Organisation success depends upon business process performance. The better the processes, the greater the customer satisfaction and organisation success.
However, in a business where thousands of steps are performed in hundreds of processes across multiple departments even across multiple countries by multiple staff it’s easy to lose sight of the shared goal of customer satisfaction.
The (visible) BIG Picture
What’s needed is a combination of ‘big picture’ strategic visibility as well as a detailed understanding of the processes so that the process steps can be aligned with the business strategy to efficiently deliver effective customer delight.
Business process improvement is a management function to provide the strategy “top-down” to staff so the staff can improve their work, alongside their colleagues, help them align their processes, provide the technology & tools and also knowledge to achieve their job “bottom-up”. That’s (continuous) business process improvement.
Five Phases of Business Process Improvement
- Organise the improvements (create and manage the project)
- Understand the processes (document, diagram, flowchart)
- Streamline the processes (apply staff knowledge to… eliminate bureacracy, eliminate duplication, add value, error proof, simplify, reduce cycle time, standardise, improve supplier partnerships, improve strategy, automate)
- Measure & Control the processes (motivate, target, measure)
- Continuous Process Improvement (repeat as a business culture )
It’s a difficult task, but the rewards are vast, and each step towards improvement delivers benefits. Indeed, its not a destination, its a process itself. The world goes on improving. Those businesses that adopt improvement as a culture succeed, the rest drop by the wayside looking on.
No matter how good you are, how well regarded your products and/or services are, you cannot stop improving. You cannot stand still. When you do, you really aren’t standing still, you are slipping backward because your competition is constantly improving.
H. James Harrington, consultant & author.