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What would you do if you were set in the middle of the Pacific, on a raft, with no provisions, no motor or oars, no navigational aids, and no way to contact the rest of the world? It’s just you, the boat, and the unending blue above and below.
If you’ve ever been assigned the unenviable task of writing policies and procedures, maybe you can imagine better than your fellow workers what being cast adrift is like. How many of you were given an office in a remote part of the building (think Milton in “Office Space”), ostensibly to keep the disruption to a minimum, and instructed to develop a set of policies and procedures for accounting, or IT, or (gasp!) the entire company?
And when they eventually pulled the plug on the project, did you feel relief that the misadventure was finally over? That is, were you rescued, or were you left adrift, watching the circle of sharks — blame, recrimination, etc. — tighten around your little blow-up craft?
Did you feel this harrowing experience could have been avoided, or perhaps produced the desired results, if only someone had given you the tools, resources, direction, and – most of all – the guidance and support of top management before you spent the last six months marooned with Gilligan and the Skipper?
That’s exactly where our Chris Anderson is going with this month’s series of articles on the Process-Procedure Journey. If you’ve already been to the first article, you’ll remember Chris’s description and map of the Process-Procedures Journey. I’ve reproduced the process map with one minor alteration.
Even a simple map like this might be a huge improvement over your current procedure development process. Well, guess what? We don’t even get this much in all but a few isolated circumstances. (And to the lucky few who’ve gotten what they needed, please tell us what was it like.)
Like a castaway on the raft, it often seems as though we’ve been dropped into the middle of the sea without a sense of where we came from, where we’re going, or how we’re going to survive the journey, let alone get to our destination, wherever that might be. Too often, we start our journey somewhere in the middle (Template Design or Procedure Writing) instead of at the appropriate starting point (Project Management).
For direction, advice, and tips on how to make your journey a successful one, keep on reading (or start reading) this month’s articles. If you’d like more in-depth assistance – something tailored to your unique circumstances – please contact us or visit our web site.
Best of luck to all of you. Smooth sailing!