Business Process Improvement

No business can afford to stand still. Global competition and rapid innovation are raising the bar for organizations to continually develop new products, increase customer satisfaction, improve quality, and reduce costs. Every organization needs operational excellence.

In some cases, business leaders may know where they have opportunities to improve. In other cases, however, the task can be overwhelming, with business processes spanning multiple functions across multiple geographies. Where do you focus your business process improvement efforts to gain the greatest benefit with the least amount of effort?

Our Approach to Process Process Management (BPM)

A comprehensive effort to improve all business processes is rarely justified. Our consulting approach, rather, is to identify the areas of highest priority, with the greatest payback, and where the recommendations have the greatest likelihood of being implemented.

We do this with a broad-based data collection effort to prioritize the business processes most critical to organizational success and also in most need of improvement. For each selected process, our business process consultants then conduct a high-level business process framing exercise to define process boundaries, process owners and key actors, major steps, issues, and the vision for improvement. Our “six pillar analysis” evaluates a broad set of process enablers: workflow, information systems, incentives, human resources, policies, and facilities. If the effort is warranted, we also map the processes in their “as-is” state.

Based on the level of improvement needed, our business improvement consultants then design the to-be processes. Process-specific redesign falls into three main categories:

  • Formalize the Process. For processes that perform at an acceptable level, it may be enough to simply formalize them, by documenting roles, responsibilities, major activities, and performance criteria, then training process actors within the organization on the formalized process.
  • Improve the Process. Processes that are substandard in terms of cost, schedule, or quality may need improvement, but not wholesale process redesign. Here, our recommendations may be to eliminate duplicate efforts, add inspection points, combine tasks, do activities in parallel, or automate elements of the process.
  • Re-engineer the Process. Business processes that are beyond repair or show opportunity for breakthrough performance may require a complete redesign. Here, we facilitate breakthrough thinking and application of new technologies to achieve multiple times improvement in performance.

Not every process needs the same level of business process improvement. By prioritizing your needs and focusing your efforts, you can achieve significant improvement in profitability and gain competitive advantage in the shortest time possible.

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