Home > Articles

This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

What Is a Process-Driven Mindset?

Technology professionals put an incredible amount of time and energy into understanding the how-to of technology. They understand methods. They perfect the process-driven tasks that make their technology implementations optimal.

However, technologists are far less interested and often do not understand the why of technology—what the technology is for. By that, I don't mean the tasks that a given technology performs. Once again, that is the process.

What technologists overlook is a comprehensive understanding of the business challenge—the business model, how it makes money, what products or services it produces, the interrelationship among vendors, departments, clients, and so on. These were the items that were of utmost importance to me and to my boss.

Technology, when understood in this context, is simply a tool to achieve some optimization of an already existing or developing business model. The technology is not the business; in fact, technology is the wrong area of focus for developing good technical solutions.

Before you read any further, I need to make a disclaimer: I am not implying that technical skills are unimportant. In fact, the contrary is true. However, I am convinced that understanding the underlying reasons (business reasons) for technology will lead to far greater technical skill.

A simplistic example of this is the initial exercise that virtually every programmer goes through when exposed to a new language. Programming books universally give a short tutorial that when completed presents a message box to the screen that says, "Hello World!"

Although this exercise exposes the programmer to the language and development interface, it does little to actually develop the programmer's skills in the language. Expertise comes through the application of these skills in solving some business challenge.

However, COP goes beyond a cursory understanding of the business challenge in isolation. To fully understand COP's benefit and impact, you need to have a more complete understanding of business in general, the industry in which you are working, the specific entity for which you work, and the various relationships leading to your solutions.

If you are a technology professional, then an understanding of how you approach technology, an understanding of the role of technology, and adopting strategies that further technology's role in your organization make you much more valuable. Increased personal value ultimately equates to increased responsibility and pay.

The ideas that are discussed in the sections that follow are meant to foster this understanding. They are meant to provide you with tangible ways to change the manner in which you think about business, your company, your role as a technologist, and your understanding of what technology is and its impact on commerce.

The Role of Technology

Understanding why technology exists is a good starting point. After you understand that, I will move into the actual steps of the COP process.

I reduce useful technology into two simple roles, although additional subroles or subsets might exist for each role. In conversations with a number of business owners, managers, and technology professionals, however, the following roles have proven to be effective in categorizing why we use technology.

Role 1: Storage and Retrieval of Information

It's about information. Often, the focus of technology is incorrectly placed on the technology. But the fact is that information is the commodity of value. This is the first role that technology plays.

Technology provides the storage and retrieval of information, specifically, for analysis and decision support.

The rise of segments within IT that are dedicated specifically to information analysis indicates that the industry is aware it must give special attention to this area. Decision support and knowledge management are two such segments, and more seem to be developing daily. These segments function, in some way or another, to advance this first critical role of technology.

Role 2: The Automation of Delivery of Product or Service

The second role that technology plays is one that you can use to greatly enhance your value and propel your career. Automating the delivery of product or service is one of the most important facets of technology.

This can, of course, take the form of automation in the traditional assembly-line type of automation. Robotics is the type of automation that is readily visible in business situations. However, what I term micro automation is also of extreme value within a company. In addition, micro automation is available to technologists early in their careers.

Micro automation is the automation that takes place in the office. It can assume the form of document assembly, reporting, automated information distribution, or any other manual tasks that take place within a company.

In many cases, this type of automation receives a low priority. Company business systems, network upgrades, and big-money integration projects tend to gain the bulk of the attention. However, this type of automation can be put in place quickly, does not require the big project lead times, and has tremendous visibility for personal career growth.

Approaching technology projects with a solid understanding of these roles can help bolster your career. They produce positive exposure for your career and real value within a company.

Keeping your company's business model in clear view as you perform your work is what COP is about. It makes you more aware of the impact that technology has and should have in the organization. Your solutions become much more proactive and more closely aligned with the business as a whole.

COP also helps you adopt and learn new technologies. No longer do you view new technology as something you must learn. Rather, you view new technology in relation to its differences from what you already know well. You effectively reduce what you have to learn.

Adopting a COP approach during your career makes you more valuable because you not only understand the technology but also operations, marketing, distribution, and other critical business functions. You soon separate yourself from those who view technology as the primary focus of their career.

From the standpoint of career growth and possible paths you can take, COP provides a much broader possible spectrum. You can move from straight technologist to system analyst, manager, consultant, or business owner.

This idea has transformed the careers of several technologists whom I have trained and mentored. Their increased confidence in dealing with management—because they can speak intelligently about the business—has provided them with numerous opportunities. Most have been offered significant compensation packages. More importantly, they recognize that they are better able to make a difference in their organization.

This might be the best byproduct of COP: the satisfaction gained from knowing that you are equipped and able to make a positive contribution in your company.

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020