All teams need some process to achieve their goals.  The challenge is to create the right process for your organization that keeps the team moving toward their goals without becoming more work than is needed.

Process management is key to creating efficient and effective organizations. There are a variety of approaches. Key steps any management process are plans, updates, reports, and feedback (Figure 1). Together, these elements combine to assure progress is made toward organizational goals and help an organization continually improve. The approach presented here can be used at any level of an organization with each sub-group creating their own process that fits into, and provides inputs, on the higher levels.

Figure 1. General Process Management diagram 



Plans are typically created for multiple years (5-year business plans) and updated each year. Plans are based on previous results (reports) and buy-in from stake-holders, clients, and the target group.

  • Goals need to be comprehensive and concise. They should fit on one slide so they can be kept visible by posting them and reviewing them at meetings.
  • Strategies guide the overall direction of the organization. Smaller objectives can be added but should be defined by the group so they have buy-in.
  • Measures determine if progress if being made toward the goals.
  • Expected Results define the deliverables or services provided.
  • Schedule defines steps along the way to the goal and what will be completed at each step.
  • Resources make clear what is needed to complete the tasks. Resources typically include;
    • People: the skills and knowledge of the people required to complete the tasks (e.g. 2 web developers, 1 project manager, 1 logistics expert, 2 testers).
    • Equipment: the hardware, software, supplies and anything else that may be required.
    • Space: space required for people and equipment.
    • Budget: estimates of what the resources will cost plus benefits, travel, and some padding for those unseening issues that arrise.

Target Group

The group that is doing the work. The group should be directly involved in creating the plan and create the updates and reports. The reviews should be conducted outside the group.

Progress Updates

For small organizations, these would be done at regular meetings and would be in the meeting notes.

  • Issues are raised and documented. If an issue cannot be resolved immediately, action items are assigned to investigate options to resolve the issue. When alternative resolutions are available, one is selected to see if it will resolve the issue. Some issues are resolved quickly while others may take years to resolve.
  • Actions items are assigned to individuals or sub-groups to make progress to resolve the issues
  • Decisions are made and documented once enough investigation has occurred and buy-in reached
  • Updates to the plan are made as the situation changes and the group must ajust the plan

360-degree reviews

Reviews provide feedback to the target organization, stakeholders, and clients on progress. Reviews measure how the organization is progressing over time. Reviews also identify areas where improvement is needed. 


The reports summarize the progress accomplished and provide key inputs inot the next update to the plan.