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Untangling Capability, Process, and Service (2) - How to?

This is the 2nd article of two and continues with the outline of the most important aspects to keep in mind while reading and untangling.

The 1st part of this article: Untangling Capability, Process, and Service (1)- How to?

Bridging the gap

I am using the technique of stripping to ‘undress’ specific definitions, frameworks, theories, and approaches of their non-essential parts to find the minimal definition. By remembering what have been removed we can later use this knowledge in analysis, comparisons, and (re-)creation of specific theories, approaches, and practices.

The parts that are removed, form an important knowledge base that can be used for intentional design of theories and approaches. Theory builders can use this knowledge base to better understand their own work and maybe unveil their own tacit and implicit assumptions.

Example: We can remove the valuation part (“output is of value to the customer”) from Hammer and Champy without losing the general sense of a “process” We remember that outputs can be valued by customers and we may later use it to define customer facing processes, and maybe even customer facing capabilities and services.

Work to be Done vs. Structure

It is easy to think about capabilities, processes and services one by one. When we add more parts of an organisation and multiple work perspectives (work to be done) the total picture becomes complicated (to understand) and complex. The work oriented approach focus on defining and creating work products that make sense to people in work they do with others. This may introduce a tension with structural , theoretical, framework, breakdown and “single source of truth” principles. Care must be taken to balance the primacy of human centrism and work orientation with structural principles.

The ”assembly” is a topic that will be discussed later in the series.

Example: It is common to defined 5-layer process architecture with levels such as: value chain, value Stream, process, sub-process, task. For organisation with highly deterministic processes this structure may be relevant, to specific people. However, for others it is too strict, large, complicated, and does not fit with work people do and questions they need to be answered.

Note: the diagram to the left is adapted from the work of Henry Mintzberg

These two articles provides key background information about the method and its focus. Soon time to start the untangling!


/Anders W. Tell

/WorkEm Toolsmiths

Untangling: What comes first, economical concept o...
Untangling Capability, Process, and Service (1) - ...

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