Business Process Improvement
Business process improvement, or sometimes called re-engineering, is an approach used by every organization to achieve significant profits by re-structuring its underlying processes. H. James Harrington’s 1991 book was the first one that documented about business process improvement i.e. on both process redesign and business process reengineering. Most of the organizations focus primarily on improvement aspects of the existing processes for various reasons, including, but not limited to, to maximize business opportunities, to be way ahead of its competitors, to increase profits and performance, to reduce capital costs, to accelerate schedules, and to reduce inefficiencies and errors.
Process improvement is an aspect that can yield significant results for the corporates, where in a series of actions are taken by the management or project managers (so called process owners) of a company to better serve its customers and timely respond to the changing marketplace. Process improvement is a method of introducing process changes to improve the quality of a product or service, to better match customer and consumer needs. Process improvement is not a practice of finding problems or failures, but it is a way how the existing work will be done in a better manner.
A typical process owner job is to identify and improve existing business processes by participating directly in the actions of a process improvement team or delegate to other person who has significant knowledge on the process. They are responsible to build bridges and remove barriers that will allow the business performance objectives to be met.
Major steps to be followed for business process improvement:
1. To exactly identify where the loopholes are there within the existing process and should focus on putting their efforts to find better ways for improvement.
2. Establish target performance for the process so that it will be useful for background framework.
3. Create a business process diagram of the existing process and complete with exception paths and any anomalies so that it will be helpful to plan a route for final destination
4. Explain the necessary improvement areas to the concerned team and collect data about the performance of the existing process from the process owner and those involved in its operation.
5. Collate and analyze the collected data which is needed for the process improvement. Data collation involves displaying the data in a format suitable for analysis.
6. Select options for change in the process improvement and should get validated to ensure stakeholder acceptance and risk mitigation.
7. Illustrate the revised process (plan) in a new business process diagram
8. Gain approval for the plan by explaining why the changes are necessary and the process followed in reaching to a conclusion.
9. Implement the revised process by automating parts of the process, reallocating responsibilities, and introducing new technology.