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Monday, November 28, 2016

7 Process Improvement Concepts

Everything everyone does within an organization is part of a process. So invariably if you want to improve what the organization does, then you have to focus on improving the process. By putting your emphasis on the process, you avoid the typical trap that so many business leaders seem to fall prey to – looking to cut costs, they focus on trimming payrolls or pushing people to do more with less. This short-sided approach may get a brief bump in performance. However, in the long-run you end up increasing costs, reducing value to the customer, and making it harder for the company to compete.

Process improvement is one of the fundamental steps in business management. Continuous process improvement focuses on improving the output of any process. This is done through evaluating each step and eliminating the “non-value added” or NVA steps. 

To get things going, there are seven concepts you need to work your process improvement plan around:

1. Always ask why. Question why we do what we do. Is there a better way?
2. Eliminate can’t. Anything can be changed! Anything can be done!
3. Just do it. Be confident and have an action-oriented attitude.
4. Discard conventional thinking.
5. Question the current situation. Don’t make excuses.
6. Do not seek perfection – 51% chance is good enough.
7. Seek the wisdom of ten people, rather than the knowledge of one.

Process improvement is an ongoing practice and should always be followed up with the analysis of tangible areas of improvement. When implemented successfully, the results can be measured in the enhancement of product quality, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, increased productivity, development of the skills of employees, efficiency and increased profit resulting in higher and faster return on investment (ROI).

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