Research Articles

Minimally Invasive Process Improvement

Minimally Invasive Process Improvement supports the LEAN concepts of todays Agile organizational needs in regards to process improvement. Process, according to Webster, is defined as a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result: a natural continuing activity or a series of actions or operations conducing to an end. Quality is defined as an inherent feature, having a degree of excellence, processing a distinguishing attribute and superiority in kind. Now, that all sounds nice, but what does it really mean? How can it help the processes you deal with on a daily basis reach a new level, without reorganizing your entire organization?

There are many benefits to re-evaluating processes. Some of those benefits are:

  • A decrease in the amount of time it takes an employee to complete the process
  • A decrease in the cost of your employees’ time working on a specific process
  • A decrease in the amount of time it takes to complete the entire process
  • A decrease in the cost of the entire process
  • Improvement of external customer satisfaction
  • Improvement of internal customer satisfaction

Try this five-step procedure to determine if your processes are hitting the mark:

  • Determine the outcome of the process
  • Map out the process
  • Establish critical points within the process
  • Set up measurement criteria and a monitoring system to determine if the measurement is within variance
  • Continually monitor the process and make any changes on the spot to keep the process within the measurement criteria

Forward thinking organizations build their cultures on this concept, thus, staying ahead of the competitive curve.  Small incremental improvements add up to transformational change driven by innovation.

Written by Phil Ventresca, M.B.A.