What is a Process?
Let's look at a simple (possible) morning routine.
You wake up, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and get out the door.
The above is a process. It has specific steps (e.g., taking a shower). Which, in itself (the step), is a process. This 'taking a shower' process also has steps (e.g., grab soap).
You could continue towards smaller and smaller steps.
But at some point, the step is so tiny; it's not worth looking at in itself.
- We can state a process is made out of steps, whereby each step can be identified as a process.
- Next, we can describe a process as having a start, an end, and a specific outcome (goal).
Specifically with the morning routine example
- The process starts with waking up and ends when getting out of the door.
- The goal is to get out the door, clean, dressed and with food in your belly.
All steps in a process work towards its outcome.
When the steps are sub-processes, those sub-processes work towards their outcome — being part of the bigger whole.
Finally, it's only worth talking about a process when it is something you repeatedly do. At least more than once.
What is the use of looking at many things as a process?
It depends on what you want, of course. Do you want to change or improve things in your life, business, or community?
So it helps to describe the processes that drive the outcomes in those areas. You see, processes change. Either on purpose or by default.
Describing a process helps you to purposefully change the process towards a different (better) outcome.
You can change the process in different ways. The three main buckets you can organize them in:
- Eliminate steps
- Add steps
- Optimize steps (Delegate, Automate, Change)
(More on these three another time.)
Thinking through the Mental Model of 'Everything is a process,' boils down to something very empowering.
The power to change the world.
Describing a process is describing part of the world. When you want to change part of the world, you need to change its processes.
So, the reason you should look at everything as a process is so that you can change the world.