5 Things You Are Ignoring About Managing Process Improvement

Jeffery Varney's picture

Lean this, improve that, cut operating cost by x%... whatever the approach might be, the drive to improve performance within our departments and work groups is always there. Even in times where we are just looking to sustain what we do, maintain market share, or stabilize a product; human nature compels us to look for ways to make things simpler, easier, and less challenging. And when department and personal scorecards and compensation are at stake, the impulse is even stronger.

But improvement is hard work. Where do we start? What will have the greatest benefit for the effort or cost?  There are often a myriad of possible improvements you can pursue. Have you ever seen an improvement in one area negatively impact another? So how can you understand all the moving parts and prevent spinning in circles, or worse yet getting nothing accomplished?

Maybe you’ve heard of APQC’s newest innovation, MosaiQ™ ? MosaiQ provides departments and work groups a quick way to identify, organize, and track what they do and in turn manage performance improvement. By bringing together the ability to:

  1. identify the work done (i.e., the work processes),
  2. capture knowledge about how it is done (e.g., process steps, tools, templates, lessons learned),
  3. align it to benchmarks and compare performance (e.g., KPIs, metrics, and other data),
  4. view best practices and case studies of other organizations, and
  5. share that in a simple to view and update portal.

MosaiQ creates visibility and clarity for a department. MosaiQ helps you measure, manage, and learn. And that is the first step in improvement, knowing what you are starting with and how you are doing.

When we here at APQC work hands-on helping organizations improve– whether they are looking to simplify, standardize or add new capabilities– the first place we start is building a framework of all the work processes the organization performs. In MosaiQ, if the organization has created an enterprise process framework already, the department just has to create their view and then drag and drop processes or entire sections in. There are also numerous Process Classification Frameworks® (PCFs) available from APQC that are available through MosaiQ they can use to quickly build a view that has everything they do in one simple, easy to manage location.

Process elements that are linked to APQC’s PCF elements are immediately populated with benchmarks, best practice reports, and case studies. Additional metrics and KPIs can be added along with documents and links to existing documentation, graphics, and reports; ultimately creating a clearinghouse of information about each work process.

Looking at each process, the department can evaluate how well they have designed, documented, and currently perform the work; comparing to the latest internal targets and external information. This identifies both opportunities for improvement and potential magnitude of impact possible across all the work processes. Now they can select the right processes to improve, set improvement goals, and manage the progress all in the same place - MosaiQ.

MosaiQ will be available, at no additional cost, to APQC members on March 31. Learn more at www.apqc.org/mosaiQ or email mosaiQ@apqc.org with questions. You can also join APQC’s Process Classification Framework on LinkedIn to connect to people committed to improving processes.

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