A methodology, or method, is another name for any step-by-step approach to getting something done. We have methodologies all around us at work and at home, even though we may call them by different names. A recipe for baking a cake is really a methodology. The design and construction processes for building a house constitute a methodology. Most professions have a variety of standard practices to follow to arrive at long-term success. Software developers, architects, engineers, even physicians all have standard, repeatable practices they follow to complete their work successfully. These tried-and-true methods usually emerge as a result of best practices, standards, rules, and procedures developed over a number of years.
Just as the purpose of a home-construction methodology is to build excellent homes, the purpose of a business-building methodology is to build excellent businesses. In Chapter 6, we pointed out that customer excellence caters to the end-user or the customer. In the home-construction example, an excellent home caters to homeowners’ preferences, including style, comfort, energy efficiency, and price. Similarly, a business building methodology caters to the goals of business owners: profitable and predictable growth, engaged employees, strong reputation, and a large and loyal customer base.
The initial success of a business depends primarily on the ability to build top quality products or services. An organization’s enduring success depends on building the business itself, in addition to its products and services. Understanding this distinction is critical. You must use a methodology that’s designed for whatever it is you’re building if you expect to achieve consistent results.
– Six Disciplines Execution Revolution by Gary Harpst.