Processes are the rules governing the inner workings of a company. Processes, whether formal or informal, documented or undocumented, describe how the work is done, how it should be done. They make possible quality control. They coordinate complex, interrelated activities. Those who have the say about processes, have the say about how the work is done.
But what if Americans and Germans do not share a common understanding of what makes for an effective process? What if they differ in the role of processes, in how they are constructed and modified? What if the two cultures diverge in how they live processes day-to-day, project-for-project, when coordinating their work with suppliers and customers?
Germans and Americans who collaborate need to understand not only each other’s individual processes, but more importantly the thinking behind those processes. If they do not the inner workings of the company grind to a halt.