Process Driven Organizations

Process driven organizations are the exact opposite of a people driven organization. It relies on the principles of Corporate Law which states that any organization is a separate entity which has come into existence. Its existence is different from and not dependant on the existence of its promoters. It is an artificial person created by law.

The very idea of thinking about organizations as an abstract creature brings to mind exciting ideas. It is about creating an organization which has perpetual succession (Never ending life) and is not bound by constraints of time, skill and morality of its members.

Any multinational corporation that you see is the embodiment of this process approach. It is because they are not bound by human limitations that they can operate in many continents across the globe simultaneously. These organizations grow in terms of knowledge, scale of operations and efficiency irrespective of the contribution of its members.

It must be understood that the organization is not completely independent of people. Otherwise Unilever would be a mega robot, not a mega corporation! These organizations require contribution from labourers in the form of energy to get work done as well as the basic mental acumen to follow the series of instructions tabled as the “best practice”. This can be done by every other person therefore the reduction in dependency on specific people.

Here are some of the principles of process driven organization:

  1. Institutionalized Knowledge: The knowledge of a process driven organization lies not in its people but in the system. The organization scans the environment to update its best practices with regards to every activity that needs to be performed. This procedure is than explicitly documented. Any literate person with basic domain knowledge can read and follow the series of steps. In recent years even computers have been programmed to do so and automation of tasks has become possible.

  2. No Limits On Time: A process driven organization has virtually unlimited time. Since there is a mechanism created to transfer the skill from the system to any person as and when required, the system can expand almost endlessly. This means that if a process driven organization finds constraints on its labor hours, it can simply hire new people and train them as opposed to people driven organizations which would have to forego the opportunity.

  3. Self Governing Mechanism: A process driven organization exercises control through various actors and systems in the organization. Data regarding various activities is compiled and measured on a regular basis to prevent any immoral acts. Behavior of the system is governed by a set of pre-determined rules and policies.

  4. Easy Replication: The best feature of a process driven organization is that it can be easily replicated. Hence if an organization wanted to replicate its operations in another continent, it could take the same system and implement it with minor modifications. This gives the organizations an edge. Scalability is an important characteristic for the organization to grow and function in the long run.

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