A linear process is any process that results from linear thinking. In its most basic form making a daily list is a linear process. At the other end of the spectrum running a government would be an example of a linear process.
There is no shortage of information on how to build a linear process. There is a mountain of textbooks on project management, leadership books, and training programs. I decided the value I might add to the discussion is a brief description that describes the critical aspects of the process at a glance. This becomes really useful when we go to compare it to the circular process.
- Define the goal in a specific and measurable way including a timeframe.
- Assemble the team and motivate them by instilling a clear picture of the challenge they are facing, the strategy that will be undertaken to overcome it, and the benefits of success.
- Develops a plan that identifies all the parameters that need to be addressed and breaks the challenges into manageable chunks including timelines, and cost estimates.
- Consider potential obstacles and develop contingency plans;
- Identify required skills, resources to do the job;
- Assign tasks to special teams.
- Hold regular meetings to get reports on how the plan is progressing, track measureable parameters to define progress. Ensure everyone is well focused and pushing towards the goal.
- Hold the space for individuals to work hard, fix mistakes, and overcome obstacles. Control the pressure, take responsibility for adherence to the plan, and preserve the integrity of the process through delivery of consequences and rewards where merited.
- Announce the successful achievement of the goal with report on the numbers that indicate the magnitude of the achievement and the sharing of the profits and benefits of success. Restock the stores, fine-tune safety practices, rest, etc.
This steps will be customized to the personality of each leader and the scope of the project.