The Psychology of Quality and More

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Three Es of Process Excellence
David Straker
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The cost of no third E

Consider the impact of processes that are not enjoyable on the business results. The most obvious negative impact is that if the work is boring or painful, your people will not be happy, which is the thin end of the wedge that drives straight into the other result areas. Feelings are highly infectious, and if your people are unhappy, they will spread their misery to your customers, which will, shortly afterwards, ripple on to depress your business results. You will even lose out in social responsibility, as unhappy people will be less inclined to be good citizens (especially on your behalf).


No one E is an island. We can create processes that are Efficient at the expense of Effectiveness and vice versa. Similarly, we can have fun processes that are neither very Effective nor Efficient. The challenge, then, is to find the balance that leads to optimal scores in all of your Results sections. This will be the point of maximum synergy, where Efficiency gains remove the boring parts, giving people a more interesting challenge, where Effectiveness leads to satisfied customers which feeds back to employee satisfaction, and where Enjoyable processes lead to happy people who work sincerely towards improving the other two Es.

If your people are really your greatest assets, then design the pleasure of working for you into your processes. Add challenge, respect, care. And even fun. And you will be rewarded by results that move upwards in all areas.



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