Processes vs. Procedures


For the last couple of months, I’ve been helping my buddy shape a pitch to help his non profit organization be prepared for the future. During a meeting over a couple of beers, the concept of Processes vs. Procedures came into the conversation. This made me think.

I’m sure most Business Analysts/Project Managers would be familiar with breaking down the differences. However, one thing I realized is that I’m not selling the idea of process vs procedures to them. My audience comprises of different levels of professionals (business owners, their accountants, staff, etc) with an even deeper diversity of perspectives as I drill down each role. It’s not always numbers and charts that will speak to, let’s say the owner of a retirement home or even a small local bakery.

One of the analogies that I’ve used to show the difference between processes and procedures is inheriting a toolbox. The owner of the toolbox might have always used a hammer to secure a screw into two pieces of wood. Many workplaces, you might have someone training you and reinforcing the training with, “It’s always been that way, that’s how we get it done around here.”

Securing the two pieces of wood is the process while the training provides procedures. The disconnect in this situation is there is a better way to secure the screws into the pieces of wood (tip: use a drill to create a leading hole then use a screwdriver to secure the screw). Experience is experience but disregarding suggestions because “if it works, don’t fix it”, procedures may never improve. The challenge is communicating that we all want the same process to be accomplished. However, due to evolving circumstances, procedures must be reevaluated periodically.

Do you have examples of “this is how it’s always been done?” Let’s talk story. Click here to holler @ me through email

WW II Museum

A reminder that war can weather us

As I’m digging through pictures from my New Orleans trip, I was reminded by the experience at the WW II Museum. It was sombering to see artifacts from yesteryear and to be reminded of the tragedies and triumphs we learned in high school history class.

Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Antonio Gurvera, Jr.’s customized canvas shell jacket. He drew an image of his submarine, USS Jallao (SS-368).

The museum itself was nicely organized by regions of the world. When you go through the museum you get an overview about the main players in the region. As you progress through the region, details of uniforms, tools, weapons, etc are on display. I personally enjoy seeing things like notebooks and clothes that were customize to identify individuals.

Here’s the first kiosk you would tap your RFID. I was assigned Mike Mervosh, a combat infantryman. While my visit, I was able to learn about his journey as a US soldier.

Now why am I blogging about a museum when this is a consulting blog? I truly appreciated the adoption of RFIDs to provide visitors (users) an individual experience. When you purchase your admission, the great staff provides you a card with an RFID. You’re assigned a soldier’s story and throughout the museum are kiosks to follow his/her story. I sincerely believe this is an awesome, awesome use of technology to educate ourselves not only in the context of nations but individual human beings. A way that technology is progressing not only technically but with human empathy.

Have you been to museums that take advantage of technology, providing unique experience to visitors? Would love to hear your story. Feel free to holler @ me through email by clicking here.