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System Planning & Process Control


Southern Gentleman
Hello, folks:

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Here's a little something I wrote in the last week or so entitled, "System Planning and Process Control." The intent was to provide a roadmap for people to understand what their processes are and how to demonstrate control. Besides the article itself, there is an example process matrix that goes along with it. I'd enjoy hearing everyone's thoughts on this subject.

And by the way, where are everyone else's articles?!?!?


Craig Cochran
Center for International Standards and Quality
Georgia Institute of Technology



Greg B


Once again you have made what could possibly be construed, and often is, as a difficult process seem simple. You have broken it down to basics and I think a great many readers will be happy that Marc has started this new forum of partcipation. Works like yours and Steve Previtts will keep the fires burning and hopefully 'we mere mortals' will be tempted to put pen to paper and submit some of our own originals.

I have been working on Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) for the last few weeks and implementing a 5S program (a lot of work to go). I hope at the end to write a project for work that BBS can be used across the board in Quality, Environement and General Business practises. Dare I say watch this space (forum) as I may submit an article for everyone to review before I take it to work.

Greg B


Southern Gentleman

Thanks for your very kind comments. I'm looking forward to seeing some of your work on Behaviour Based Safety and 5S. I know it will be impressive.

By the way, if anyone finds the 'example process matrix' helpful, they're free to use it. Of course, it will need to be edited to fit the circumstances.


Rob Nix

Excellent, Craig. The clarity of your writing makes it clear you have a strong grasp of the subject matter. One of the most important points you make, IMHO, is that smart organizations, once understanding their processes, redraw their organizational charts around natural processes. Too many organizations atrophy because of what has been called "paradigm paralysis".


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Craig C,
I think this article is very well written and can be used as a guidelines for Process Approach by any organization. Most of the points are not new to us. But the way this article is written provides clarity, indepth understanding and appreciation to Process approach.
I was very impressed particularly with the point
"When departmental boundaries and process boundaries don’t coincide, problems begin to happen. Every department attempts to maximize its own performance on the micro level, without really understanding how their activities affect the overall process. Since departments are essentially competing with one another, there’s no incentive to share resources. Departments tend to horde what they need and operate on a semi-autonomous basis, almost like a company within the company. This kind of mentality rarely helps the organization as a whole."

How true this is ! This is simply an extract of Wisdom !!

You may want to send this article to Quality Progress or Quality Digest to share with the rest of the Quality community.Once again I thank Mr.Cochran for an excellent article.



Southern Gentleman


Thanks a bunch for your gracious words about the article. I think "process orientation" is one of the most difficult aspects of improving an organization. There's just so much history and experience that goes against it. People know that their functional departments are often inefficient and cumbersome, but they're uncomfortable doing anything different. We'll just keep beating the drum and hope someone hears us, right?

Thanks again,
Process Matrix Success

Just finished a meeting with upper management using the process matrix. They loved it and I got some buy-in I was unable to get before. Wow! I am feeling so good I may take the rest of the day off.

Thanks for a nifty tool.


qualitygoddess - 2010

Another topic that causes confusion for the "management types" that Craig has successfully simplified and turned into something that any non-quality person could understand.

One quick comment: Did I note a discrepancy in the # of processes a typical company has? I spotted 30 in one place and 20 in another.

Thanks, Craig for writing another fine article.



Southern Gentleman

I'm very gratified that your upper management was able to get some mileage out of the process matrix. You definitely should take the rest of the day off. Convincing upper management of anything is worth a day or two of vacation.


Yes, you discovered a discrepancy. Good catch! Thanks for identifying it for me. By the way, I can't wait to see your upcoming customer satisfaction article in October.

Thanks both of you for your support and gracious feedback.



Craig, Just wanted to add my thanks for the process matrix. I too actually got a response from one of our senior managers to add to the process owners shown. (although no response from 4 others)
Thanks again, good work
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