specific event or condition and transforms inputs into outputs in order to achieve a purpose. Because we will be creating many things, we need a Creation Process to guide all of our work, and to help us to Create all of those things consistently and efficiently."

Then God presented an Overview of the Creation Process to the unnamed Us. He explained:

  • The Purpose of the Creation Process and
  • The Outcomes the Creation Process was supposed to achieve.

And God saw that the Process was good. And there was evening, and there was morning -- the first day.

2nd Day

And God said, "Let us create!"

And the unnamed Us said, "We're not really sure how this Creation Process works."

And God said, "Let there be Process Structure." And it was so.

And God made structure in the Creation Process. And He socialized it with the unnamed Us, and explained, "Every Process has structure, which defines how the Process works."

Then God described the structure of the Creation Process to the unnamed Us. He explained:

  • The Triggers that will cause them to begin Creating something
  • The Inputs that they will use as they Create things
  • The Activities that they will do as they Create
  • The Outputs that they will produce as things are Created

And God saw that Process Structure was good. (And the unnamed Us finally understood the Creation Process well enough to agree!) And there was evening, and there was morning -- the second day.

3rd Day

And God said, "Let us create!"

And the unnamed Us said, "Explain this Creation Process to us again, for we don't remember everything you said yesterday."

And God said, "Let there be Process Documentation." And it was so.

And God made documentation for the Creation Process. And He socialized it with the unnamed Us, and explained, "Every Process must be documented so people can learn how to follow it and be reminded of things they may forget."

Then God delivered the Creation Process documentation to the unnamed Us. He explained that the:

  • Process Overview contained the Purpose, Outcomes and a high-level description of the Creation Process
  • Activity Streams for each part of the Creation Process contained a flowchart and explanation of the activities involved
  • Procedures detailed precisely how to perform the more complicated Creative Activities
  • Standards specified each kind of thing they would be Creating
  • Templates would provide a starting point when they were Creating something from scratch
  • Guidelines explained how to make decisions while they were Creating (for example, when to evolve an existing thing vs. starting from scratch) and how to handle difficult situations
  • Forms and Worksheets would lead them through the steps of Creation and capture important information about the things they Created
  • Training Materials would teach them the details about how to Create and help unnamed Us who would be hired in the future to become productive quickly

And God saw that Process Documentation was good. And there was evening, and there was morning -- the third day.

4th Day

And God said, "Let us create!"

And the unnamed Us asked, "Who is supposed to be doing what as we Create?"

And God said, "Let there be Roles and Responsibilities." And it was so.

And so God made the Roles and Responsibilities for the Creation Process and updated the Creation Process Documentation. And He socialized them with the unnamed Us, and explained, "Each activity in a Process is the responsibility of a specific Role, and these Roles are assigned to people. A Role might comprise many people (like a team). And an individual might be assigned multiple roles."

Then God delivered the updated Creation Process documentation to the unnamed Us. He explained the:

  • Role Descriptions in the Creation Process Overview. For each Role, He gave it a name, described it in general terms, and related it to the existing organizational structure of the unnamed Us.
  • Swim Lane Diagrams in the Activity Stream documents (that replaced the flowcharts). In the Swim Lane diagrams, each Role that participated in that part of the Creation Process got a Lane, and the activities that Role was responsible for were placed in that Lane.
  • RACI Matrices in the Activity Stream Documents. For each Activity in that part of the Creation Process, the RACI matrix showed which Roles were:
    • Responsible for doing the creating
    • Accountable for enabling the Responsible Roles and overseeing the creation
    • Consulted by the Responsible Roles as they created
    • Informed by the Responsible Roles about creation
  • Role-Specific Training Materials (that replaced the generic Training Materials). So each person would receive only training that was pertinent to his or her Roles.

And God saw that Roles and Responsibilities were good. And there was evening, and there was morning -- the fourth day.

5th Day

And God said, "Let us create!"

And the unnamed Us asked, "How can we know if this whole Creation thing is working as it should?"

And God said, "Let there be Process Metrics." And it was so.

And so God made Metrics for the Creation Process. And He socialized them with the unnamed Us, and explained, "Remember the Purpose and Outcomes we discussed for the Creation Process back on the first day? We need to measure attributes of the process or its outputs that will help us to know if it is achieving those things."

Then God described the Creation Process Metrics for the unnamed Us. He explained the:

  • Critical Success Factors that must be true in order for the Creation Process to achieve its Purpose and Outcomes. He ensured that each element of the Purpose and Outcomes was supported by at least one Critical Success Factor while keeping the list as short as possible.
  • Key Performance Indicators that measure the achievement of the Critical Success factors. He ensured that each Critical Success Factor was measured by at least one Key Performance Indicator while keeping the list as short as possible.
  • Targets for each Key Performance Indicator that clarified when the Creation Process was likely to achieve its Purpose and Outcomes, and when corrective action may be needed.
  • Measurement and Analysis Procedures to ensure that each metric was measured consistently, used appropriately and stored for future reference.

And God saw that Process Metrics were good. And there was evening, and there was morning -- the fifth day.

6th Day

And God said, "Let us create!"

And the unnamed Us asked, "What should we do when the Process Metrics indicate that something is wrong?"

And God said, "Let there be Process Improvement." And it was so.

And so God made the Process Improvement mechanisms for the Creation Process. And He socialized them with the unnamed Us, and explained, "There will often be ways that we can make the Creation Process better. Sometimes we will need to correct a problem that is highlighted by the Process Metrics. But even when there is nothing wrong, one of us might see that the process can be more efficient, more consistent in achieving its Purpose and Outcomes, or easier to perform."

Then God described the Process Improvement mechanisms for the unnamed Us. He explained the:

  • Process Improvement Register where the unnamed Us could record needed fixes and opportunities to improve the Creation process. For each entry, the register included information like how much effort would be required to change the Creation process, how much benefit they would get from the change, and how important the change was to the Creation process and to Him.
  • Periodic Process Reviews where He and the unnamed Us would review the Process Metrics and the Process Improvement Register and agree on changes to be made to the Creation process.
  • Process Improvement Activity Stream that would ensure that each change to the Creation process was chartered and managed as a Project, and included necessary analysis, design, review and testing activities.

And God saw that Process Improvement was good. And there was evening, and there was morning -- the sixth day.

7th Day

Thus Process was created in all its vast array. By the seventh day, God had finished creating the Creation Process, so he and the unnamed Us followed it to create "Rest". And He rested from all His work.

Next time, we will continue with Process Genesis Chapter 2, In the Department of Eden.


*Apologies: Apologies to those who are not of Judeo-Christian heritage for not using your creation story. Apologies to those who are of Judeo-Christian heritage for butchering your creation story.



Comments
Not all comments are posted. Posted comments are subject to editing for clarity and length.

I like this. Very fun read.


Well done Alan. Can't wait to see what happens in the Garden of Eden.


Very well done! We can use this in our lecturing processes in project management to facilitate understanding and insight. The Garden of Eden will be important, also from a conflict resolution management perspective.


Excellent - thanks.


Great way to make explaining the process to executives and non-PMs! Very creative and fun. Thanks.


This was GREAT! It made the whole project management process understandable.


Well done! It was awesome


All hail the mighty Business Process Managers...now about those Project Managers...great story thanks!


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