A Definitive Guide To People Process Technology Framework

Alok Suman
September 10, 2022

With recent statistics suggesting that more than half of employees feel disengaged at work, managing the workforce efficiently becomes the topmost priority for most organizations. This involves catering to the individual needs of employees, managers, as well as customers to ensure smooth operations.

Enter the concept of People, Process, Technology, or PPT - a classic framework for workforce management.

Originating in the 1960s, the PPT framework remains an essential business strategy and a robust tool to improve organizational efficiency between employees and operational systems.

In essence, the PPT model is designed to create a powerful work dynamic that eventually leads to profitable organizations.

This post aims to explore all about this framework, including its history, the various elements of PPT, how it’s applied in today’s business world, and a few of the best practices for using it.

What is PPT?

Also known as the People Process Technology framework or the Golden Triangle, the PPT concept is essentially an evolutionary process used to assess and improve overall organizational performance.

It primarily works on the premise that organizations are made of three key elements- people, processes, and technology. To achieve success, organizations must try to strike an alignment between these three elements.

For instance, if an organization lacks skilled people, it may lead to ineffective processes and poor communication among the teams. As a result, employees may feel disengaged, leading to a sharp decline in overall productivity.

Businesses across the board use the PPT framework to redesign various work processes and models to build efficient and agile workforces that are more responsive, flexible, and adaptable to the overall dynamics of the industry.

When viewed as standalone components, people, processes, and technology are necessary for the transformation and management of any organization. The PPT framework, however, is all about how these three elements interact with each other.

For instance, the people do the required work, the processes make this work more efficient, whereas technology helps people do their tasks and also helps automate the processes.

History of the PPT Framework

PPT was conceptualized in 1964 by Harold Leavitt, a business management expert. He designed this model primarily to bring about a change in an organization. It is mainly considered a business process management (BPM) strategy. 

BPM is a strategic approach to identifying, designing, executing, measuring, and controlling various business processes to achieve targeted results that are properly aligned with an organization’s specific goals.

Put simply, BPM works by analyzing the current status of a business and recognizing various areas of improvement to be able to build a profitable and result-driven organization.

Breakdown of the PPT Model

To better understand the PPT concept, we will go through each of the components in more detail and understand how they all come together to bring organizational benefits.

1. The People

People refer to the employees working in the organization. They constitute the most critical aspect of the PPT framework.

No organization can function efficiently without building the optimal capacity of its people. Having the right set of people with the right mindset working together is what differentiates a successful organization from a struggling one.

Data also suggests that a strong workforce is vital for driving better results and achieving success. This is also why 71% of executives believe engaging their employees properly is critical to business success.

When implementing the PPT framework, an organization's goal should be to bring in people with the necessary skills and knowledge to represent their project requirements and efficiently work on them to generate the desired results.

To build this component in the PPT framework, there are three vital elements that an organization needs to practice. These are as follows:

  • Skills - Bring in employees that possess the right skillsets and talent required to work on every project. Apart from skills, experience and the right attitude toward people is equally important to lead seamless collaboration in the project.
  • Communication - Timely and effective communication is another essential element for any organization to function smoothly. This is especially relevant when implementing varied solutions for technology and processes. This essentially translates to encouraging employees to be avid and clear communicators who can voice their opinions effectively within the organization. Clear and transparent communication ensures a better flow of ideas, which brings in new and innovative solutions for the business.
  • Building Relationships - To achieve success with people, another important aspect to take care of is to understand the impact of building new relationships within and outside the organization. 

One of the key problems with respect to the people aspect of the PPT concept is the unavailability of the right set of people to work with. Therefore, the managers simply wait for the right people to become available and hire them. Instead, the focus should be on identifying and getting the most productive employees on board.

Also, businesses need to identify the people/employees within the organization with the required skill sets, experience, and values that effortlessly align with the organization's culture.

Apart from this, people also require clearly defined roles so that everyone knows and understands their responsibilities. Thus, the people component of the PPT concept makes it mandatory to ensure that the team consists of the right people with the right communication skills.

2. The Process

A process in the PPT framework is essentially a combination of various steps or actions that are taken to reach a specific business goal. They are a crucial component for ensuring that people in a workplace are productive and effective in their work.

Put simply, business processes refer to the repeatable actions or steps that lead to similar results, regardless of who is performing them. 

A process caters to the following questions in the PPT framework:

  • How will we achieve the optimum result?
  • How to maximize effectiveness?
  • How to reduce costs?
  • How do use people and technology together?

Processes also offer the necessary structure and direction for employees and clarify when and what employees are supposed to do. For instance, a process in an organization might specify specific standards for the quality of products or timelines for completing tasks. 

Having such guidelines in place allows employees to focus on performing their work as efficiently as possible without having to think about what needs to be done. Overall, standardized processes bring certain predictability, which is the key to achieving organizational efficiency.

However, seamless implementation of processes is quite a challenging task. An organization has to consider several things, including identifying and focusing on the key steps, developing an understanding of how people fit into a process, monitoring feedback, and more before starting a process. 

3. The Technology

Technology today plays a key role in any organization. Data also suggests that nearly 90% of the top management believes in making their employees technologically sound to be able to drive better business growth and revenues.  

Technology offers a range of different tools that people in any organization can use not only to increase their own productivity but also to perform processes more efficiently. Besides, technology also aids in automating various mundane and time-consuming processes for faster and better outcomes. 

Owing to the benefits that technology offers, an increasing number of organizations want to invest more money and resources in technology. However, what is important here is to ensure that the technology they are using is suitable for their organization.

This is primarily because investing in random technology without considering people and processes can sometimes backfire and do more harm than good for the company.

Technology can only be leveraged to its full potential with the right set of people following the right processes. This makes it important for organizations to clearly define their objectives and processes as well as train the people appropriately to ensure optimum use of technology and maximum productivity.

Best Practices for the PPT Framework

Here are some of the best practices for successful implementation of the PPT model:

  • Build a Strong Management Team

The people - the first component of the PPT model - are probably the most important part of any business. This is simply because it is the people in the organization who are going to be doing the work and making things happen.

This is why it’s so important to have a powerful management team in place that can lead the team, set the direction, and keep things moving forward.

Businesses also need to focus on building a team with people who are experts in their field and are capable enough to work on a vision to make it into reality.

  • Define Processes Early On

The other best practice to follow for successful implementation of the PPT framework is to define your processes early on.

Begin with identifying the clear steps you need to take to achieve the desired outcomes. Once done, you need to work on specific details and put systems/processes in place.

The other important aspect here is to constantly review and refine existing processes in collaboration with various stakeholders, including employees, managers, industry as well as technical partners.

This helps you maintain better business relationships and build strong and structured processes.

  • Leverage Technology Wherever Possible

Technology today is one thing that ties everything together perfectly. This is why it is more important than ever to leverage various technology platforms that can connect different pieces of your business together.

In fact, the best workforce management systems today are considered the ones that are designed to make people’s lives simpler and help businesses operate more efficiently.

Other Best Practices

  • When designing a product or a service, always start with who will use the product/service, including when, where, and how they’ll use it. Identify what value your product/service will deliver to its users, and how can you ensure that the same is achieved
  • If your processes are not followed by people, re-evaluate them instead of re-evaluating your people. Also, ensure that your processes are fit for purpose, are not outdated, or have not passed their use-by date.
  • Always consider the people dimension along with the technology one. Remember that outdated technology can be rather harmful for the organization and can lead to unsatisfied and unproductive people. 

How to Transform Your Organization With People, Process, and Technology

One of the most critical components of the PPT framework is finding the right balance between people, processes, and technology.

In addition to this, what also helps is understanding how these three components interact with each other to help organizations enhance operational efficiency and improve overall resource utilization.  

Only when all these different pieces work together perfectly can an organization reap the true benefits of the PPT framework.

To be able to achieve this, it is important to focus on developing strong collaboration between different departments and across business functions. Here are some other things you can do to transform your organization with People, Processes, and Technology.

  • Ensuring clear, transparent communication and streamlined processes
  • Building a strong team that is agile, adaptive, and responsive to change
  • Getting the right tools in place for tracking employee performance, gaining valuable insights into data, and facilitating smooth and seamless information-sharing across the organization.

This not only allows you to transform your organization with the PPT model but also helps you create a powerful organizational culture that supports effective business management in the long run.

Ultimately, it is all about enabling your people to do their best possible work with planned and effective processes and strategic, thoughtful adoption of technology.

Ensuring this will help you find the balance between your most important assets - people, process, and technology - and eventually, transform your organization for the better.