Investing Time and Effort in Process Improvement Pays
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IDS has developed an effective approach to process improvement based on years of creating successful outcomes:
Focus on the Right Target
Focusing on a well defined target enables an organization to 1) understand what's being improved, 2) provide purpose and answer questions on why management decided on a specific improvement objective, and 3) place emphasis on the process steps and know what is needed to achieve improvement.
This step includes mapping the existing process and measuring the financial, time, and procedure links as they currently exist.
It is critical to the new process to know and acknowledge all current issues related to failure or low performance in one or more areas of the existing process. At this time it would be advisable to set up, or establish, the basic measurement structure to be used in process improvement.
The first step in completing a process improvement initiative is to identify the key individuals that will support and develop the new process. Many different levels of staff should be included with several moving in and out of the process building phase based on subject matter expertise.
A defined procedure is mapped with measurement indicators attached, position roles defined, with a roll out time line. Training of staff should commence after a well orchestrated broadcast of the new process and its objective.
Management must support and convey the need for moving a process through to completion and, ultimately a successful outcome. The message carried to all staff and team members should be clear in direction and purpose so the new process becomes everyone’s to champion.
Follow Up – Follow Up – Follow Up
For a new process is to be successful, as measured by return on customer value, monetary gain, or employee satisfaction - then continuous process review is critical. Timely and consistent review of the new process steps by management and cross functional teams in needed. Obtaining critical quality feedback, will ensure the process is moving in the right direction, and provide insight to adjustments or changes to deliver on key objectives.
Using measurement tools that define and clarify results provides management with an accurate and trustworthy ROI measurement. Examples include employee reaction to the new process and their confidence in performing their new roles. Examples include: converting man or procedure time efficiencies to dollars, reduced expenditures due to cutting of waste, and projecting cost out over the designated life cycle of the process.