Undertaking Process Improvement
Key considerations in improving processes include understanding process flows and how to eliminate inefficiencies. Processes are not the same as documented procedures, or even IT workflow systems.Processes include all the inputs and activities that are actually or potentially present in the real world. Variable outputs are caused by variation in any of the different inputs to the process.
A process should have a documented purpose linked to stakeholder requirements, business needs and environmental constraints. The performance of the process only makes sense relative to its purpose. Improvement efforts are defined by the process purpose.
When is process improvement called for?
All the time!
Specifically, the following can be indicators that processes require investigation and Improvement;
- Lack of standardisation - multiple ways of doing the same task
- Deterioration in performance over time
- Failure to achieve required performance levels
- Disagreement between interested parties on cause of performance problems
- High levels manual process support, waste and re-work.
To get you started, here are some helpful links