Are your organisation’s process efforts successful?

Are your organisation’s process efforts successful?

February 6, 2014 10:06 am 0 comments

How do you determine if your organisation’s process efforts are successful?  Well, it depends on what your organisation’s objectives are.  In this note we summarise four key objectives of process improvement activity.

1.  Individual Process Improvement:  There are many approaches which organisations use to improve their processes; Six Sigma, Lean, Workout are examples.  To have an impact, you need to monitor and report on how these efforts impacted performance.  If you are successful, you should see a combination of:

  • Reduced cycle times;
  • Reduced costs;
  • Improved quality;
  • Improved customer service.

2. Continuous Process Improvement:  Moving from process improvement projects to continuously improving processes requires proactive management.  Although not technically difficult to put in place, these efforts take time to implement, mainly focused around embedding a process mindset in the organisation.  To successfully manage and continuously improve your processes, Process Teams and Process Owners need to:

  • Frequently monitor actual process performance compared to target;
  • Solicit and act on feedback from those impacted by the process;
  • Implement changes that need to be made so the process can perform as designed.

3.  Processes enabled by IT Systems:  Information Systems are proven enablers of organisations’ processes.  This is often difficult to get right, but can be done in a moderate time frame.  We will not detail the best approach to this here, other than to add that the organisation needs to understand and improve processes before the information systems enable them.  If your organisation’s process efforts are tied to a system implementation, you will know your process efforts are successful by:

  • Monitoring that the process maps are at the right level of detail to be supported by the software.  If not, get to that level.
  • Monitoring your process measures as you implement the information system so needed changes can be made to achieve organisational targets.  The process as enabled needs to perform as designed.

4. Process Based Organisation:  If your organisation’s efforts are geared to becoming a process based organisation, this will take time, and is the most difficult because you are changing the management approach and mindset of the organisation.  To be successful, you need to determine how you are progressing.  This is accomplished by periodically assessing your efforts to determine:

  • What you are doing well, so those efforts can be reinforced;
  • Where there are gaps in implementation, so that action plans can address these.

Whatever the objective is, identify what success looks like for the effort required.  Tie the performance measures of as many employees and teams as possible to the results to be achieved.  Only then can individual and team performance be aligned to process objectives.

We believe there are many compelling reasons for a process-based approach to improving business performance.  Learn more about how our approach can help you identify the pathway to improving business by taking our two free quick assessments on Process Improvement or Process Based Management.

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