The Definition of Process Development and Why Do You Need it

Process Development

The creation of any product or service requires a clear and smooth flow, regardless of the size of the company, its industry, market experience, and so on. Both the internal flow of the company and the quality of the product itself or the service that the company provides depends on how correct the whole operation is created. However, what process development actually is? We will talk about this in this article, and by the end of the reading, you will perfectly understand what a process is, as we will explain using a popular example how it works and why thoughtful flow development is important. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Process Development: What is It?

In order to accurately define this concept, for a start, it is worth going from afar and understanding what the process itself is. And most likely, you have already answered this question correctly for yourself since the concept of the business flow is incredibly simple: it is a set of sequential steps that help to achieve a certain goal, and at the same time, the cycle itself is constantly repeating itself. However, the very term process is often condemned by many due to the fact that the flow can be burdensome and ineffective, and it is difficult to argue with these opinions.

However, ineffective business flows and the final unsatisfactory results that they bring should not be their usual state. No business wants to constantly fail, and in order to avoid financial and reputational losses, it is worth starting with basic things. If you decompose the word “process” into its main components, as an abbreviation, you get the following important parts you should be aware of:

  • P for Proven
  • R for repeatable
  • O for Owner driven
  • C for Compatible
  • S for Sustainable
  • S for Successful

However, abstract components are nothing without a detailed explanation using a clear example. That is why it’s time to talk in more detail about the above components.

Proven

The main and very first thing we want from a streamlined process development is that it brings us proven results. To put it simply, a certain operation that has been used several times and produced good results can be considered as proven.

In addition, the predictability of a flow can also affect the level of its reliability. If the process is difficult to predict and you do not know what results to expect from it, then such a working sequence can hardly be called proven. As a result, a good operation should produce the same satisfactory result with different sets of inputs.

For example, imagine an outsource software development. This is a verified flow consisting of sequential steps:

  • The phase of studying the client’s requirements for the software product
  • Estimate formation phase
  • Visual design phase
  • Development phase
  • Quality Assurance phase
  • Release phase

All these stages should lead to one thing – a high-quality software product for the needs of the client. Different input data can be considered as different requirements of various businesses for a future digital product.

Repeatable

The hallmark of a well-designed flow is its repeatability. If the process is repeatable, it can be used any number of times by a knowledgeable person to achieve the desired business results. If you notice that your working sequence is difficult to repeat, then you can safely assume that you do not have a good flow and your development strategy is based only on luck, while it should be based on management.

Let’s go back to the software development example. The abovementioned phases are a cycle that repeats with each new project and is controlled by clear management, which makes the software development process repeatable.

Owner-Driven

The secret to the success of a good process development that will benefit your business is that you must own the pipeline. As a result, you have to work out your flow yourself and understand for yourself whether it suits your business or not.

In addition, you are unlikely to want to do your job using someone else’s operation and someone else’s instructions. Therefore, you should start developing your own process from scratch, and let your management contribute to it. Thus, you will increase employee engagement, and you will have an effective pipeline that is ideally suited to the individual characteristics of your business.

Compatible

The key to successful process development lies in taking into account the needs and nuances of the work of all business departments. The process you have created must be compatible with all departments involved in the execution of this flow. If you don’t achieve top-notch interoperability, you run the risk of significantly degrading the transfer of products or information across the entire business. This can lead to both internal flow failures and deterioration of the final product.

For example, process development in software creation is highly compatible, as it takes into account the specifics of the work of all departments involved in the creation of a software product. The business analysts department creates a specification in which all the client’s requirements and technologies that will be involved in the development are recorded. This specification is further used by all departments.

Based on the client’s requirements in the specification, the design department creates the design of the future software product in the form of mockups. These mockups are then sent to the development department, and flat application interface images are turned into lines of code and a fully functional product. Further, the product is transferred to the Quality Assurance department, where it undergoes thoughtful testing, which is designed to identify bugs and fix them. Bugs are recorded in bug reports, which are then again transmitted to the developers.

Once the product is 100% bug-free, the software is released. As you can see, the compatibility of the operation is very high since each department produces a certain part that is useful to the next department and contributes to the implementation of the process. If one of the departments released a certain piece of work that was not compatible with the next department, the entire software creation sequence would stall, leading to disaster.

Executable

At this point, the name speaks for itself. If your flow requires unrealistic effort to complete it and get the result, most likely, you made a mistake during process development. In this case, you need to go back to the development stage and rework your pipeline.

It is also possible that the product or service being produced itself has a flaw that does not allow a perfectly thought-out flow to be carried out. In this case, the product or service itself needs to be reworked.

For example, the Quality Assurance department missed a critical bug that prevents a full software release. As a result, the software creation sequence ceased to be executable due to a malfunction of the software product. And in order to continue development, you should roll back to make additional work with the software in order to eliminate this bug.

Sustainable

Operation sustainability is also an important parameter that should be considered during process development. No employee will be able to perform their part of the work in a quality manner if this flow generates a stressful environment for employees. Such a process cannot be called sustainable because it can lead not only to a deterioration in performance and quality of services but also to a high turnover of personnel in your business.

In such cases, a global analysis should be carried out to identify the factors that can make the operation unsustainable. Perhaps you should take a closer look at your product and change some of its properties. Or pay attention to the equipment that is involved in the manufacture of the product. Perhaps it needs improvement or complete replacement. This approach will help not only make the flow sustainable but also increase production capacity.

If we talk about sustainable process development in the framework of the software development industry, then one of the striking examples is the software update with the help of which custom software is developed. For example, your design department may be stressed by the need to work in an uncomfortable mockup program. This can lead not only to a deterioration in the quality of the design but also entail a strong turnover of specialists. The only way out of this situation is to listen to the design team, their wishes and choose the software that best meets their needs and makes the design process sustainable.

Successful

The final part of our acronym is a success, and this is not surprising because any business wants to achieve success through a properly designed work process. The main task of the operation is to achieve the desired results that the business sets before the start of the process development. If your working sequence is not bringing your business the desired results, it may be worth reworking or ditching it entirely. In this way, you will avoid various financial and reputational losses that can cause irreparable damage to your business.

For example, a software creation sequence can be defined as one of two methodologies, Agile and Scrum. In order not to go into too much detail, it is worth saying that the main characteristic of Agile is incredible flexibility and the fact that changes to the software product, its codebase, design, and idea can be made on a daily basis and anytime. For example, let’s say you have chosen Agile and want your software products to be released by a certain date. However, due to the flexibility of this methodology, the deadlines were lost, and the entire software creation sequence can be called unsuccessful. In this case, to avoid even more damage, you should rewrite your operation flow and start sticking to Scrum. This methodology stands for the rigor of the entire software development process. Each aspect has deadlines that should be adhered to, and thus it is much easier to calculate the development time and set realistic deadlines for the release of the software.

Wrapping Things Up

As you can see, the business flow is not just an abstract sequence of actions that should lead you somewhere. Behind an ordinary word lies a complex set of different conditions that must be met during the process of development. If you are frivolous about the process of developing the flow of your business, you risk not only failing to achieve the tasks set but also suffer financial and reputational losses.

You have to consider its complexity, how it affects your employees, whether it helps you achieve the desired result, and at what cost. Only a well-thought-out process development, analysis, and continuous improvement of flow will help your business find the workflow that will help you reach new heights and financial performance.

Author’s bio:

Vitaly Kuprenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad, a web and mobile app development company in Ukraine. He enjoys writing about tech innovations and digital ways to boost businesses.

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The Definition of Process Development and Why Do You Need it

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