Schlagwort-Archive: Resources

That’s all there is

On 24 December 1968, a photograph, taken by William Anders while orbiting the moon with Apollo 8, changed its global identity. Through this unusual change of perspective, mankind was suddenly presented of how finite our lifeworld is. At the same time, computers made it possible to carry out simulations that facilitated the anticipation of the development of the world. The study The Limits to Growth appeared in 1972 and predicted that the absolute limits of growth in terms of world population, industrialization, environmental pollution and food production would be reached by 2072. At the same time, the Gaia hypothesis emerged, which sees the Earth as a self-regulating organism that resists its destruction when necessary. Regardless of what idea we have, we should be aware that we are on the only planet we can reach. Everything that happens here always happens to everyone sooner or later.

Given this interconnectedness, it is difficult to understand why some people still think they are not affected by the fundamental developments.

  • Shared atmosphere
    Without this air cover that surrounds the earth, there would be no life on earth. The interaction of fauna and flora is crucial for the 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen. Natural chemical and physiological processes maintain the vital balance. Some people seem to think that the borders of their country also apply to the airspace and that they are not part of the problem.
    The Earth, though, is a closed system in which, at first glance, problems are pushed from the left pocket into the right pocket – without realizing that you cannot get rid of the disadvantages.
  • Shared water
    We have 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of water on earth – 97% salt water, less than 1% of fresh water in the groundwater and thereof just three thousandth in surface water. Life on Gaia depends on fresh water. Polluting this resource hurts everyone, also those contaminating.
    To ensure that we will still have the quantities of fresh water we need tomorrow, we have to take care by ourselves, i.e. not to destroy this resource with nitrate from fertilizers, microplastics, oil, medicines and fracking for the benefit of a fistful of dollars.
  • Shared resources
    We are sitting on finite resources – coal, oil and gas, copper, lead, gold and rare-earth elements. Without these materials we cannot maintain our current standard of living – food and water supplies, energy, mobility, as well as information and communication. The related estimates are limited to the deposits known to us. These are sufficient between 30 and two hundred years. After that, game over.
  • Shared destiny
    The spaceship Earth is so large that it seems to us as if it were a flat disc. We are protected and kept alive by the atmosphere. Our vital supplies are what we produce on land and draw from the soil and the sea. That’s all there is. We consume more than twice as many raw materials nowadays, as we did fifty years ago. Every year, twelve million hectares of agricultural land gets lost through overgrazing, unsuitable cultivation methods, erosion as well as road and urban development. At the same time, the population will rise to nine billion people, who want to be supplied by 2050. Whatever happens on one side of the earth has an impact on the rest – without using the current, magic keyword.

Bottom line: The view of the rising earth has shown mankind how limited our scope of action is and will remain for a long time. There is only one atmosphere, shared water reservoirs and finite resources that make us ONE community of fate. Shifting resources from one side to the other harms the other side and adds nothing to the earth. Despite all the clues, influential people still haven’t understood the limits of growth, although they are also affected, because that’s all there is.

P.S.: At this point thanks to Greta.

The essential reason for BPM

Time flies and the employees are working step by step until they are finished. Being finished means that the customers, who are willing to spend money for the result, receive the deliverable. Very few, who collaborate on it, are lucky enough to be in direct contact with the paying customer. Mostly they have internal “customers” who contribute their part of the value chain to the deliverable. The entire process is determined by the involved people. Over the past decades, we have learned that deliberately designing these procedures, the business processes, has many benefits for everybody: the employees know what to do and the people in charge can control the process. In some cases, companies are taking care of the processes for the first time. In other cases, the design is done for the umpteenth time. Why do they make this effort for Business Process Management (BPM)?

There are many justifications for the development of business processes.

  • Toppling silos into tunnels
    Overcoming the silo boundaries is a major reason for BPM – double work disappears, delays in crossing the border are eliminated, silo-egoisms will be dissolved. The tunnel also has its boundaries, but they are aligned to the results and the customer. Nevertheless that’s not the main reason for BPM.
  • Letting the data flow
    In the future the floods of information will continuously rising, since more and more processes will be digitally transformed – automation of processes; digitization of deliverables; network-based access to everything, anytime, anywhere. Nevertheless that’s not the main reason for BPM.
  • Getting a neutral rating
    It is hard to estimate how strongly individuals engage into their work. It gets even more difficult when it comes to all employees of a large company. The solution of the past years is the certification by a neutral third-party. The processes are a favorable goal for all people concerned – and as soon as the processes are described, they are also practiced – or not. Nevertheless that’s not the main reason for BPM.
  • Enabling IT solutions
    A specific manifestation of the processes can be found in the IT systems. Since the procedures are encrypted in executable program code, at this point in time clear procedures must be available at latest. Nevertheless that’s not the main reason for BPM.
  • Redistributing resources
    The organizational structure will continue to be the most important tool for distributing means and raw materials. However, the proximity to the value creation suggests assigning employees and resources of the production more likely to the business processes, because they can be better aligned with the results. As long as both approaches are pursued, decision makers have to accept that they will not get consistent figures for their decisions. Nevertheless that’s not the main reason for BPM.
  • Describing processes
    Without the description of the processes, all business players lack an objective basis for discussion, evaluation or changing the processes, to make clear allocations of resources and data, to be certified and to realize the IT. Only something printable is valuable. Nevertheless that’s not the main reason for BPM.

As apt as all these reasons are, they are always only means to an end. Eventually it’s not about the process description, it’s about actual business. The essential reason for BPM is:

customers reliably
adequate deliverables
based on applied best practice.

This only works, if the wishes of the customer are known along the value chain and the best practices are consistently applied to deliver the service that customers are willing to pay for. The following aspects support the essential reason for BPM.

  • Only do what is required – not less
    Every process has customers: internally the neighboring department, which benefits from flawless inputs even if it does not pay for it; external institutions that are eligible for reporting; and above all the customers, who finance the whole thing with their payment.
  • Meet the requirements with minimal effort
    In all cases, it is only necessary to do what the recipient of a deliverable actually needs: all employees must do their part to avoid errors, so that there is no need to constantly rework; the tax office and the shareholders are entitled to accurate reporting; Customers determine the required quality with their payment and sustained loyalty.
  • Carpe diem
    Above all, processes are characterized by their speed. It is not about maximum acceleration, as this would lead to situations which would be hard to control. Also, the vanishing flow is not desirable because it makes timely results impossible. The goal is to adjust the gradient so that as many results as possible are delivered quickly and punctually.
  • Being able to recognize what is worth seeing
    As early as possible being able to react to an obstructive incident requires visibility of the current situation. Even the soloistic craftsman has several workpieces in progress at the same time. In business it is an indescribably large number of processes that take place simultaneously. The only chance for an overview is the designed process – together with a contemporary approach of the resulting flood of data.
  • Again and again and again
    Not the number of processes is crucial, but the fact that these processes run repeatedly – preferably always the same way. On the one hand, the effort of designing the processes pays off that way. On the other hand, repeating the same process always creates routine and safety for the employees, what improves the quality of the results.

Bottom line: While in the past the value chain took place predominantly inside the factory fence, today we have an intense, global network of companies of all sizes. The connecting element is the business process that starts and ends with the customer. The process does not become important with the printable description, but with the applied practice that is shared between man and machine. People are the deciding factor because even machines need the human operator. Without involving the employees, only the offices are decorated with A0 plots and the process design happens far from the business in the ivory tower. Do not undermine the essential reason of BPM with the wrong focus: Deliver customers reliably adequate deliverables based on applied best practice.