Development of a Tangle: Detail

The ideal process provides a consistent and uninterrupted straight line flow of material, information and decisions from start to finish, each step in the process providing what is required at the right time, quality and quantity.  The result is a delivered product or service that fully meets customer requirements and expectations. 

straight_line_flow

In other words, the Order to Cash process is a straight line flow from sale to cash collection.

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If changes to processes are not controlled, they can become tangled.  This may just start with small knot caused when the process loops back for more information, to correct errors or to manage changes to requirements.  Further loop backs increase the complexity of the knots as they draw in other processes and people.  This then becomes an impenetrable tangle.

stage_1 tangle

Further loop backs increase the complexity of the knots and draw in other processes and people.  This then becomes an impenetrable tangle where knowledge is lost and commitments are made that can’t be fulfilled.

stage_2 tangle

Tangles hide what’s happening and they work against you.  They limit the ability of a business to change in response to unforeseen opportunities or threats.  With globalisation and technology changes, these can be rapid and significant. 

Processes must be simple – Jack Welch: “If you’re not simple you cannot be fast, and if you’re not fast, you’re dead in a global world.”