Process Excellence:

Once the processes are working over a period, it is important to review process efficiencies real time to ensure organization systems stay current, up to date and valid. This can be achieved by improving the processes continuously. 
Continuous improvement of processes will not only benefit organizations but also their employees and ensures customer satisfaction, controlled cost, increased stakeholder happiness, faster reach to Market, improve employee morale, competitive edge etc.,

Best Practices for Process Improvement follows 8 step approach:

    1. Map AS IS Process – Identify process needs to be improved, document each step using a flowchart or other diagram. This should define key and critical steps in the process. Document each phase in detail because there could be unexpected sub-steps.  Involve people who use the process regularly to make sure nothing important is left out.
    2. Analyze the Process – Use the flow chart / documented process steps to evaluate and find problems in the process. Evaluation could be based on Steps which can be bottlenecks? What can cause increased cost? Which steps can create decline in quality? Speak to people who are affected or people who are involved in the process to find out what has gone wrong in the past and what improvements can be made etc.,
    3. Redesign the Process – Make the changes to eliminate the problems identified. Depending on the complexity of the processes, conduct an impact analysis to understand the full effect of process changes.
    4. Ensure availability of Resources – Prepare a list of whatever is needed to implement the new process. List should be comprehensive including people required, support required from all departments/functions such as HR, Finance, IT, etc.,
    5. Communicate the change – Communicate with all stakeholders and make them understand how the new process will benefit the organization. Clearly establish a communication framework as the changes may not be accepted by all.
    6. Train people on new process – It is important to ensure people who are involved in the process are trained. They need to be aware of what is the change, where are the changes, benefit of the change to the organization. Establish clear training plan to ensure all those who are involved in the process are covered.
    7. Implement the new process – Depending on the complexity of change, plan for a pilot run to test the new process or an UAT to get buy in from the stakeholders. On successful test / UAT run, implement the new process.
    8. Review the process – Once the new process is rolled out, closely monitor and track performance of new process and ensure it meets the expected outcomes. Close monitoring will also help to fix problems if any. Collect feedback regularly and report the performance.
Some of the commonly used process improvement tools are:
  • Six Sigma Tools – DMAIC, DMADV
  • Lean Thinking
  • Kaizen Methodology
  • TQM  
  • Process Mapping
  • etc.,