Process limits is not an everyday concept. Common in engineering, it describes the maximum output of a designed system. Whether it be a piece of machinery, electronic component, or chemical reaction.
Its value lies in developing a deep understanding of what you are working with. Tempering expectations or aspirations against reality. Making it clear, that if you need to go further, what you have in front of you will not get you there.
This concept applies more universally to many situations. How we approach a given problem. The way our organization acts with one another through its many rituals and routines. The habits and routines we bring to our everyday life. Even our way of thinking can create limits in our life.
In every case, what we have in front of us to use will work to some degree. The frustration is that it may not get us far enough towards what we believe is achievable. Sadly, we never easily see the limits of any process we use unless it is stated clearly to us before it is first used.
In life, we bump up against process limits all of the time. Instead of recognizing them, we simply become frustrated. Many times giving up, other times just trying to use the process again, and rarely do we decide to try a different way.
It is very powerful to understand that designing a different way can lead to very different outcomes.. Different configurations or approaches may have different process limits. Finding the ones with higher outputs is what growth and productive change is all about.
Where we get caught, is when we do not have the humility to understand that we never “know everything” and what we do know may be possibly incomplete, simply wrong or far too simplistic to get us to where we want to go.