- Scaling Up PACe: Steps for Creating the Process Accountability Chart
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January 12, 2023

UPDATE: You might rather read my more detailed description, The Definitive Guide to Scaling Up PACe.

In Scaling Up we have the Process Accountability Chart (PACe). When mixed with the Scaling Up FACe tool, it gives you a clear accountability of who owns what. Confusion is eliminated because there is a singular owner to a function and a singular owner to a process. Think of a matrix, the FACe (Functional Accountability Chart) makes up the columns. Rows are defined by the PACe. Any intersection conflict is resolved through tough discussions or the decision of the CEO. 

Our ultimate goal with PACe is to create a company playbook listing the core processes. The playbook tells us how to run the business, and when we overlay each process with KPIs, it tells a story about process health. In an oversimplified way, think of an NFL receiver running a route. The center snaps the ball to the QB. He drops back. The receiver knows has 1.2 seconds to run 10 yrs, break right, and go across the middle. When they reach the middle, the QB will have already thrown the ball for the receiver to turn and catch. The play will fail if any part of that play is interrupted or the timing is off. That would be a negative KPI. 

A series of well-run plays, results in a touchdown. 

We're doing the same thing here with this exercise. 

Core processes bring the team on the same page and help identify and eliminate wasted time, dropped balls, and missteps. A mature PACe process has the following attributes:

  1. It's been documented by the process owner. 
  2. Iterated by the team working the process. 
  3. Formalized and approved by everyone involved. 
  4. Has between 2 to 3 KPIs that indicate if the process is running well. 
  5. A regular review of process improvement. (Kaizen)

When all those boxes are checked, the process is a A+ in my book.

For the first stage, focus on creating simple post-it note linkages to quickly iterate how a process looks. The How to Draw Toast video is always a good reminder.

Once you feel good about the initial process, share the process with the full team interacting on the process. Permit them to add post-its and comments until their feedback is incorporated into the draft. 

Formalize all feedback and changes, and create a master document that is accessible to all. Allow everyone to add comments regularly to ensure that inevitable changes are captured. 

The process owner will set 2 to 3 KPIs for the health of the process. In my experience, this takes a bit of trial and error until the right processes are discovered. As the KPIs track negative, see if you can step through the process to pinpoint where the performance issue is occurring and then Kaizen the process (improve). 

Continue this improvement every month or quarter; never stop improving. 

author avatar
George Morris
I use my 20+ years of entrepreneurial experience and training to coach businesses on scaling up rapidly using Verne Harnish's Scaling Up framework. By doing so, my clients are more efficient and profitable, giving them the ability to make bigger impacts in the world. I deeply believe entrepreneurs are the best equipped to be the vehicle for meaningful change, and in the decade ahead, we'll see a substantial shift in how business is done. We'll move to a model where company purpose, impact, curiosity, and team health will be differentiators in overall business success. As Simon Sinek has pointed out, the finite games are the legacy of the past; we're moving to an infinite game.