Processes eat tools for breakfast

It’s often said that, “culture beats strategy, any day.” Strong values, a good work ethic and motivated employees will go the distance anyday against someone with a good strategy but without the capacity to execute and inability to stay motivated for the long-haul. I agree.

In addition, I’d like to propose a corollary, “processes eat tools for breakfast.”

If you’re around a group of people with a common mission for long enough, the need for tools to get the work done always surfaces.

“We need a project collaboration tool…”

“We need a program to manage scheduling…”

“Everybody has to get this app to log their sales appointments…”

And around and around the merry-go-round goes.

I’m all for tools. I try out many every week. However, I’ve come to realize that it’s rarely the actual tools that make the difference. What makes the difference is a commitment of a team, or an organization, of partners to use common and effective processes – and often a new way of thinking. The process is more important than the tool. Good tools often have a notion of effective processes baked right into them.

I’ve watched groups use web 0.5 tools in amazing ways. I’ve seen taskforces kick-off with the latest and greatest web platforms only to be fledgling in their use 2-weeks later. The difference was not the tools, it was the people and the processes they were employing in their use of the tools.

Good process covers a multitude of sins and, of course, a poor craftsman blames his tools.

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