Must say I am pleased when I hear the terms BRP (Barely Repeatable Processes) and Easily Repeatable Processes (ERP) being used by people I never met.
In December I wrote a post defining the terms and it did hit a soft spot it seems.
Now I hear almost every week about some speaker at a conference or big company leader using the term - that pleases me no end. So here's a thank to you all!
There is no doubt that the issue is felt out there, after all we do spend much (most?) of our time handling exceptions, ad-hoc stuff, starting with a call or email and handled by meetings and a lot of back and forth in rather unorganised manners.
And yes, social software, collaboration software is a way to go - also seen as the focus among large business software vendors trying to address the pains felt by the "knowledge worker" - but:
Everything is a process. Everything happens in sequence. When you and I discuss we listen then counter, then listens, then...
Process is important - without understanding the process no progress can be made. If you do not know the path you cannot run faster next time. A ski instructor will not give you advice when in the bar he will need to see you on the slope before he can help you becoming better.
One argument I hear is that knowledge work, creative work, would be hampered by structure - thus finding social software and collaboration solutions like wikis the perfect way to go. Every step should be open for unlimited new path choices.
To that I do agree, to a certain extent: We're talking about getting-something-done not entertainment which means there is a purpose. That is the actual reason for organising into groups, clubs, governments and business. A business or hospital or educational institution have a purpose, and that limits the choices. A purpose is a framework.
A physician would not send you trekking in the Andes as result of studying an x-ray of your broken arm. A board member would not blurt out "lets stage a musical!". And you would not choose a forum for vintage race cars when having an issue with your Vista driver for your Epson printer.
I see all too much jumping. "Jumping to conclusions" that is when the word "process" is used - most visualise something linear and rigid, a pipeline with no leeway. But at it's core, process is not at all that, it's purpose and path:
When it's raining in the mountains the water finds the way to the ocean one way or the other, hard to predict and even harder to follow, but one day it'll find it's salty brethren driven by a strong and simple purpose - go with the flow, let gravitation be the driving force. And the water does that, a single drop teams up with another, then another, soon being big enough to become a trickle down the mountain surface meeting other trickles merging into a small brook, then finding other brooks to become a river that has the power to move obstacles making for an even more efficient flow towards the ocean.
That's what it's all about - a clear purpose and a riverbed framework. Rainwater or business, raindrops or people, same situation, same solution.
A riverbed framework; and BRP will become a force and cease to be an issue.