Process Improvement Methodologies

6 Min Read
Process Improvement Methodologies

Process Improvement Methodologies are strategies and tools that can be used to improve the efficiency of an existing process or system. Process Improvement Methodologies are used across all industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, technology, communications, banking, and even restaurants If your business isn’t functioning efficiently, it wastes money and time,  which makes it an important part of improving your business’ bottom line. However, it’s not the end of the world because you can do things about it.   Sometimes you need to take a step back and look at the big picture to truly see where your business is going wrong it’s not the end of the world because you can do things about it. Being able to pinpoint where the problem is and knowing how to improve it is key. One way to do this is with a business methodology that’s called process improvement. Process Improvement Methodologies are a way to identify processes that are inefficient and can affect the performance of your business. These methodologies can be incorporated into your business to help increase its productivity and profits!What is Process Improvement?

What is process improvement and how best to use it? For a company to continue to meet its customers’ needs, it has to be innovative and grow. So as well as adjusting strategies quickly, a business also needs to be able to develop new ones.

For these reasons, continuous process improvement is crucial. It is a method that ensures existing processes are optimised so that they meet the highest market standards and ultimately improve the customer’s experience.

This method of business improvement is made up of three steps: identification, analysis, and improvement.

Its primary goals are to minimize errors, reduce waste, improve productivity, and streamline the efficiency of not external and internal company processes.

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How do you identify a process?

Identifying a process is an important first step in improving it. So how do you go about identifying a process? The first step is to figure out what it actually does. The second step is to figure out why it exists, or for what purpose it was put into place.

And finally, figuring out where it starts and stops can help you pinpoint where you should focus your efforts. Only by knowing these three things can we accurately identify a process, and then begin looking at ways to improve that process.

What Is the Purpose of Process Improvement? 

At some point, you’ve been on a team that wasn’t quite as productive as it could have been. You thought you had created a process, but somehow execution was less than ideal. 

The problem was that no one really understood why they were doing what they were doing—only that they had to do it. When everyone understands why something is done and why it needs to be done in a specific way, productivity increases.

This is where process improvement methodologies come into play.

How do you find areas of process improvement? 

How do you identify business process improvement? The best way to find areas of process improvement is by performing a root cause analysis. This is often times done in conjunction with a fishbone diagram, which maps out possible causes. It’s important to note that even one key process improvement can save you tons of money if you perform an ROI on it. 

What are the five stages of process improvement?

What are the process improvement steps? DMAIC is an acronym that represents the five phases to improve processes. This is a improvement cycle used for improving and optimising business processes.

DMAIC – Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control. 

Define – The process problem or opportunity.
Measure – Process performance
Analyse – Determine the cause
Improve – Eliminating root cause
Control –  New process and future performance.

Another option is  Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify (DMADV

Process Improvement Methodologies

There are various Process Improvement Methodologies and Tools  you can use in your business to help you identify the problems in a process, understand how you can address them, and then analyze their success and failure.

Include benchmarking processes, 5S, and value stream mapping (VSM). Some call it Kaizen; others call it continuous improvement, but at its core all of these efforts revolve around improving your processes.

Lean, six sigma and lean six sigma offer a number of ways for process improvement.

  • Kaizen: Focuses on lean and agile practices
  • 5S: The 5 S’s are sort, straighten, shine, standardize, and sustain
  • PDCA: These letters stand for plan, do, check, and act
  • Six Sigma: Uses two ways, each made up of several steps
  • Cause and Effect: This is a more visual method as it involves diagrams.
  • SIPOC: This is another diagrammatic method that helps with defining and setting processes
  • Value Stream Mapping: Special software is available if you want to use this method.
  • Total Quality Management: The focus of this method is customer satisfaction
  • Hoshin: Planning process “compass management”
  • Kanri: Catchball open feedback loops.
  • Gemba walks: Walking the workplace where value is added.
  • Flowcharting: Diagram showing a workflow or process

The Benefits of Process Improvement

It’s essential that process improvement is used regularly and forms part of an overall strategy. When implemented on a regular basis, you can expect to see the following benefits:

You can also expect to experience several changes in your business, for example:

  • Redundant tasks are removed
  • Conditional branches are added to accommodate current exceptions
  • Sequential steps are converted into parallel steps, which reduces processing time
  • Approval steps are converted to notifications, making the processes better functioning
  • Steps will be added to allows for new team structures and personnel
  • Quality will be ensured by adding approval steps
  • Form data will become more automated, and there will be fewer fields to complete
  • Certain participants will be unable to view certain fields
  • The process will become integrated with different software and be able to create folders and additional lines automatically. -It will also be able to add journal entries, calendar events, and much more.

Why process improvements are important?

Process improvement is about analysing processes to make changes that will increase productivity. 

Any business that fails to continually improve its processes is bound to struggle at some point. Here, we’ll look at a few of the key reasons why it’s important to develop and implement effective process improvement methodologies. 

First off, it reduces inefficiencies and reduces weak points. There will always be waste in any process, no matter how efficient it is—but if you aren’t looking for ways to further improve efficiency by tackling all that waste, you are essentially saying your business isn’t working efficiently.

What are examples of process improvements?

There are many ways to improve your business processes, but where is the best place to start? Let’s give you some examples of how it’s worked in other businesses.

Waste Elimination
This is possibly the best example and centers around your company’s waste. First, you set about identifying and eliminating waste areas, thereby saving time and producing better quality results.

Cost Reduction
This example focuses more on the overall effectiveness of your business rather than its efficiency.

Collaboration and Communication Improvements
The focus of this example is the people who make up your organization. It involves eliminating boundaries and allowing people to share ideas and feedback regularly.

Process Visualization Improvements
For this example, you have to look at the processes already in place and try to understand them more. This would include the different steps, how long it takes to complete them, and who works on them.

To finish up, remember that process improvement is an ongoing project because it’s essential to look for ways to improve continually.

Business Process Management

Being able to pinpoint where the problem is and knowing how to improve it is key business process improvement. This usually involves some sort of business process management or a business process improvement method  It’s important to note that many business process management (BPM / BPMS) methods are designed to improve workflow—not necessarily just reduce costs and waste.

Checkify is a business process management system that offers you a way to document business processes and use them to guarantee the best results while giving you a way to analysis and improve your business processes.

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