Process Improvement: An Overview of the Steps Involved

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Process improvement is one of the key measures if your organization is keen on attaining the best quality parameters. This very aspect encompasses a sequence of actions that are performed by owner of an organization only to identify the scopes of improvement and start taking the necessary measures to improve the existing business processes. The main reason behind undertaking the necessary measures for process improvement are:

  • Identifying, analyzing and improving a business process that is currently into operation
  • Making a process more target oriented in a manner that the goals are achieved
  • Providing more attention to quality of performance and profit
  • Cost effective production, ensuing high quality products at an affordable rate

Business Process Management Life Cycle

Considering the increasing difficulty to sustain in the highly competitive market, the modern manufacturing companies are trying to find stronger links that perfectly connect productivity, quality, budget together. Due to this reason, process improvement is such an important part of quality management and overall organizational development.

Process improvement is one of major pillars of modern business management.  No matter in which way/method you run a business operation there are two factors that you have to rely upon, namely:

•             Quality of the human resource (skills and capabilities of people you employ)

•             The core process that your organization follows to accomplish the estimated target

If you think that your organization is not performing as per expectations and losing out in the competition, it is important that you find out the gaps within the level of expertise of your human resource or the core process that you have been following for quite some time now. However, scrutinizing the areas of flaw within the system should follow a method or strategic approach. Comprehensively, such strategic approach, leading to performance improvement of your organization without overlooking quality is called Process Improvement. It may also include reviewing the existing training program and how it may help in enhancing its effectiveness.

Process Improvement, as it has been said before, is a comprehensive process. Here you will get an overview of all the components that make the method a wholesome one. Some of these you are familiar and rest you are not. At the same time, it is important to find the best tools that will complement the improvement process in the best manner possible.

  1.  Benchmarking
  2.  Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle
  3.  Business Process Improvement
  4.  Business process re engineering
  5.  Process Redesign
  6.  Goal-Question-Metric
  7.  HoshinKanri
  8.  Capability Maturity Model Integration/Capability Maturity Model
  9.   ISO 9000
  10.   Just In Time manufacturing
  11.   Lean manufacturing
  12.   Performance improvement
  13.   Process management
  14.  Process Improvement and Management
  15.   Six Sigma
  16.   Theory of Constraints
  17.   Total Quality Management
  18.   Trillium Mode

It is important that process improvement methods involve these aforesaid steps to the best way possible. They are actually coexisting and interdependent. Leaving aside or ignoring a few of them may again create the gap, which may not be support the required growth for your organization in the long-run.

Image Credit: Wikimedia.org

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Monika Ardianto

Quality Management Consultant and Auditor at Monika Nonce Ardianto
Monika Ardianto is a Certified Quality/Operational Management Consultant with over 20 years of experience in improving quality management systems of large businesses. She is an award winning author of "Winning the Audit".

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