Crossing the streams

One of the ways the 1984 Ghostbusters movie was a product of earlier times was its use of the doctrine “don’t cross the streams. It would be bad.” Early systems for process improvement were largely prescriptive methodologies with fairly rigid rules and patterns, tuned to specific industries or environments. Business processes and standard ways of doing work would typically be changed to meet the system’s requirements.

Over time, frameworks evolved to become more flexible. By allowing the systems management approach to be altered or partially implemented to use those aspects that best fit an organization or function, success and adoption increased.

In recent years, process improvement and service management frameworks have been written or revised to cross the streams. We have Lean Six Sigma, combining lean manufacturing’s reduction of unnecessary steps with Six Sigma’s focus on eliminating the variation that results in waste. In software development and deployment, Agile DevOps and combining ITIL with responsive project management frameworks have been gaining ground.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to pimp their framework, the Management Mesh that is central to VeriSM™ will appeal to you. This framework-agnostic framework encourages the application of management practices that work well with the existing and predicted environment, available resources, and trends in emerging technologies. By keeping an open mind about which tools to use for which groups and functions, you may discover the problem you’ve been treating as a nail responds beautifully to drilling, setting an anchor, and using a screwdriver instead of a hammer.

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