Develop a consistent approach to Process Improvement

Develop a consistent approach to Process Improvement

June 23, 2014 10:32 am 0 comments

For some months now, I have been outlining the different elements of process management to show you how a process based management style can help your business perform at its optimum level. Whether you want to deliver more value to your customers, or simply save time and reduce costs, Ascent Management has the process management tools to help your business perform better.

Organisations that are successful at realising the benefits of process improvement projects have created a consistent methodology and approach which is followed by all process improvement teams. There are some key items that a successful process improvement approach should include:

Launch the Project Correctly

There are seven key items to set your process improvement projects up for success. These steps included goals, sponsor, training, resources, and measures. It is critical that everyone involved understand the objective of the project, and how the output of the project will be used, and what will happen next.

Utilise a Consistent Toolset

There are some key items that need to be included in a toolset that a process team will use. They are:
• Utilise a standard session structure. Use a facilitated workshop approach, or interviews followed up by group sessions. Whatever you decide on, be consistent.
• Follow the same steps to complete an improvement project. All approaches include steps to understand the current process, analyse the process, and improve the process. Identify the steps you will follow and build them into your approach.
• Identify a time frame to complete projects. The facilitated workshop approach can be completed in 4-5 days (add a few days for preparation time and follow up). Teams should begin implementing changes right away; most changes can be implemented in 60-90 days.
• Use a consistent process mapping tool supported by a standard approach. For example, our process maps use a swim lane approach (each role in the process has a swim lane).

Achieve Results Quickly

To stay on course, the organisation needs to see results from your efforts. By making sure the project is scoped correctly upfront, clear objectives are established and the team follows the standard approach, then the team will be completing the review and implementing changes within three months. Document and communicate the impact and results achieved so you can show the value of process improvement and keep the momentum going. Most importantly, a consistent approach allows the organisation to get better at process improvement and achieve results that move the organisation forward.

To find out which value adding solutions are best for your business, try our FREE five minute Process Improvement or Process Based Management quick assessments.

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