The Best Laid Plans

Understand the difference between knowing your projects and processes and knowing when you may need help.

Project vs. process

Consider your job-related tasks. You know, the ones you do daily, weekly, or monthly without a foreseeable end date. This is a process.

Now consider your new assignment. This one needs your immediate attention and will divert your efforts from your routine. This is a project.

In writing, the above makes perfect sense. In practice, things can get wonky. Juggling your process and project workload can become messy, especially as work volume increases. For many cases, we recommend two management systems.

  • Process Management – For continuous processes with no end date
  • Project Management – For temporary processes with a set start and end date

When both systems are in good working order, your teams will be able to meet their end goals.

What’s the plan?

You want to determine your scope; start, finish, future, one-time, continuous, etc. The task can then be deemed a process or a project, and plans can be set in motion.

While process plans seem concrete, there is always room for addition and subtraction. So even though you are adding or removing tasks, the overall basis of the process plans can remain with an eye toward constant improvements. The odds are that the process plans you started with will not be the same ten years on.

Projects operate on a more independent basis by setting the work parameters and an agreed-upon time frame. In planning, project plans may have a one-off feel due to the firm start and completion dates. However, creating new projects doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch each time. Of course, previous projects can be used as templates with a few necessary tweaks.

Once your process and project plans have been created and set, it’s up to your managers and employees to follow the new steps. The goal is to make you and your team become more efficient and help your business soar.

Plans? We don’t have no stinking plans.

Sure, you have daily routines, and of course, your teams take on exciting new projects. But is it a scrum to figure out who, what, when, and where these new tasks will wind up? It is common for operations to handle items on a one-by-one basis. This strategy may work at first, but as time passes and success creates more duties, process and project differentiation and plan management will become necessary.

Chicago Cloud Group is experienced in both areas and can help you determine if your need is project or process-related through our discovery call with your team.

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