Process Redesign and The Other Following Steps For Process Improvement

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In one of our earlier blog posts, we discussed the first four steps that play key roles in improving the overall performance of an organization. However, process improvement is an extensive system where the middle and finishing steps are as important as the initial one. So, here stress will be provided on the middle stage that will carry forward the good work that an organization performed at the initial stage of process improvement.

1.      Process Redesign

The Process Redesign method was developed in the early 1980s by H. James Harrington. The main purpose of this method is removing the waste of current business process and streamlining the necessary activities. Once the streamlining is done, then it uses the IT infrastructure to maintain the regularity of activities involved. Process redesign is effective for cost controlling, reducing the time for product development cycle and quality improvement.  There are generally five different phases that constitute the overall process redesign The Process Redesign methodology consists of five phases, namely:

  • Planning (Organizing for Improvement)
  • Analyzing (Understanding the Process)
  • Streamlining the Process
  • Implementation (Measurements and Controls)
  • Continuous Improvement

The Five Phase of Redesign Methodology PASIC

2.      Goal-Question-Metric (GQM)

GQM (Goal-Question-Metric) was initiated and promoted by Victor Basili of the University of Maryland. It targets the software metrics that an organization uses to monitor and control its overall production. GQM is absolutely essential for keeping a track over the production measurement of an organization.

In order to deliver the desired results, GQM takes into account three different levels of production, namely:

  • Conceptual level (goal): Defining goal for an object depends on various factors, reasons and quality variants for different models. The difference in production environment may also have important roles to play in defining the goal.
  • Operational level (question): In this stage, GQM focuses on a series of queries to define study models, especially the objects that are supposed to be studied. In the course of finding the right answers, it, then assesses the object and attempt achieving the goal.
  • Quantitative level (metric): GQM, in the final stage, helps with developing a set of model based metrics that can be associated with each question that helps in defining the goal. Finally, the metrics help with answering the questions in a measurable way.

3.      HoshinKanri

Hoshinkanri, a Japanese term that means management compass, is a methodology created to encapsulate strategic achievements and traits of futuristic goal in one place. The encompassing attribute of the term is realized better as it also takes into account the possibilities of materializing the goals into reality.

There are other terms that are also used for referring Hoshimkanri, such as, policy deployment, hoshin planning, or simply hoshin (as in “FY12 Hoshin”). For the first time in the 1950s, this method received popularity in Japan under the supervision of Professor Kaoru Ishikawa, who elaborated it as, – “Each person is the expert in his or her own job, and Japanese TQC (Total Quality Control) is designed to use the collective thinking power of all employees to make their organization the best in its field.” Many consider this saying as the core principle of Hoshinkanri.

Professor Ishikawa, in his book, What Is Total Quality Control, has future reflected: “Top managers and middle managers must be bold enough to delegate as much authority as possible. That is the way to establish respect for humanity as your management philosophy. It is a management system in which all employees participate, from the top down and from the bottom up, and humanity is fully respected.” After Professor Ishikawa several other scholar have adapted the concept. Dr. YojiAkao is one of the most renowned figures of them all. He has successfully fused Hoshinkanri with a Shewhart cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) for goal creation, choosing the points of control and linking daily objectives with the overall strategy of an organization. The output is aimed at keeping daily controls and performance measures in a single place.

Hoshinkanri, as a leading management methodology, is intended complement an organization in the following ways:

  • Focusing on shared objectives
  • Providing the details of the goal to all leaders
  • Involving all leaders in the objective to attain the goal
  • Holding participants responsible in case the goal is not achieved

4.Capability Maturity Model Integration/Capability Maturity Model

One of the most effective process improvement approach is Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). Thus system is widely popular for process improvement not only for a particular project or a division in an organization but functionality of the entire organization can be brought under its purview.  According to the level of maturity, processes are various, such as – Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Quantitatively Managed, Optimizing. Currently, maturity of each of these stages is supported under CMMI Version 1.3.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University has takes CMMI within its scope.

Characteristics of Capability Maturity Model

CMMI Model Framework

The process areas for functioning may vary, depending on the main CMMI areas of interest. The term ‘Process areas’ refers the domains that functioning of an organization will cover. In the following table, you will find the list of core process areas that are of much interest for the CMMI professionals:

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Core Process Areas

Name

Area

Maturity Level

Causal Analysis and Resolution Support

5

Configuration Management Support

2

Decision Analysis and Resolution Support

3

Integrated Project Management Project Management

3

Measurement and Analysis Support

2

Organizational Process Definition Process Management

3

Organizational Process Focus Process Management

3

Organizational Performance Management Process Management

5

Organizational Process Performance Process Management

4

Organizational Training Process Management

3

Project Monitoring and Control Project Management

2

Project Planning Project Management

2

Process and Product Quality Assurance Support

2

Quantitative Project Management Project Management

4

Requirements Management Project Management

2

Risk Management Project Management

3

 5.      ISO 9000

The list of ISO 9000 standards is associated with the vast management of quality standards in production. It is designed to help customers with the assurance of the best quality in terms of meeting both statutory and regulatory requirements related to the product. The standards are published by ISO or the International Organization for Standardization, and are available through National standards bodies. ISO 9000 deals with the very basics of quality management, which include the eight management principles. The successor, ISO 9001, deals with the standard parameters that organizations, aspiring for ISO 9000 mark, are required to fulfill.

Eight Quality Management Principles:

8 QM Principles

1

Customer focused organization Organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, should meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations

2

Leadership Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction. They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization’s objectives

3

Involvement of people People at all levels are the essence of an organization and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization’s benefit.

4

Process approach A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.

5

System approach to management Identifying, understanding and managing a system of interrelated processes as a system contributes to the organization’s effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its objectives.

6

Continual improvement Continual improvement of the organization’s overall performance should be a permanent objective of the organization.

7

Factual approach to decision making Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information.

8

Mutually beneficial supplier relationships An organization and its suppliers are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.

Organizations need to rely on 3rd party certification bodies when it comes to finding whether or not an organization is eligible for ISO 9001 certification. As per the latest finding, more than a million companies all over the world are certified in this manner as of now and in this way they have made ISO 9001 one of the most frequently used management tolls of all.

Global adoption

The growth in ISO 9001 certification is shown in the table below. The worldwide total of ISO 9001 certificates can be found in the ISO Survey of 9001;

Dec 2000 Dec 2001 Dec 2002 Dec 2003 Dec 2004 Dec 2005 Dec 2006 Dec 2007 Dec 2008 Dec 2009
457,834 510,349 561,767 497,919 660,132 773,867 896,929 951,486 982,832 1,064,785

In recent years there has been a rapid growth in China, which now accounts for approximately a quarter of the global certifications.

Top 10 countries for ISO 9001 certificates:

Rank

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Country

China

Japan

Italy

Spain

Russian Federations

Germany

UK

India

USA

Korea, Republic

No. of Certs

257,076

130,066

68,484

59,576

53,152

47,156

41,193

37,496

28,935

23,400

6.      Just In Time

Just in time (JIT) is a production strategy that strives to improve a business return on investment by reducing in-process inventory and associated carrying costs. To meet JIT objectives, the process relies on signals or Kanban (看板, Kanban) between different points in the process, which tell production when to make the next part. Kanban are usually ‘tickets’ but can be simple visual signals, such as the presence or absence of a part on a shelf. Implemented correctly, JIT focuses on continuous improvement and can improve a manufacturing organization’s return on investment, quality, and efficiency. To achieve continuous improvement key areas of focus could be flow, employee involvement and quality.

Quick notice that requires personnel to order new stock once existing stock is depleting is critical to the inventory reduction at the center of the JIT policy, which saves warehouse space and costs. However, JIT relies on other elements in the inventory chain as well. For instance, its effective application cannot be independent of other key components of a lean manufacturing system or it can “end up with the opposite of the desired result.” In recent years manufacturers have continued to try to hone forecasting methods such as applying a trailing 13-week average as a better predictor for JIT planning; however, some research demonstrates that basing JIT on the presumption of stability is inherently flawed.

Quality volatility

JIT implicitly assumes that input parts quality remains constant over time. If not, firms may hoard high-quality inputs. As with price volatility, a solution is to work with selected suppliers to help them improve their processes to reduce variation and costs. Longer term price agreements can then be negotiated and agreed-on quality standards made the responsibility of the supplier.

Image Credits: 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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