Irrespective of what type of a company you work in, management is always seeking a better way of identifying the best projects — projects that will make difference in the bottom line of the company. Let us show you how to find problem areas, capture information, and how to improve your companies processes. We want you to lead the company management where to go in company processes to find the greatest benefits.

Tell Management Were to Go

You Can Lead with Process ImprovementNo matter how proficient a company is, performing a single task does not provide value to the customer. Only when all the tasks required to produce a product, or to provide a service are performed correctly is an output of maximum value to the customer. Almost all processes involve work being performed by resources from a number of functional departments in an enterprise.

Companies need to change their focus from improving the way individual tasks are performed, to improving how the tasks all fit together to provide value to the customer. In other words, companies need to improve their processes. This does not mean that companies stop trying to optimize the performance of individual tasks. But, in many companies there are greater opportunities for benefits to be achieved by looking at the overall process.

“Streamlining cross-company processes is the next great frontier for reducing costs, enhancing quality, and speeding operations. It’s where this decade’s productivity wars will be fought. The victors will be those companies that are able to take a new approach to business, working closely with partners to design and manage processes that extend across traditional corporate boundaries. They will be the ones that make the leap from efficiency to superefficiency.” – Michael Hammer (Harvard Business Review)

The suggestions being shared here are based on twenty years of experience working with project teams on process improvement. During those years the results ranged from extremely successful to thoroughly disappointing. The two most important factors that have seemed to separate the excellent results from the others involved respect, respect for the methodology and respect for the people with the first hand experience.

This information represents a compendium of thought regarding Process Management and Improvement. Every project is different and as you will learn, there will be times when you will want to do things differently than suggested here. This is only a guide. Go ahead! Use your best judgment! But let us offer one overriding caution. Don’t skip over the involvement of people who do the work. They are your link to reality.

Five Steps to Process Improvement

To say that there is only one path to Process Improvement would be a vast misstatement. In truth, over the past few years, numerous business authors have offered their ideas regarding the correct steps a business planner or manager should follow to achieve the best results. A careful search of current literature for example would reveal programs that take as few as three or as many as fifteen steps. Although the difference between plans generally lies in the comprehensiveness of each program, almost all have five “global” steps in common. They are:

businesspeople identifying areas of great returns


Identify the process of first. Defining, and then selecting a process to be improved, this step, although seemingly simple in scope, may be the most difficult of the five. It typically begins, not with actually mapping a process, but with gathering managerial support for the entire process improvement program, establishing requisite change teams, and defining not only expectations but standards of support throughout an organization. It ends when process owners and managers alike agree on the identity of a process and the fact that a process problem exists and is capable of being documented and changed for the better.


This step contains the essence of the basis for the improvement process itself. It generally begins with the development of process flow charts and diagrams and ends with a documented understanding of what an existing process is actually achieving, its value and what could be achieved by changing the process. It is here that process measurement metrics are also defined and recommended solutions to process problems first identified in step one are initially stated.