Process Management and Improvement

We are focused on helping our clients work smarter to achieve measurable results that are better, faster, and/or less costly today than they were yesterday and that those same results will improve in the future when compared with what they are today (e.g., higher profits, higher revenues, more satisfied customers, etc.). This improvement usually involves a focus on improving one process at a time.  As a result, this focus requires attention to two key approaches:  Process Management and Process Improvement.

I have written a separate blog on several of the eight (8) components (Purpose, People,Portfolios, Products, Programs, Projects, and Preparedness).  However, this particular blog will focus on the smallest common component which serves as the foundation for all of the others:  a single Process.

A Process is an increment of work requiring one or more clearly-defined Inputs, followed by one or more appropriate Steps (using Tools or Techniques), which use those Inputs to produce one or more desired Outputs.  However, while an efficient process should follow a “V.I.V.O.” sequence (“Value-In-Value-Out”), we’ve found that, all too often, it ends up being a “G.I.G.O.” sequence:  “Garbage-In-Garbage-Out”.  Helping a client migrate each of its dysfunctional processes from “G.I.G.O.” to “V.I.V.O.” is what we mean by helping them to learn how to “work smarter”…one process at a time.

Examples of business processes are:

  • Creating a purchase order, requisition or invoice
  • Making a sales call or customer service visit
  • Designing a new product or service
  • Installing an energy-saving device or enhancement
  • Performing an evaluation or assessment

Process Management is the methodology or set of structured activities that organizations employ to oversee and control its increments of work (processes) in accordance with the output requirements and acceptance criteria, especially for scope, time, cost, and quality (aka “Good”, “Fast”, and/or “Low Cost”).  This can include both NEW processes that haven’t existed before or REVISED processes that did.

Process Improvement is the process of achieving measurable results in a REVISED process by collecting data on its outputs (scope, time, cost, and quality) to compare them with the previous process.  When the results of this new process are better, faster and/or less costly than its predecessor process, that is called an improvement or enhancement.

A good way to organize and illustrate a process and its various “upstream” and “downstream” elements is to create a “Modified SIPOC Chart” that I call a “SIPOCO Process Chart“.  A regular “SIPOC Process Chart” identifies five (5) elements:  Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, andCustomers.  However, I prefer to take it one step further by identifying a sixth element:  the intended Outcome(s) making it “SIPOCO“.

Is there a process in your organization that doesn’t yet exist or, if it does, it needs to be improved?  If so, what approach do you use to measure and manage it and how would you go about creating or improving it?

Please contact me and share your challenges, issues and concerns and I’ll help you address them.  I’ll also be glad to share some ideas with you at no expense.

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