To remain competitive, companies need to get people to embrace change and continually look for ways to improve what they do.
What does it mean to Embed process improvement?
Once an organization goes through a process change, people want to believe “we’re done.” To keep up with competitors, companies need to set up the mechanisms for assessing, prototyping, and improving how things get done on an on-going basis.
This is the well-known business concept of continuous improvement. The goal is to make it easy for any employee to suggest ways to make a process more efficient and more effective and for the company to quickly adapt and change.
We do this by co-creating a framework, so people ask the right questions and learn to spot process roadblocks. That framework helps organizations develop a culture that encourages and rewards people for suggesting potential improvements. It also puts in place the reviews and checkpoints to give people a platform to speak up.
Importantly, we help to design a nimble structure to embrace improvements and can quickly implement changes. We do this with culture and organizational mapping, which makes their goals and values clear to everyone and helps them change faster.
Why is Embedding process improvement so important?
No matter how groundbreaking the process design was when it was initiated, organizations will fall behind if process improvement doesn’t become part of the corporate culture.
Technology, business, and the competition are shifting too quickly for any company to stand still. The companies that succeed over the years are those flexible enough to keep changing and improving.
TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
Culture & Organizational Mapping: Mapping your organization and its current culture can be game changing. Having clarity on where your efforts will encounter passive or direct resistance–or where you could leverage positive influences–enables you to plan for or even harness these issues.
Cycle Measurement and Metrics: Once organizations put new processes in place, it is vital to develop the right metrics to know whether they are achieving their goals. We help companies design life cycle measurements and other metrics to make sure new processes are on target and help recalibrate processes when they aren’t.
Visual Kaizen Event: Kaizen is a Japanese term that means small changes for the better. We help companies design a Visual Kaizen framework, so people using the process can easily demonstrate the benefits of their Kaizen idea, and teams can quickly move from “to do” to “done.”
Champions & Feedback Loops: Building reviews and feedback into the culture and the calendar creates a regular review cycle that encourages participation. Appointing and empowering change champions help fuel those feedback loops from the outset and opens the way for some of the most important learning from the people who see the process up close.
Cynthia Owens is a Senior Consultant at XPLANE.