People, Process, Technology: The PPT Framework, Explained

Sep 8, 2020

People, process, and technology (PPT) has been around since the early 1960s. The framework was popularized in the information security world by Bruce Schneier in the late 1990s. Most businesses used it to improve the efficiency of their employees and tools. For information technology management, most software companies use it these days.

The reason is that it helps to map the entire value stream of people, processes, and technologies. This allows high-performing teams to optimize operations and ship faster.

Learn how you can leverage the PPT framework for your organization in this blog.

Balance is everything

It is about the interaction between the three elements in the PPT framework. People do the work. Processes make this work more efficient. Technology helps people complete their tasks as well as automates processes. By balancing the three and optimizing relationships between people, processes, and technology, businesses can achieve organizational efficiency.

In terms of the framework, it resembles a three-legged table. If one leg is longer or shorter, the whole table loses its balance. In the same way, when technology changes, the people and processes need to be modified to accommodate the new tools as well. Technology is only as effective as the processes and people using it. For example, many businesses throw new technology and fancy tools at their problems.

Without robust processes in place, individuals within organizations will struggle to be effective and the potential value of technology will be wasted. Similarly, inadequate knowledge of technology usage can hinder a company's ability to derive value from their technological investments. Furthermore, if new technology fails to integrate smoothly with existing processes, the desired outcome may not be achieved. Conversely, if an organization becomes overly focused on perfecting their processes, they risk creating a solid plan on paper but lack the necessary personnel or technology to execute it successfully.

In this context, businesses need to find the right balance between these three crucial components. The PPT framework encourages them to think multidimensionally. But what are these three components?

The People

In the process, "people" refer to the human resources at the firm's disposal. The people are the ones who perform the tasks.

One of the primary responsibilities is to bring on board suitable individuals. Companies must pinpoint their key personnel possessing the necessary abilities, expertise, and mindset for the specific job. Nevertheless, these essential employees are frequently occupied or engaged. Consequently, managers may have to wait for their availability, recruit new staff, transfer workers from other projects, or delegate the tasks to external consultants or agencies. These significant choices greatly impact the success of the PPT framework.

The people need clear role definitions so everybody knows their responsibilities. This will help in decision-making, technology selection, process deployment, and personnel hiring. Many businesses focus on technology and processes while almost overlooking the people involved. This is why it is crucial that the team consists of the right people with the right communication skills.

Businesses need their people to buy into them, so they know what they need to do, why they are doing it, and how the changes will affect them. It is impossible to implement any new technology or processes without the full buy-in of the people. Businesses may observe slow adoption or sub-optimal usage without the full buy-in of the people. Proper training can empower employees if necessary.

The Process

The process in the PPT framework describes the “how” part of achieving a particular result. How will we achieve the desired result? How do we utilize people and technology to solve business problems? Processes are repeatable actions that produce the same results regardless of who performs them.

While designing and implementing processes, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Understand the process, what their role is in it, and what they need to achieve is crucial. It is imperative that people understand how they fit into a process. The right instructions and training are essential. It is important that they are involved in the process design and review process.

  • In order to improve process efficiency, businesses should identify and focus on the key steps first. These key steps are most likely to contribute the most to the end result. Once these are in place, they can begin to tweak the finer details, special cases, and support processes.

  • According to business management wisdom, if you can't measure it, you can't improve it. Therefore, every process needs metrics that measure its success. Organizations must determine what metrics to track and how to measure them.

  • It is vital for the effectiveness of any process to have continuous feedback and improvement. Some companies spend a significant amount on hiring consultants to create elaborate processes. However, due to constant changes in technology, people, market conditions, etc., these processes can become less effective over time. Hence, it is crucial for businesses to consistently assess and analyze their processes in order to identify areas that may need adjustments. It is necessary to take action based on this feedback in order to ensure that the processes continue to provide maximum value for the company.

Technology should be considered once the people and processes are in place

The Technology

Technology provides the tools that people need to implement the process. It also helps automate certain parts of the process. Ideally, the latest and fastest technology creates the most impact. It can be very tempting to be lured in by shiny new tools. However, organizations must ensure that the technology fits into their organizational culture.

Frequently, businesses prioritize investing heavily in technology to gain a competitive edge, while overlooking the importance of their people and processes. As a result, they attempt to fit their personnel and procedures into this new technology, often with less than optimal results. It is crucial to recognize that technology alone is not enough; it must be supported by capable individuals following well-defined processes in order to produce the desired outcome. For this reason, technology should always be the final consideration after thoroughly understanding the problem, recruiting and training suitable talent, and establishing clear process requirements. If the people are not adequately trained or if the process does not effectively utilize the technology, it will not yield a satisfactory return on investment.

Using technology alone will not solve problems. Businesses need to define their objectives, define their processes, and train their employees to maximize its potential.

People, Process, and Technology: Transforming Your Organization

As previously mentioned, achieving a balance between the three components of the PPT framework is crucial. Proper management of their interactions can lead to increased operational efficiency and better resource utilization for your organization. In order to achieve this, conducting an audit of your current processes and technology is necessary. Fortunately, there are several helpful tools available such as Plutora's platform. This platform allows for comprehensive management of the entire value stream and visualization of the people, processes, and tools involved. With this complete visibility, you can obtain valuable insights to make informed improvements using data. By leveraging the PPT framework, you will be able to identify any choke points, eliminate waste, improve efficiency, and reduce time to value for your organization.

Deliver Better Software Faster with Plutora

Deliver Better Software Faster with Plutora

Deliver Better Software Faster with Plutora