Improvement: 5 Things To Consider
#1: Top Management Support
& Leadership - The 'A' Team
is vital that Top Management is supportive and completely
engaged in Process Improvement projects and making every effort
to remove obstacles and barriers from the path of all those
involved in the project.
Managers must demonstrate leadership. Lack
of management support is the number 1 reason why process improvement
#2: Organizational Culture Embracing
Following suit, not only must top management
be supportive and engaged in process improvement projects,
but they must foster and support organizational culture that
embraces the goal of achieving Operational Excellence.
Employees must be on-board, enthusiastic
about excellence and comfortable knowing they are in a progressive
company where things do change (for the better).
You should reward them with incentives
for demonstrating their commitment. Why would they be so passionate
about putting more money in your pocket if they're not 'feeling
the love' so to speak.
#3: Focus on the Entire Process,
Not Just the Individual Tasks
To realize the greatest cost savings, maintain
a wide-angle view of the entire process you want to improve.
Often when looking at the individual tasks
of a process, you think you've found a task that could be
eliminated and save a lot of money over time and then you
eliminate it and call it a day.
Without looking at the entire process,
2 things could happen.
1) You may have found more issues along
the path to resolve that could result in even greater savings
and efficiency or
2) You may have shot yourself in the foot
- not realizing how crucial that step was to your business.
Sometimes when tiny seemingly insignificant changes are made
to a system, the results can be devastating if not remedied
#4: How Does the Customer Benefit?
Before jumping into any process improvement,
you should always stop to think about your customers' needs
and how they will benefit.
You may be in a situation where you have
a faulty process in your back-office processing for example,
one that screams for improvement, but it gets the job done.
Meanwhile you have a hunch that your seemingly efficient call-center
staff could shorten call-times and not only reduce operational
costs but improve the customer's experience. Which way do
You go first to the one that affects the
customer and improves their experience of dealing with you.
Then you can invest some time and energy into fixing the back-office
#5: Define & Map the Path
to Success: Clarity of Purpose
The second biggest reason why companies
fail at process improvement is a poorly defined, unclear,
Define what success looks like, what must
be achieved, why it must be achieved, who will lead and who
will support and who will make it happen.
Process Improvement owners must have their
team leaders and work with cross-functional team members.
That way you maintain the communication between the departments
and you increase the buy-in from employees.
People don't adopt concepts they don't
understand. Providing clarity helps everyone across the organization.
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