Network-Based Process Management

By:
Chelsea Zfaz
25.3.2022

Linear thinking prevails in management.

The assumption is – that in order to achieve the desired result - we should do X, invest in Y, or even hope for Z. We plan a process in which an input becomes or leads to an output. We consider the input, we plan the process – the method, the time invested, the human effort, the knowledge, and the practices, and then we expect a certain outcome. 

Given that organizations are embedded in complex environments, however, which include other organizations, networks, and various layers of relationships - changes occur constantly and lead to an unstable, chaotic, and disruptive reality. Consequently, working in linear patterns – as is typically the case in the traditional process management approach - often leads to loss of control, inefficiency, and ineffective use of resources. 

This is why management should be grounded in network thinking, instead of in linear input-outcome planning. 

Consider simultaneous processes - in which the same people often play the same or different roles and their interactions with other people affect several processes at the same time. When the outcome of one decision influences another decision, it becomes clear that effectively managing all layers and verticals of processes requires a full understanding of what happens anywhere in your organization, at any given time. 

Network-based management, as opposed to linear-based management, is key to improving organizational performance in general, and organizational processes in particular.

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