Dictating process without owning delivery accountability will always lead to fragmented implementation.

Delegation is common across all types of organizations. You naturally end up with some experts in designing process and other experts at delivery within process. When trying to improve a process, it is not uncommon to bring in the first group of experts to develop something better to be handed off.

However, there is a serious risk in this type of delegation. It is not uncommon for a delivery team to feel a process that is forced on them which they didn’t have a role in developing. A process is only worthwhile if it is being used. Alienating the delivery team can quickly lead to a process not actually being adopted.

When a process is dictated to a team, there is a chance they ignore it and simply keep doing what they are doing. The common complaint is that the new process does not take into account all of the variables that need to be accounted for. This is actually fairly common as any process that exists for a period of time develops exceptions, reroutes and quality assurance steps that may not exist on paper.

Delegation is good but it cannot be at the cost of separating process design from delivery. The team that delivers on a process has the ultimate responsibility for its effectiveness and must, therefore, be a key stakeholder in its development. A process design team with no responsibility for long-term delivery is incentivized to develop a process they can sell and easily hand-off – they may not be as concerned with the exceptions and risks of their new design.

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