fredag 7 augusti 2015

People, Process and Technology, what does that mean?

When talking to people who have been involved in a larger process design or establishment projects, there seem to be a widely spread understanding about the term people, process and technology. Nevertheless, when asking the question


"what was the projects top priority the last 4 to 8 weeks of the project?" 


the answer tends to be very technology related. Acceptance tests, transitions from dev and test environments to production. IT activities for handover to operations etc. etc. 


Another question I usually ask is 


"If you would use people, process and technology as different focus areas for the project, where were the focus highest during the project?" 


The answer tends to be process in the beginning, people in the middle and technology at the end. As if these disciplines were stackable on top of each other or three different areas that did not bring any synergies. Yet, everybody knows about people, process and technology. 


If you want a solid foundation you need concrete. Think of people, process and technology as water, sand and cement. If you want to mix concrete to build a foundation you can not use more sand in the beginning, water in the middle and cement in the end. You need to mix them with the same proportions in the beginning, middle as in the end. This applies to processes as well. 


A process describes a series of events in a particular order which are considered critical, or highly contribute, to an expected result or output. Technology can facilitate a user interface (or automate) for an specific event in the process and show any necessary information required to accomplish the task. People are the ones that know how things should be done, what order, what information that is required, what information is generated, how to perform the work, any applicable logic etc.


A balanced mix of them all throughout any project, establishment, continual improvement etc. scenario is important. They are not three dials where you can increase and decrease them as you see fit. If one of them are delayed for any reason, it affects all three in the same way. 


It is not like the classical quality, speed, cost. You can pick only two! They are all equally important just as in concrete. This is not only true during a project. This is just as applicable after any project for process maintenance as well. 


People, process and technology might be three different terms but combined the right way and you might be on you way to greatness.