OK, that is a lot of M words! Alliteral attraction aside, management methodologies can be extremely helpful in running an organization. Methodologies give you a community of best practices to learn from, processes to improve, and a way of doing things that can be taught.
Methodologies can be deployed along the continuum of business operations, from the highest level of strategy to the smallest details of execution: from macro to meso to micro. This is a plan-do-check-act continuum as well, and in this post I introduce five methodologies that span it:
- The business plan is the starting point, eventually morphing into the strategy plan, and both should feature prominently a discussion of how the organization will manage quality.
- The balanced scorecard is a performance management framework that operationalizes the business and strategic plans, giving an organization a holistic view of their strategic objectives and key performance indicators. Strategy maps extend balanced scorecards by showing cause and effect between objectives, a graphic view of value creation in the organization.
- Process maps are part of a deliberate approach to process management, where activities are presented in flowchart form so they can be clearly communicated, studied and improved. The most mature organizations have highly integrated process engineering activities to enable continuous improvement.
- Procedure checklists contain the detailed steps to execute the tasks involved in process activities, and by automating them you can easily track progress.
- Data analytics takes all the numbers that are generated from business operations and structures it in a way that facilitates analysis and action.
With that brief overview, the first part of this series is complete. We will try to get to all of these in the coming weeks:
- Management methodologies: macro, meso, and micro (you’re reading it!);
- Example of a balanced scorecard for healthcare;
- Using a strategy map to illustrate value creation for a health clinic;
- A process map for the employee journey;
- Procedure checklists and workflow automation.
I hope this information is enough to clarify the relationships between these methodologies so you can start applying them in your organizations.