A New Way of Process Improvement
by Douglas B. Boebinger, PMP
To effectively improve your company’s process you need to look at the basic laws of business. Just as their are undeniable laws of physics, there are undeniable laws of business which, if broken, yield catastrophic results. Re-inventing a company’s process is a four (4) step operation. The steps must be followed in the proper order or the results will be less than desired as discussed previously. The four steps are:
1) What Products Should I Produce That The Customer Will Buy?:
The first thing your company must determine is “what product (or service) will my company produce that the customer will buy?” This requires a customer driven analysis of the marketplace, the competition, the economic conditions, etc.
2) The Process Produces The Product:
Now you must determine the optimal process to consistently, reliably, and profitably produce the product. The ability to be the low cost producer, first to market and with the best product will yield a substantial competitive advantage. Always remember, it is the process that produces the product.
3) Services & Tools Support the Process:
Processes need services & tools to make the process function efficiently and effectively. Understanding the inter-relationship between the product, the process and the supporting services & tools is important in order to develop efficiencies and to understand the optimal organization to support it.
4) The Organization Supports The Process:
Only after all of this information has been developed should the company determine what organizational structure will best support the process. The organization supports the process, not the other way around. Many in business fail to make this realization.
Based on these basic business premises, if the company is going to “re-invent” itself successfully the company needs to follow these same rules.
Excerpt from “Process Improvement or Process Re-Arrangement: Will You Know Before It Is Too Late?” paper presented at the 1998 Project Management Institute international symposium.
Originally published in the System Solver’s Ltd Newsletter, January 1999