Skip to main content

Is Your Process Working As It Should?

How much time do you save by not having a proper look at your business processes and instead assuming that they are working as designed?

This is a bit of trick question, of course. It depends on how much time you have spent on developing your processes in the first place and the level of control / management you already have in place.

The stimulus for this blog post was me stumbling in to another upside down process that was deemed to be fine (I'm not really complaining, as this is what I get paid to sort out). My surprise was how far apart the two positions were:

Position 1 - perception - the process works but could be improved.

Position 2 - reality - there is no control and no one really knows how the process is meant to work.

The existence (duration) of the gap, to my knowledge, is about ten months.

The time to find out the size of the gap, approximately 30 minutes.

After the review an action plan was put in place and the process was under control in just a few days.


So, what is the lesson here?

If you have even an inkling that a process could be improved it is worth taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to go an have a look. Smell the air. Touch the process. Speak to the people 'stuck' with it. See if it makes sense. Check if it looks right.

The time saved in the longer term is worth the hassle in the short term to make the effort to go and see what is really going on.


Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering


Available for iPad.

Popular posts from this blog

Want more time for your projects? Try the 'Hour of Pain'!

Do you find your day being broken up by interruptions, stopping you from getting on with your work?

Continuous improvement projects often fall foul of this. The day can become so inefficient through the constant stopping and starting that we only just seem to have enough time to get the 'day job' completed.

I was in a meeting last week where this same issue cropped up. It also cropped up today. It's nothing new, but it is still a pain in the rear!

So, let me share with you an approach that has worked for my clients - the 'Hour of Pain!'.

Where there is a (performance) gap there is a concern

I had a really good day yesterday working with a client's team.

The team has issues. Plenty of issues. Some are managerial issues, some are people issues and some are production issues.

When I first met the team they didn't know what to do with their issues, so I started by helping them to see more issues.

Issues everywhere, they didn't seem very impressed.

And then we captured the issues as 'concerns' into the tried and tested 'concern cause countermeasure' format and followed the process:

Concerns probed for root causes and root causes converted into countermeasures.
Soon they realised that some of their root causes dealt with numerous concerns and they gained momentum.

Yesterday we pulled another one of their processes apart and identified all of the gaps. The gaps became concerns and we fed them back into the process. Now they have a practical action plan (of countermeasures) to upgrade the process in question.

What do you do with your performance gaps? …

Free Continuous Improvement Guide

I have recently published a new free guide, with the title:
Six Quick Tips to Help Continuous Improvement Deliver Results Faster In the guide I share how to:
Use the continuous improvement cycle properly.Get projects moving, if they are slow to start or have stalled.Identify the 'biggest bang for your buck' when reviewing opportunities.Determine the level of change you need to achieve through your improvements.Flip staff grumbles and concerns into positive improvement actions.Increase the overall rate of progress on your projects. All of the tips are highly practical and are no-cost strategies.
To get your copy, just click on the button below and access the guide in just a few moments from now.



Enjoy reading,

Giles
About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous i…