A seatbelt for your processes


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seatbeltWould it be too much to ask that in future all processes come equipped with the following sticker:

DANGER: This process can seriously damage your wealth

I’ve always had this a vague picture in my mind of an analogy between wearing a seatbelt while driving and using process testing methods during projects. So I took a quick look at some stats and here’s what I found:

In Germany we have around 7.8 car accident fatalities per billion kilometres travelled. With an average driving distance of 10000 kilometres per year and driver, this translates into 100.000 drivers of whom 7.8 come to a sad ending. That’s 0.0078%. I’ve also recently read that without seatbelts alone (that’s discounting airbags and other safety measures) the fatality rate would have been 30 times higher, which would increase the rate to 0.234%. So, anything that helps us reduce the danger of injury (or worse) even in the highly unlikely case of an accident is generally accepted and we are fortunately seeing a continuous development of safety measures which will hopefully reduce the numbers even further.

The reason I mention this is that there are two important aspects to look at:

  • Reduction of the consequences of accidents

I’d think that nobody would dispute the sense in addressing both aspects.

Changing the subject completely (or so you’d think), we know that 82% of all process initiatives fail to reach their targets.

In many cases, the causes are located in design phase: Errors in process logic that prohibit implementation, workable but inefficient processes that lead to constant change requests long after the processes have been put into operations and the curious realisation that somehow reality always refuses to conform to project assumptions and process models.

This begs the question of what could be done. Well, most of us buckle up BEFORE we take to the road and not AFTER we’ve reached our destination. So why do we only test our processes only after we’ve implemented them and even then leave the final testing to our customers (always assuming you even get to that stage)?

This is of course what the Process TestLab is all about: Providing you with an independent assessment of the quality and risks associated with your process design. Will they work? How will they work? What happens if …?

Buckle up your processes!

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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