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When should a process be art; not science?

Author: Joseph M. Hall and M. Eric Johnson Language: English Journal: Harvard Business Review Year: March 2009 Source: Harvard Business review Publisher: Harvard Business Review

Can a successful European sales process be rolled out worldwide, or should regional teams be allowed to perform their individual magic? Does it make sense for a manufacturer to invest in developing and documenting a detailed process that complies with the latest ISO standards, or would more employee training and empowerment lead to higher quality? Can quality be improved by managing surgeons like nurses or auditors like mechanics? Executives in almost every industry face similar questions about how to handle their processes. There are some processes that naturally resist definition and standardization-that are more art than science. Helping executives understand which should not be standardized and how to manage artistic and scientific processes in tandem is the purpose of this article.
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