Axiom 2: Documents define the enterprise process





 Axiom 1

 Axiom 2

 Axiom 3

 Axiom 4

 Axiom 5


Defining projects with document milestones of core processes provides a foundation for monitoring and compiling statistics on enterprise performance.

Without theory, experience has no meaning. .... one has no questions to ask, ... there is no learning. - W. E. Deming

The Document Methodology is based on the premise that each value-added step in any operation is described by a document, changed through documentation, or replicated within an enterprise using a document to initiate it.

Accordingly, documents are the primary objects for applying analysis tools to business processes in two ways:

1.Documents drive processes. Lack of information can cause bottlenecks. Finding ways to improve the flow, content and knowledge retention of documents can greatly accelerate processes.

2.Document flow provides a useful window to define business operations.

Models can be built with a cohesive thread by applying a document view to define process, management and systems. As a result, analysis of document flow can simultaneously consider processes, people and technology.

Documents simplify information into aggregates of data that relate people to processes, describe process states, contain the knowledge created in each process, and link processes together. Documents are a knowledge object that has a time-based component and, therefore, is suitable for static and dynamic modeling and analysis.

The core process model for product and service creation is unique to a business, but four other models required to represent the enterprise are the same for all businesses. They are:

·         A management model to define the management tasks associated with every process, as described in Chapter 4.

·         A transaction (purchasing) model to define how the company relates to other businesses in its industry, both as a customer and a supplier along with the core processes in discrete parts manufacturing, as described in Chapter 3.

·         A support systems model to identify how to assemble purchased commercial software on client-server computer networks, as described in Chapter 5.

·         A change model to define the change methodology itself, as described in Chapter 6.

The figure represents the top level of a manufacturing business model. "Market, Develop, Purchase, Deliver and Support" core processes are driven by documents. Documents are controlled within the context of the fundamental support systems.

Process Knowledge and Complexity

Enterprise bureaucracy follows René Descartes 17th century method of breaking complex problems into smaller pieces until they can be solved.  Companies accomplish this with teams of specialists that are managed within an organizational hierarchy.  Technology can fundamentally impact restructuring processes and flatten hierarchies by allowing people to perform significantly more complex tasks, reducing the overall time and steps to complete.

Today's markets reflect increasing complexities of scale. For a company to stay economically viable, responsive and competitive, it must find ways to use technology to connect to and integrate with internal and external forces, rather than relying on management hierarchy and central systems.

Finding innovative business processes and leveraging people's knowledge with information systems and architectures that are not commonly understood is a challenge for management. It is one of the drivers of Toffler’s idea of a high company IQ, which reflects how well an enterprise distributes, uses and competes on knowledge.

Axiom 2: Process Scenario

Jud was asked to develop a presentation for the senior management team about last week’s production.  Because he had summary information about the products that were manufactured, the time it took, and who had completed tasks, he had the knowledge available to develop the presentation.  Because he had developed presentations before and used a previous presentation as a guide, he  prepared it on time.  Jud was able to predict with certainty when his job would be complete because:

·         All required resource and document inputs were available,

·         Transformations to present the data were understood,

·         The tasks had been performed and the time required to complete them was known, and

·         Enough elapsed time was allowed for variance in completing tasks.

Corollaries to Axiom 2

Documents define (and enable analysis of) the enterprise process because they:

1.Represent the time-based independent initiators, inputs and outputs of core processes.

2.Describe the state or progress of a product or service.

3.Notify appropriate personnel of process status or failure.

Method for Axiom 2

Management copes with a happening unless documents, as time-based output objects, are used to analyze processes by:

·         Using process models to specify critical document links within and between processes.

·         Explicitly defining processes as projects with document milestones using project management software.

·         Monitoring critical document velocity and computing variance from process histories.

·         Documenting ill-structured processes, linkages and bottlenecks associated with document flow, document formats or natural language.

Consequences of Axiom 2

·         Document links illuminate how one process impacts another’s performance. 

·         Analysis of velocity and variance, computed from project statistics, identifies bottlenecks. 

·         Non-traumatic problems can be fixed immediately; severe problems guide innovative change for Axiom 5.

Copyright 2007 by Jim I. Jones / email: