My colleague just dropped a question for me: “Which is more important to focus on in our work: process or people?”. He expected me support his view: No people, no process. I do agree, but I am still skeptical to give one simple answer to this question without contemplating it a bit!
So, what exactly people expect from a process? and more importantly, what do business expect from people?, and how do we see these parts fit together in a fashion that keeps the gears of business performance well and running smoothly to maximize ROI.
The result of this contemplation is depicted in the sketch below.
So to answer the main question, let us look at it in the following way: if we eliminate the business process from the graph, we can end up with dysfunctional business process due to absence of automation, and week if any visibility on business intelligence indicators. It goes without saying that if the human factor is not empowered enough, then again business productivity will be negatively impacted, and content (data, knowledge, information in any format) will have low quality as well.
What I wanted to say, in a nutshell, is a solid management will strive to maintain balance between all these elements, and will make sure to put the right processes that guarantees maximum productivity in place, backed with efficient automation. It will also maintain healthy environment and tools for people to collaborate, share, and manage data, information, and knowledge to enrich and capture the corporate soft assets of content. And finally will make sure to make proper use of data generated by business processes (operations) to shade light on business performance and support smart decision making.