Process management provides multiple benefits for business performance since by organizing activities by processes it is much easier to monitor them, through indicators, while meeting objectives becomes a more attainable goal in a short time without sacrificing the quality of the results. We call this process quality efficiency.
In this sense, the processes and objectives are intrinsically related in a company, because it is the standardized processes that contribute to the achievement of the objectives. Otherwise, these tend to be delayed and lose visibility in each instance, without it being feasible to anticipate errors.
In this article, we focus on how the role of defined and implemented processes can provide a route to the fulfillment of organizational objectives.
The role of processes in goal setting
SMART goals have five fundamental characteristics that we have listed endlessly: they are specific, temporary, relevant, achievable, and measurable. However, the qualities of attainable and measurable are difficult or relative if we do not have a process that allows us to measure the degree of efficiency of the tasks that comprise it.
Consequently, we will not be able to achieve an objective effectively if we cannot measure the path that carried it out. So, it will be very difficult to improve something that does not have a base on which to work to execute actions of change.
When we carry out action plans to meet those objectives, if we do not have defined processes it will be difficult to set those objectives because we cannot determine the chained activities that are going to be necessary to meet that objective. It is the same as improvising, but improvisation, when we need a frame of reference, is useless and haphazard to measure results.
And, in the case that the objective is met, we can fall into the error of considering that we are doing things right when, it is a merely idyllic situation that happens only once, that is, an isolated event that is the product of chance. But we cannot trust that chance or good luck will accompany us again in carrying out an action that requires more rigorous planning methods.
In addition to this, if the objective is not met, it could be blamed on setting it, when the path to follow to achieve it was not correctly applied. In other words, it is not the objective itself that is difficult to achieve, but the non-standard process used as a path to reach that goal.
From this perspective, the role of the processes in the definition of the objectives is to make it possible for them to be carried out most efficiently, allowing those responsible for each process to have greater visibility over the tasks and activities that must be carried out.
When we know the steps that must be followed to obtain certain results, the objective is easily met, but also the process can be improved and made more efficient each time so that the same objectives can be achieved with fewer resources, which will mean less budget, less time and less stress for employees and area managers.
What does process management contribute to the definition of objectives
Process management provides a guideline, determining the activities that must be carried out, determines the possible action plans that must be addressed to meet that objective, and also provides, above all, a higher level of structure to manage its execution.
For example, in the case of marketing, if you have to attract a certain number of potential customers and then nurture them, you can set a goal based on that lead booklet. On the other hand, if you set a lead goal and you don't have a process by which you attract them, nurture them and then transform them into leads, you can hardly reach that goal.
Likewise, management by processes allows the boundaries between departments to be more diffuse, which differs from functional management, which precisely establishes well-defined hierarchical levels, as well as departments and functions. Consequently, collaborative work is smaller and the tasks are purely operational. There are no formalized processes but a structure of functions that must be fulfilled.
This way of working is more likely to suffer from interdepartmental silos because the areas become a kind of brotherhoods that keep the information to themselves and do not share it with the rest of the areas.
This can give rise to an organization with these characteristics having serious difficulties in achieving the general objectives because by not working by processes, be they macro or micro, the different areas will not be aligned working together for those objectives since each one will fulfill the functions that only correspond to the area as if it were a small isolated company.
In general terms, the role of business processes in defining objectives consists of organizing activities and tasks in easily recognizable and achievable sequences in a given time, so that the sequencing of each task leads to the fulfillment of objectives. In other words, the processes pave the way for the objectives to be realized as they were set.