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Simply Effective: How to Cut Through Complexity in Your Organization and Get Things Done by Ron Ashkenas

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FOUR

Streamlining Processes

PROCESSES REPRESENT THE STEPS AND sequence for getting things done—ranging from the strategic (such as designing and commercializing new products) to the tactical (expense reporting) to the mundane (ordering more paper for the printer). When these processes take more steps than necessary, or are unclear, or have too many people involved at the wrong times, they become major sources of complexity. This chapter discusses how processes become overly complex—and what managers can do to steer them toward simplicity instead.

The Challenge of Process Complexity

When Thomas Kirsch was named global head of quality assurance (QA) for Johnson & Johnson’s R&D enterprises in early 2000, he wasn’t quite sure what he had gotten ...

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