A Little Process Handbook

You’re a high-level attorney, a single parent raising two girls: Marie 15, Anna 12. You and your girls live in a lovely home in the Washington, D.C. suburbs with almost half an acre of land. The summers are hot, humid, often rainy. The grass needs to be cut once a week. 

It’s time for Marie to take over mowing the lawn. It’s a little tricky, though. Tree roots pop up in unexpected spots. There is lots of mowing around bushes. The winds at night leave twigs strewn across the lawn. Tiny stones can shoot off like bullets into all sorts of directions. And the powerful mower is to be handled carefully. You need to explain to Marie how to cut the lawn efficiently, and without injuring herself or anyone else.

Put yourself in the same or similar situation. In your home culture. Because you can type fast, you pull out your laptop in order to describe the process for Marie. What will that little process handbook look like: chapters, sequence, length, depth, etc.? 

Success Factor

How highly does your business culture rank the importance of internal processes – how the work is done – to a company’s success? If high, why? If low, why? Name specific examples.

Discipline or Flexibility

Take one of the most important processes in your private life. Identify one critical point along that process. Discuss when you handle that point with discipline (stick to the process) versus when you handle it with discretion (allow for deviation).