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Process Driven or People Driven
In the current business scenario, to achieve success, Organizations must focus its resources on
delivering the strategy as to meet their customers’ demands. The manner in which
organizations are driven can be classified into two categories namely Process-driven and
In a process-driven organization, the organization achieves its objectives of business by
managing activities in a procedural way. The processes within that organization allow them to
focus their teams’ efforts so that they deliver on their strategy, meet their customer needs, and
win them new customers.
On the contrary, a people-driven organization relies heavily on individuals and the skills that
they possess as the way of delivering on their business strategy. There are, however, numerous
challenges for people-driven organizations.
Many entrepreneurs who belong to yesterday’s generation, still prefer to be people driven
organization for the fear of losing control over their organization. However, a large chunk of
organizations aim to be process-orientated as an ultimate way to create an organization. In all
fairness, a process driven organization has certain advantages over a people driven
organization. Many have tried to be a process-driven organization but failed because they have
not truly understood what the concept means.
Almost all organizations, who want to be a process-driven one, believe that if they document
their processes explicitly and provide it to their employees as a reference manual, then they are
being process driven. Though documenting the processes and having them as a reference for
induction is a good method, only documentation will not make an organization a process-driven
At the outset, all the processes which are generally documented are operating processes. This
means that they are just processes which transforms inputs to outputs. Higher order processes
such as control operations that ensure processes are being adhered as intended as well as
processes those need to exchange information with the external environment and make
decisions still largely remain people driven. This indicates that labourers’ job are streamlined,
but all decisions are still constrained by the people approach.
A process driven organization has to be a learning organization. In the current days of
exponential changes, learning has to be continuous. More than learning, unlearning is pivotal.
Similarly, a process driven organization must have the ability to adapt to the changing
environment. The process of adapting has to be quick and non-disruptive. This is possible with
implementing a Change Management in the organization. Thus change management becomes
the foundation stone for erecting the Excellence Pillars of an organization.
A process driven organization will have a process that monitors the environment on a regular
basis. As to do so, one has to identify what needs to be measured and at what frequency. The
strategies can be cascaded down across the tiers which will provide them a series of steps to be
implemented as a process. Gemba-Cadence is the most important factor here. Monitoring and
reviewing the processes will enable the teams to identify corrective actions in achieving their
goals as chalked out in the roadmap.
A process driven organization should develop an ability to treat the problems as opportunities
for improvement. To achieve this, everyone in the organization should be in a position to see
As Taichi Ohno San said, “unable to identify a problem is the biggest problem.” Unless the
problems are seen or identified, they will not be resolved. Slowly, the organization would adapt
themselves to live with the problems. In other words, the Organization develops the skill of
pushing-problems-under-the-carpet. Celebrating the problems is crucial.
Seeing the problems alone will not suffice. Once identified, the members should be able to
resolve the problems too. It is not about problem solving but “Rapid-problem-solving”. The
challenge, here again, is to develop a model where average people get involved in resolving the
problems rapidly as to get above average results. Identifying problems and resolving them
rapidly on a daily basis would enable developing the organization a culture of “rapid-problemsolving.”
A process driven organization has to sustain all the improvements that it make from time and
again. In most of the organizations, improvements remain one-time-wonder. As to sustain the
improvements made, standardization of 4M is vital.
Initially, one has to develop 4M standards and after developing they should be visualized.
Visualization of such standards not only facilitate Visual controls but also pave way for Visual
Guarantee. Daily Accountability of team members easily enables process-driven organization.
To become a process driven organization, the organization has to build itself into a prople
driven organization because it is the people who delivers the processes. Develop the people
who develops the processes. A process driven organization should have the ability to handle
the complexities arising out of growth.
As businesses grow larger, the number of rules increase and most of them become
contradictory. Compartmentalization happens as business is divided into functions. Hence
processes also have to ensure that they effectively manage such complexity to actually make a
company less people driven and more process driven.
Systems can be easily replicated, but it is easier said than done Kaizen Institute India’s model of
Kaizen Change Management precisely addresses this. This model of Daily Kaizen, Leader Kaizen
and Support Kaizen along with Breakthrough Kaizen enables an organization transform into a