PLAN the Work

Develop Process Capability for Operational Effectiveness (Results)

What is the work that must be done to deliver a product and/or service? How is that work best done? Is that work capable of achieving results that matter to the business? 

Fujio Cho, Honorary Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation summed it up best…

“We get brilliant results from average people managing brilliant processes – while our competitors get average or worse results from brilliant people managing broken processes.”


Business capabilities are the activities an organization carries out, or need to be able to carry out, to conduct its business. 

“A business capability is a particular ability or capacity that a business may possess or exchange to achieve a specific purpose or outcome.” [1]

Business capabilities are enabled by the business processes that are cumulatively executed in pursuit of the fulfillment of each individual capability and ultimately the mission of the Enterprise.

All work is process“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing” [2] – W. Edwards Deming

It is crucial that ‘quality’ is decidedly built into each business process. A ‘quality’ outcome is absolutely created with intention, it won’t just happen on accident, or automagically.

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”  - origin unknown

Building work processes that are capable of producing the results that matter to the business is just the first step. This ‘first step’ of planfully defining the work of the business is important because operational expenses are most significant when business processes are not adequately defined for the workforce to efficiently execute for results that matter to the organization. 

The cost of doing business is equal to the aggregate operational cost of executing each of the business processes that are required to deliver the organization’s products and/or services to ensure the sustained profitability of the business.

Next, the second step is associated with the efficient execution of planned work. DO.


[1] A Business-Oriented Foundation for Service Orientation, Ulrich Homann, White Paper, February 2006, published by Microsoft, February 2006

[2] Deming, W. Edwards (2000). Out of the crisis (1. MIT Press ed.). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. ISBN 0262541157