Written vs. Executed

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August 18, 2011 – ISSN# 1545-2646


Many organizations have taken great time and expense to document the way the business is to operate.  It is stored in SOP’s – Standard Operating Procedures, Work Flow diagrams, Process Flow Charts, Work Breakdown Structures, Policy Manuals and many other forms and levels of detail.

I’m personally a fan of having good graphical representations of the business processes available so everyone knows, understands and then practice the process in a consistent, repetitive way.

Unfortunately in business there are the ways it is to be done and then the way it is actually done.  This is the difference between written methods and executed methods.

This evolves from a culture that allows for exceptions to be the norm or finding ways to make the norm an exception.  It also evolves from the perspective that everyone is so busy that this little tiny shortcut is a good time saver for “ME” and thus it must be good for the organization.

A culture of doing it quick to get it off of my desk and onto the next person in line creates a false perception that the person is doing their work correctly and well.

The reason process is created in the first place is to identify the “Best” method to accomplish the objective within the constraints of the business.  The process needs to take into consideration what, who, how and many other factors to outline the process of handling a given situation.

In some cases the process crosses over department/functional lines and each person in the string of events may or may not know the impact of their touch on the process two, three or four stages later in the process.  They might be able to see it on the chart but do not fully understand the implication they may have on the process by short cutting the process.

This week, take a look at the processes in your business or even your daily life.  Have you or your organization evolved into processes that no longer reflect the “Best” method to achieve the desired outcome?  Maybe your processes need to change due to external factors?  Or maybe the internal execution has changed to a new process that actually is not as effective as the original process.

Take a look – you might just find some profit in those non value added steps that have crept into your business process.

Your business process need updating? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945-


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Grosse Pointe Farms
MI 48236


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Copyright – JKL Associates 2011

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