Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence


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MetaProcess vs. Enabling Process

A Senior Business Analyst commented[1]: Viewing an organization in terms of the classic pyramid of strategic, tactical and operational levels, it seems to me that each level performs processes that enable other processes at the next level down. You might call these enabling processes, especially those at the strategic level. When executives perform an enabling process in effect they transform other processes lower in the pyramid. I think the enabling processes can therefore be called metaprocesses. My reply: Processes that enable other processes, that build on what they have produced, are of course extremely important. That’s how stuff gets done and value added. But that’s not the same as a metaprocess. An enabling process doesn’t directly ‘operate on’ (transform) another process, nor is a transformed process its output. So I’d have to say an enabling process is not a metaprocess. I also don’t think that in performing an enabling process at the strategic level, executives directly transform processes at the tactical or operational level. (If only they were that hands-on!) Instead, they establish business policies, goals, and objectives that then can be used by other people to transform ‘lower-level’ processes appropriately (and directly). In other words, their outputs are strategy or strategic direction. Those are simply not processes per se … even if probably more important! http://www.brsolutions.com/

[1] This series of point/counterpoint replies is a follow-up to my post “Meta Here. Meta There. Meta Everywhere?” (March 31, 2014), which generated a surprising amount of great discussion. (Thanks all!) Refer to: http://www.brsolutions.com/2014/03/31/meta-here-meta-there-meta-everywhere/ The definition I’m using for meta- is from Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary [3b]:

3b: of a higher logical type – in nouns formed from names of disciplines and designating new but related disciplines such as can deal critically with the nature, structure, or behavior of the original ones *metalanguage* *metatheory* *metasystem*

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Ronald G. Ross

Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.