Processes govern the inner workings of a company. They describe how the work should be done. Those who have the say about processes, have the say about how the work is done. What do German processes look like?
If surveyed Germans would rank internal processes﹣how the work is done﹣just after people as the most critical factor to the success of any company. At times, however, it can appear that people are asked to serve processes more than processes are asked to serve people.
Deductive vs. Inductive
Deductive thinking is inference. The conclusion about particulars follows necessarily from general or universal premises. German processes and procedures are arrived at deductively, based on standards and norms, which provide guidance on how to do the work.
Guaranty vs. Tool
For Germans the goal and the path to that goal are almost indistinguishable. The product, and the processes which lead to the product, are two sides of the same coin. A work result – literally a product or service﹣is only as good as the processes which led to it.
Discipline vs. Deviation
Processes are most effective when they maintain a balance between conformity and flexibility. Germans prefer generally formulated processes allowing for interpretation based on the parameters of a specific situation. Judgement calls are driven by training and experience.
Process as Power
If processes and procedures make up the manual governing the inner workings of a company, whoever writes that manual determines how the work is done. This is especially the case in industrial sectors where processes are essential to the development, manufacturing and installation of complex products and systems. Because Germans are strongly product oriented, they instinctively strive to have the say about internal processes.