Process (or Procedure)

My ‘paid’ work, at the moment, is in ITSM (IT Service Management). Its all about companies that have huge IT networks/systems … and making sure that these IT systems keep running smoothly.

I’ve never really worked for a large company… so I’ve been finding it very interesting observing how these companies work, and observing how their IT systems are managed.

I have to say I’ve been utterly blown away at the pervasive presence of ‘processes’ … or ‘procedures’ … that they have setup for everything (well, it seems like everything). The company I contract for supplies/configures ITSM solutions … and what we do is essentially model the company’s processes in this new software.

An other thing that’s blown me away is how the staff are hell-bent on sticking to these processes. “No, cant do that, its not in the process!”.

A little bell has been ringing in my head … this is exactly what that book on building small businesses, the E-Myth, was harping on about. Its not about the staff, its about the processes. Its kind of impersonal, and effectively makes staff redundant/replaceable … but I can see that this is how a growing business could continue to ensure the quality of its business …. make everything a process, document the process, make sure everyone sticks to the process.

Just need to make sure that the processes are good. That’s where the creativity and brains comes in…

… but what bothers me is that the people engaged in the processes are not expected, nor asked, to be vigilant outside of the process.

The photos taken at Guantanamo Bay, of ‘average’ soldiers performing offensive acts of lost morality on prisoners offers an other perspective. I was watching an interview with a gentleman who recently made a documentary on the soldiers involved in these offensive acts. His overriding conclusion was that these soldiers were, strangely, extremely normal people. A ‘process’ had been put in place that guided them to engage in that behaviour … and they did not question it.

It seems it is human to follow a process without questioning it.

I have began to create a Process by which I work on Ambisonia. It is a process just for me. But I have also begun documenting processes which could be carried out by anyone, pertaining to various aspects of the site, like checking for link rot, verifying user experience etc.

I cant believe that it was the offending soldiers who had been placed on trial, for the Guantanamo Bay photos. To this day, the creators of the ‘process’ have not been questioned. Makes me wonder if many corporate crimes are commited in this way…. certain executives put in place ‘processes’ that are then executed by an army of employees who proceed without thought.

Process must be a powerful (and dangerous) thing.

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One Response to Process (or Procedure)

  1. Pingback: and process « Building

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