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Blog Human Resources
How to Create a Process Improvement Plan [20+ Templates Included]
By Jennifer Gaskin , Jun 12, 2023
A process improvement plan is a comprehensive and actionable document that outlines the necessary steps to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and overall performance of processes and procedures within your company. It serves as a roadmap to identify areas of improvement, address bottlenecks, streamline workflows, and optimize resource utilization.
A well-crafted process improvement plan should provide specific and practical recommendations that are applicable across various functions and departments within your organization, allowing for widespread implementation and consistent benefits across the business. By adopting a process improvement plan, companies can proactively drive positive change, foster continuous improvement, and achieve higher levels of operational excellence.
Many aspects of process improvement can benefit from visual communication tools like infographics, presentations, mind maps and more. Venngage for Learning and Development teams makes it easy to create your own visual assets to help implement and manage your process improvement plans.
Click to jump ahead:
- Process improvement plan case study
What are the most common types of process improvement plans?
What is an example of process improvement, types of process improvement plan & examples, what are the benefits of establishing a process improvement plan, process improvement plan faq, how do you create a process improvement plan.
Change isn’t easy, and it can be a challenge for companies to figure out what they’re doing wrong and how to fix it. But that’s why establishing a process improvement plan framework can help you make fact-based decisions about how to improve your organization.
A well-designed process improvement plan can streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and drive organizational growth. To help you navigate this crucial endeavor, here are ten essential steps to create a process improvement plan that yields measurable results:
- Identify the Goals: Define the specific objectives you aim to achieve through process improvement. For example, reducing customer wait times by 20% or decreasing production errors by 15%.
- Analyze Current Processes: Thoroughly evaluate existing workflows to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas of improvement. For instance, examine how information flows between departments or how inventory is managed.
- Gather Stakeholder Input: Engage employees, managers, and other relevant stakeholders to gather insights and perspectives on process challenges. Example: Conduct interviews or surveys, or integrate a cloud contact center solution to collect feedback on pain points and potential solutions.
- Prioritize Improvement Areas: Based on the analysis and stakeholder input, prioritize the areas that require immediate attention. This might involve identifying high-impact processes that, when improved, will have a significant positive effect on the organization.
- Set Measurable Objectives: Establish specific and measurable objectives that align with the identified improvement areas. These objectives should be quantifiable and time-bound. For example, reduce customer complaints by 25% within six months.
- Develop Action Plans: Create detailed action plans for each improvement area, outlining the steps, responsibilities, and timelines for implementing changes. For instance, assign a cross-functional team to streamline the order fulfillment process and develop a timeline for completing the necessary changes. Consider having action plan templates in place so there you team has a framework for how to accomplish processes.
- Implement Changes: Execute the action plans while closely monitoring progress and ensuring adherence to the established timelines. Example: Introduce new software to automate manual data entry tasks and track key performance indicators.
- Measure Results: Regularly measure and evaluate the impact of the implemented changes against the set objectives. This may involve tracking metrics like cost savings, productivity improvements, or customer satisfaction ratings.
- Adjust and Refine: Based on the results, identify any gaps or areas that need further improvement. Adjust the action plans accordingly, making iterative refinements to continuously optimize processes.
- Communicate & Engage : Keep all stakeholders informed about the progress of the process improvement initiatives and encourage their ongoing involvement. Share success stories and celebrate achievements to sustain motivation and engagement.
By adhering to these useful guidelines, you will forge a formidable process enhancement blueprint that propels transformative growth within your organization. Keep in mind that process improvement is an ever-evolving odyssey, and constant scrutiny and fine-tuning will safeguard perpetual triumph in fine-tuning your operations.
Process Improvement Plan Case Study
Following the steps we outlined earlier, let’s explore a hypothetical process improvement plan for a doctor’s office that constantly gets complaints from patients about how many forms they have to fill out.
Process Improvement Plan: Reducing Patient Form Burden in a Doctor’s Office
- Identify the Goals: The goal is to streamline the patient intake process and reduce the number of forms patients have to fill out, resulting in improved patient satisfaction and reduced administrative burden.
- Analyze Current Processes: Evaluate the existing patient intake process to identify the number and types of forms patients are required to complete, as well as any redundancies or inefficiencies in the process.
- Gather Stakeholder Input: Engage with patients, front desk staff, and healthcare providers to understand their perspectives on form-related challenges and potential solutions. Conduct surveys or hold focus group discussions to gather feedback.
- Prioritize Improvement Areas: Identify key areas where form reduction can have the most significant impact on patient experience and administrative efficiency. For example, focus on eliminating redundant information across forms or consolidating multiple forms into a single comprehensive document.
- Set Measurable Objectives: Establish specific objectives, such as reducing the number of forms by 50% within three months, minimizing the time patients spend filling out forms by 25% or achieving a patient satisfaction rating of 80% regarding the form intake process.
- Develop Action Plans: Create action plans to streamline the patient intake process and minimize form requirements. Examples of actions may include:
- Conduct a thorough review of existing forms and identify areas of overlap or duplication.
- Consult with legal and compliance teams to ensure necessary information is captured while minimizing redundancies.
- Explore the possibility of implementing electronic forms or online pre-registration to expedite the process.
- Train front desk staff on the new streamlined process and educate them on assisting patients in completing forms efficiently.
- Implement Changes: Execute the action plans by implementing the agreed-upon improvements. This could involve revising and consolidating forms, implementing electronic forms or online pre-registration systems, and providing staff training on the revised process.
- Measure Results: Regularly measure and evaluate the impact of the implemented changes against the set objectives. Track metrics such as the number of forms eliminated, time saved for patients, and patient satisfaction ratings related to the revised intake process.
- Adjust and Refine: Based on the results and ongoing feedback, identify any areas that require further improvement. Refine the process by addressing any remaining pain points or bottlenecks to ensure a seamless and efficient patient intake experience.
- Communicate and Engage: Maintain open communication with patients, staff, and healthcare providers throughout the process improvement journey. Inform patients about the changes and improvements made to the form intake process, and encourage their feedback and suggestions for further enhancements.
By implementing this process improvement plan, the doctor’s office can minimize the burden on patients by reducing the number of forms they need to fill out, resulting in improved patient satisfaction and streamlined administrative processes. Remember that continuous evaluation and refinement are essential to adapt to evolving patient needs and ensure ongoing improvements in the patient intake experience.
You can customize this process improvement plan template to reflect the example above:
Return to Table of Contents
There are found major methods of process improvement that you may consider integrating into your process improvement plans. Some of these methods are used in the largest companies in the world.
A quality control method developed by a Motorola engineer, Six Sigma has become a global phenomenon, and Six Sigma certification is highly sought-after in many industries. Six Sigma outlines five steps for improving existing business practices, abbreviated to DMAIC:
Here’s how a process improvement plan should be when using the Six Sigma method:
Lean & Lean Six Sigma
Lean traditionally is used by manufacturing companies, but the principles are useful across all industries, and as its name suggests, Lean process improvement plans focus on reducing waste. In particular, Lean aims to eliminate any activities that do not add value to the end user of the good or service. The steps are:
- Identify value
- Map value stream
- Create flow
- Establish pull
- Seek perfection
Lean Six Sigma is the hybrid of the two methods, helping organizations improve processes through DMAIC while also eliminating waste.
Total quality management (TQM)
Total quality management (TQM) had its heyday in the 1980s and early 1990s before the advent of Lean and Six Sigma, but its main objectives are still valid today. TQM process development plans focus primarily on quality control, ensuring that the company’s output is of the highest possible quality and determining ways to make output even better.
TQM doesn’t have steps as most other process improvement methods do. Rather, it focuses on principles that should guide an organization with a TQM mindset:
- Total employee involvement
- Full team integration
- Strategic and systemic
- Data-driven decisions
- Constant communication
Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is a continuous change management cycle that was first established by engineer and management consultant W. Edwards Deming in the 1950s. Back then it was called a Deming Wheel , which was later modified by Japanese engineers to arrive at its current definition.
The steps involved in PDCA are obvious:
As the name suggests, process improvement refers to the task of identifying, analyzing and improving existing business processes that are often outdated or no longer efficient enough.
While the term is most often used in a business context, it can refer to any decision or actions that aim to improve a process, be it as simple as finding a shorter route on your drive to work or as complex as improving the whole customer service process of a corporation.
Back to its business context, process improvement could target wasteful spending, poor office design, IT system downtime, employee disengagement and many other issues that can doom an organization.
Process improvement can’t be effective without proper process documentation policies in place. If you haven’t documented your company’s processes yet, we can help with that. Check out these process documentation templates to get you started.
There’s more than one type of process improvement plan, which we’ll explore more in detail . In addition to the example we shared above, a process improvement plan can also consist of 6 steps:
Or 4 steps, like this one which is developed using the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model:
These steps are, of course, quite simplified, and some process improvement plans will require months or years of changes to procedures, hiring practices, training, systems, software and more.
For example, a process improvement plan for a company lacking a specific skill set in its employees can mean hiring new staff and training the existing one. In cases like this, other tools like individual development plans can be useful.
This individual development plan designed for healthcare workers is a good example of how process improvement plans can branch off into other areas.
And once the new process is in place, it’s important to communicate it to the team effectively. That could be through a process infographic , timeline , mind map or other types of visual communication .
Customize this project communication plan to help streamline communication channels between teams working on the same project:
Another example of a process improvement plan, this nursing care plan is used in a healthcare setting only. It could be used to illustrate a new plan aimed at addressing gaps in communication and patient care. But you can use the process suggested in this plan and apply it to any industry.
This creative design process infographic would be an ideal way to share with a creative team a proposed new method of taking clients through the design process. Consider color-coding new or revised steps if creating a piece like this to share a revised company process.
Customize this action plan mind map once you’ve settled on a new process so that team members see steps involved in their tasks but also keep the main objectives in mind.
Process improvement plans are useful for organizations of all types, and their output can include simple verbal instructions. But most companies benefit from creating charts, presentations and infographics to communicate a variety of aspects surrounding the plan.
Check out these process improvement plan templates that may help your organization.
Process improvement plan development examples
Developing a process improvement plan is complicated, but visual tools like infographics can make it easier for your team to grasp the steps involved.
Help your management team and employees understand the steps involved in the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle with this infographic. Customize it for your needs by outlining specific actions they need to take in the bottom section.
This PDCA cycle infographic is ideal for companies that are implementing improvement plans across their organization.
Revised process examples
Once you’ve settled on a new way of doing things, explaining the new process clearly to employees (and sometimes customers) is critical. Process and timeline infographics are helpful, as they allow people to visualize the new steps.
Here’s an example of a process improvement plan to revise customer support process, built based on the PDCA concept:
Customize this project management process infographic for the new process you and your teammates are creating. Quickly change out icons for ones that apply to your business, and use My Brand Kit to ensure the design aligns with your corporate identity.
Use this colorful process infographic for a new process that has several steps. Lengthen or shorten as needed to cover all the steps in your revised process. Or use a template like this to create a process improvement action plan as you begin your work.
Revised policy examples
Process development plans can easily spill over into a variety of business areas, and it’s often necessary to craft new policies and procedures on the way to your new process. Infographics and other tools can help you spread the word and document these new policies.
If your new process will require added documentation that needs to be signed by an employee or their supervisor, customize this procedure infographic that explores how to submit expense claims. Change the title, content and illustrations for your needs.
Perhaps your process improvement plan revealed that nobody in your organization is prepared for a disaster or emergency. The output of your process improvement team could be a business continuity plan like this one.
Employee development examples
The success of your new process will depend entirely on your team’s ability to execute it, and many organizations find that a major reason why their current processes aren’t working is that team members lack certain skills. So, employee development is often involved in executing a revised plan.
Help team members visualize the skills they need to develop by working with them to create a mind map like this one.
Customize this career planning infographic for team members as you work with them to help them build the necessary skills. While this example is about career planning in general, it’s easy to customize with specifics for your employees.
Change management examples
Humans by nature are resistant to change, and your organization may find it challenging to implement a new process. These change management plans may help you communicate and motivate your team.
Follow the steps in this change management process infographic to break through your team’s stubborn adherence to old, inefficient processes.
Update this planning process infographic to help get your team on the side of change. Employees who feel they are involved in steering the company in the right direction will feel a strong sense of ownership in the entire process improvement operation.
There are many benefits of diving into a process improvement plan in your organization, and the most obvious and important is to improve your company’s overall efficiency. Doing so can make the business more profitable in the long run. But that’s not where the benefits end.
The biggest benefits of a process improvement plan include:
- Employee satisfaction : More productive workers make a company more money over time, but they also gain a sense of accomplishment and self-improvement.
- Customer satisfaction : Many process improvement plans target tasks that are customer- or client-facing, and making sure your customers are satisfied is crucial for any organization.
- Agility : The business landscape is constantly changing, so putting a process improvement strategy into place will equip your organization to handle future disruption.
- Safety : Efficient processes are helpful to reducing workplace accidents and repetitive stress injuries, and examining the physical activities employees are doing as part of their jobs can help make them safer overall.
- Modernization : Organizations that resist technology are likely not long for the world, and process improvement plans are ideal for adapting new technologies to your company’s workflows.
- Innovation : In any company, there are things you do because that’s the way you’ve always done them. But breaking those processes down to see how they function is one of the best ways to spark a new idea and create innovation in your organization.
Do you have more questions about creating a process improvement plan for your organization? We’ve got answers.
How do you propose a process improvement plan?
Communication is a critical part of process improvement. If people don’t know or understand why change is needed, it’s unlikely they’ll embrace any new processes. Proposing a process improvement plan requires an individual or small group who will own the plan’s development from start to finish and can be evangelists for the plan across the organization.
What are the contents of a process improvement plan?
In general, process improvement plans must include a definition of the process, an explanation of its steps, an identification of the ways in which it falls short, a proposed new process and a mechanism for monitoring the revised steps.
How do you find areas of process improvement?
If you knew exactly why your organization wasn’t as successful, you’d fix it right away. But finding areas of process improvement means keeping your ear to the ground and observing the organization in an objective way. Common areas of process improvement include authority overlap, constantly missed deadlines, poor quality control, physical safety issues, fixing errors rather than preventing them, employee and customer dissatisfaction and excess spending.
In summary: Process improvement plans can help your company be more productive and eliminate organizational frustration
Identifying where your company is failing in the processes used across the organization is not an easy task, as it requires dispassionate examination of how you may be falling short. But visual communication tools like infographics, mind maps and process illustrations can help communicate issues to your team and get everyone moving in the right direction.
Interested in visualizing your process improvement plans and gaining buy-in from stakeholders? Start by registering for a FREE Venngage account and choose a suitable process improvement plan to customize. Our templates are professional-looking, fully customizable and really easy to edit, even if you don’t have design experience.
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How to Make a Process Improvement Plan
Project management is made up of processes. Project managers and their teams depend on those processes to ensure that a project runs smoothly. But what about those processes? Are they chiseled in stone or can they be improved?
Too often processes are relied on as if they were somehow perfect and cannot be touched. That type of thinking is what will quickly send a project off track and possibly cause it to fail.
Complacency has no place in project management. Constantly analyzing your processes is the best way to reach a successful end. How you improve processes is through a technique called process improvement. Implementing what you learn through process improvement is done by creating a process improvement plan.
What Is a Process Improvement Plan?
Simply put, a process improvement plan is a document outlining how to improve your processes after identifying and analyzing them. In a nutshell it’s how can you get better at what you do.
The process improvement plan is part of a larger, overall project plan . It guides the project team on how to analyze the project processes and outlines where there’s room for measurable improvements. It tends to be an iterative process that occurs throughout the project’s life cycle.
The point of a process improvement plan is to find weak links in the process chain or bottlenecks that are impeding work, and then figure out ways to rectify those inefficiencies. This leads to processes being completed faster, more efficiently and with a greater quality of deliverables.
A process improvement plan will also help to reduce wasted efforts and keep teams working more productively . It helps to reduce any friction that exists in the processes, and ensures processes meet regulatory compliance standards when required.
Build a Process Improvement Plan in 7 Steps
To do the work of identifying the weak points in a process and do nothing about it is counterproductive. It might feel like the effort of creating and implementing a plan is not worth the investment.
But if you believe that there are flaws in your process and you don’t respond to improve them, you’re setting yourself up for a bigger problem down the line. Therefore, it’s always in your interest to respond to the problem and work towards resolving it. To do this requires a plan. The process improvement plan can be broken down into these seven steps.
The first step is to get a full overview of the process that needs improvements. Take that process and break it down into a map. You can use a free work breakdown structure from ProjectManager to thoroughly map every step of the process. This will help you get an idea where the weaknesses are in the process.
Now that you have the process in question mapped out and every step clearly delineated, you need to analyze the process to see where the issues might lie. Look closely at each of the steps and see where there was a problem, such as delays, over-allocation of resources, too much money spent, idle team members and so on.
Once you’ve found those problem spots, trace back the issue to its origin in order to address its cause and how to avoid it in the future. You can use tools, such as the root cause analysis method to help guide you.
Once the cause of the problem has been uncovered, it’s time to redesign the process to improve it and avoid the issue when next using it. At this point, you’ll want to bring in the whole project team.
They are, after all, the ones who have the most intimate knowledge of the process and hands-on experience with it. They’ll make sure that there are no stones left unturned and everything has been documented in the process. They’re an invaluable resource for process improvement and should be listened to.
Get their ideas on how to redesign the process and brainstorm with them for more solutions. Then analyze all the solutions offered and figure out which one is the best and most likely to improve the process. Now you’ll want to think about the schedule and whatever risks might be inherent in the redesign.
You’ve identified the problem and have a solution, now you need to get working on it. That means assigning your resources. The go-to people would be the team members who are impacted by this process and its change. However, you might need to reach out beyond that sphere to other people in the organization with the skill sets required.
Once you’ve assembled a team, give them detailed instructions on how to redesign the process and why it’s important. You can use the map you created earlier in the plan to help with this step.
This is where the process improvement plan is put into action, which means creating a detailed task list and assignments. This part of the process is just as you would create any project plan, breaking down the deliverables into tasks and assigning each team member with those tasks. A project planning software can help.
You’ll want to create a schedule with a timeline and add tasks, their duration, and any dependencies.
The better your communication, the better the project. Therefore, take the time to communicate your plan to the team and make sure they fully understand their part. Listen, be open to feedback, and make sure the team understands that they’re going to be kept in the loop throughout the whole process. This creates buy-in and helps them embrace the new process.
Once the team is executing the project, it’s important to track their progress. Monitoring is not micromanaging. It provides a window into the project and allows for any tweaks to keep it moving as scheduled.
Also, once the improvement has been implemented into the process, you have to monitor the team to make sure that they’re following it. As problems arise, the process starts again.
ProjectManager Manages Process Improvement Plans
A process improvement plan is no different than any other project plan. It requires planning, scheduling, assigning teams and tracking their progress. ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management software that can do all of this and more.
Manage Tasks & Build Timelines
Once you have a process that needs improving and have a plan and team ready to execute that plan, ProjectManager comes in with the controls you need to keep the plan running smoothly. First, you can upload your task list into the software and create a project.
Once the tasks are given a duration, they show up on a Gantt chart timeline . Now you can link the dependent tasks to prevent bottlenecks. If there are changes, ProjectManager makes it easy to edit the schedule. Just drag and drop the task start and end dates.
Team Members Can Manage Their Work & Collaborate
Team members can be assigned from the Gantt chart project view, but they also have the option of managing their tasks with a task list, calendar or kanban view. Each task can have detailed directions from the project manager and even documents and images attached as needed.
Team members can then collaborate at the task level, commenting, adding files and even bringing in other team members by tagging them. They’re then notified by email and can join the conversation. Because ProjectManager is cloud-based, remote teams can collaborate wherever they are, and at any time.
Track Progress as It Happens
Project managers can use the dashboard to monitor six different project metrics at a high-level view, all in real-time. For a more detailed view, ProjectManager has one-click reports that can be filtered to show exactly the information you want. Reports are great for tracking the project and reporting back to stakeholders, so they’re always in the loop.
ProjectManager gives you the tools you need to improve any process. From making a process improvement plan to executing that plan and monitoring its progress, ProjectManager has features like Gantt charts and kanban boards, all made to foster team collaboration and productivity. Use ProjectManager for your next process improvement plan by taking advantage of our free 30-day trial today.
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Process Improvement Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide
Gain an understanding of the essential steps and strategies necessary to create and execute successful process improvement plans.
April 20 2023
Looking to streamline your workflows, remove inefficiencies, and supercharge your business operations? It all starts with a process improvement plan. In this article, we’ll explain what a process improvement plan is, why they’re important, and what goes into creating an effective plan that guarantees a positive outcome for your business.
What is a Process Improvement Plan?
A process improvement plan (PIP) is a strategic document detailing everything you’ll need to know and do as you make foundational changes to your workflows and processes.
Process improvement plans provide key background information and data regarding the processes that are currently in place. Along with the team’s current performance metrics, the document will also explain why a procedural change is necessary at the present moment.
From there, the document will define the goals of the initiative and the solution to be implemented — followed by an in-depth plan for said implementation. The plan can also include a schedule for implementation and a method for monitoring progress, as well as any supporting documentation to help further your team’s efforts.
Process improvement plans are integral parts of both business process improvement and business process re-engineering . No matter the process in focus, your process improvement plan should act as a roadmap guiding you toward your goals — and bringing you one step closer to procedural optimization.
Why a Formal Process Improvement Plan is Crucial
While some organizations may take an ad-hoc approach to improving processes at times, taking the time to create a formal process improvement plan will always be better for your business. For one, it allows you to gain a more comprehensive and cohesive understanding of the issue at hand. This will help you identify the root cause of the issue, instead of focusing on just one of many symptoms of the problem. (Without taking this step back, you’ll likely end up making mere surface-level changes that don’t actually address the full extent of the issue — which will inevitably lead to even more problems somewhere down the line.) Creating formal process improvement plans also allows you to better prioritize your efforts by focusing on the processes that have the most impact on your business. That way, you don’t end up investing too much time and money making changes that don’t really move the needle for the company. On that same token, creating a strategic plan for improving a given process ensures you’ll be as efficient and cost-effective as possible when doing so. In contrast, a haphazard approach to process improvement will likely require at least some guesswork, trial-and-error, and other rather inefficient approaches. Finally, a formal process improvement plan helps to establish accountability for improvement initiatives. By clearly defining the objectives, responsibilities, and timelines for improvement, a formal plan ensures that everyone in the organization is on the same page and working towards a common goal. (This is crucial not just for immediate, practical purposes, but also to continue fostering a culture of ongoing learning, growth, and engagement throughout your organization.) No matter how simple a procedural change may seem, there’s just too much at stake to not take a formal approach to improving it. Take the time to make a plan of attack; it will always be worth it.
Process Improvement Plan Methodologies
There are a number of methodologies you might choose to follow when developing your process improvement plans. Some key examples include:
- Lean Methodology aims to identify and eliminate wasteful tasks and use of resources throughout a given process. The goal is to make processes as streamlined as possible, while using the absolute minimum amount of resources necessary.
- Six Sigma Methodology focuses on improving quality and reducing defects by eliminating sources of variation throughout a process. The steps involved in Six Sigma methodology are Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control.
- Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Methodology is a cyclical model of continuous improvement that can be implemented in most operational contexts. As the name suggests, it’s a four-step process of planning, making iterative changes, reflecting on results, and codifying the change within your workflow documentation .
For a more in-depth look at these and other PIP methodologies, check out our article on improving internal business processes .
Effective Process Improvement Plans: Best Practices
Before getting into the step-by-step process of creating an improvement plan, let’s go over some key best practices to follow at all times when creating them.
Align with Your Business Goals
Above all else, you need to be certain that the changes you make align with your business goals — and that they have a substantial and positive impact on your company as a whole. Put another way, you don’t want to make any changes to your processes that will pull your company off-track in any way. While the importance of financial growth is obvious enough, you also need to consider how a change may impact your company culture, employee engagement, or customer loyalty. Keeping this alignment top-of-mind will actually help you maintain a strategic approach to process improvement (as opposed to making a “quick fix” in the heat of the moment — which typically won’t work out for the best). Essentially, you should always be thinking of the “bigger picture”. Before making any systemic changes to your processes, make sure the change you make is the move that will bring you closer to your goals than ever before.
Specificity is vital when planning to make procedural improvements — and when documenting said plan in writing. Firstly, you must be as specific as possible when identifying the process to be improved. This will help you pinpoint the exact thing that needs to change, and will guarantee that you’re focused on the root cause of the problem. (In contrast, being too broad here may cause you to make sweeping changes that are ineffective, superfluous, or both.) You’ll also need to be specific when defining how you’ll make the planned improvement. This is key to remaining lean while also investing the manpower and resources needed to succeed. Finally, you’ll need to define your intended goals and outcomes — and the rationale behind them — clearly and specifically. As we’ll discuss, this will keep you focused on the right tasks throughout the initiative, and also help you assess your efforts once the new process is in place.
Be Data-Driven, Objective, & Critical
The most effective process improvement plans are those that are backed by hard data, allowing teams to take a more objective and critical approach to the initiative. With the right data in hand, there will be very little question as to what process needs to be improved — and how so. Moreover, analyzing comprehensive data sets can help you uncover hidden problems your team may not have been aware of. Becoming more data-driven is key to removing biases during the planning stage and minimizing resistance to change once the plan is in place. Without clear evidence that a given change will improve operations, teams can easily backslide into the “old way of doing things” — in spite of all the frustration the old way may cause.
Involve All Stakeholders
Making even the slightest changes to your processes can impact a number of individuals, both within your organization and outside of it. Involving these stakeholders in process improvement planning, then, is essential. You’ll of course want to involve those who are directly impacted by the change — that is, those responsible for carrying out the process in question. These individuals will have hands-on knowledge of what needs to improve, and will likely have a number of practical solutions in mind for the team to consider. Managers and team leads will have a clear understanding of the team’s capacity for making a change, along with the impact said change will have on the team’s overall operations. When needed, executives can step in to ensure a process improvement plan aligns with the company’s business goals and overall vision for the future. Finally, consult any third-party entity that will be impacted by the change, such as your suppliers, your vendors, or your customers. This will at least help you stay transparent and maintain open lines of communication — and it can potentially lead to major breakthroughs that wouldn’t have happened had you kept everything in-house.
Steps to Creating an Effective Process Improvement Plan
As we’ve said, developing an effective process improvement plan can be a rather involved initiative. Involved — but very much worthwhile. So, without further ado: The eight steps to creating an effective process improvement plan.
1. Define the Process to Improve
Your first order of business is to identify the specific process or workflow to be improved upon.
Some key examples:
- Customer service request intake
- Marketing-to-sales lead handoffs
- New hire form submission
Be sure to include any documentation that will help map the parameters of the process . In some cases, it may be necessary to define what the process doesn’t involve to avoid making unnecessary changes. While you’ll eventually provide more details regarding the initiative, you can set the stage here by giving an overview of what’s to be improved, why doing so is important, and what your intended goals are. With a clear vision of success in place, your team can focus on making the specific changes needed to make it a reality.
2. Identify Stakeholders (and Their Roles)
As we said, all stakeholders should be involved in the improvement process to at least a certain degree. For each initiative, you’ll need to define who these entities are, and the role they’ll play in improving the process in question. Again, the main roles to consider include:
- The ground-level employees who will be directly impacted by the change
- Managers and team leads who will spearhead the initiative and facilitate procedural change
- Executives who will oversee the business end of the initiative
- Third-party entities who will be impacted by the shift in procedure
Once you identify these entities, you might consider forming a committee with representatives from each group to help move the initiative forward. This will lead to more and better insights and idea generation during the planning phase — and will allow you to stay transparent as you implement improvements to your processes.
3. Analyze the Current Process
At this point, you can start taking a closer look at the actual process to be improved. As things stand, you want to be clear on what’s working well within the process — and what isn’t. Consider:
- Where do bottlenecks tend to occur?
- Where is resource usage and waste highest?
- Where are members of your team typically left idle or waiting?
Once you identify these troublesome spots, go a step further by looking both up- and downstream. In looking upstream, you may potentially uncover a more systemic issue that is the true cause of the problem you’re facing (and many others!). Looking downstream will allow you to see what other processes will be impacted by a given change — and may open the door for more improvements to be made in the future. When conducting this analysis, remember to use both your collected data and your stakeholders’ collective "know-how" knowledge to form an accurate picture of what the process looks like at the present moment — and how you can improve it moving forward.
4. Create a SMART Goal
Based on your analysis of the process and your current situation, you can create a goal for your initiative that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound . Going back to the examples mentioned earlier, you might set the following goals for each respective initiative:
- Reduce customer service intake time by 25% within six months
- Improve MQL conversions by 10% this month
- Reduce hands-on touchpoints during employee form submission by 50% this year
This step is crucial to ensure the improvement you make actually impacts your operations in a positive way — and to give your team a clear idea of what successful implementation of the improvement will look like.
5. Brainstorm and Define Optimal Solution(s)
The next step is to brainstorm solutions to the problem as you begin developing the new process. As you brainstorm these ideas, you’ll want to pay attention to the following three factors:
- Feasibility and Practicality : Do you have the manpower to implement the change? Does your team possess the skills and knowledge needed to make the new process work?
- Impact : How will the change impact your stakeholders and your business operations? Will additional changes be necessary once the proposed solution is in place?
- Cost : What will it cost (in money, time, and other resources) to implement the new workflow? When will your organization begin reaping the benefits?
6. Create an Action Plan
Once you define the process to be improved, you can start planning how you’ll actually go about implementing the change within your operations. This can involve a wide variety of steps based on the change to be made. If automating and optimizing the customer service intake process, for example, you’d need to:
- Install and integrate your helpdesk software of choice — and phase out the old solution
- Onboard and train your customer service representatives
- Introduce your new automated solution to your customers
…and much more. Detail is important here, as you want to introduce the change as seamlessly as possible — and ensure that it’s the best decision to make from a business standpoint. To this end, you might choose to create a fleshed out business requirements document to go along with your process improvement plan.
7. Implement, Monitor, & Adjust
As you introduce the new process and it starts to become the “new normal”, you’ll want to keep a close eye on how everything’s going. This should be a team effort involving all stakeholders. While performance metrics and other quantitative data will be a huge piece of the puzzle, you also want to collect more qualitative feedback from those most impacted by the change. (This is especially true when it directly impacts your customers.) From there, you can make adjustments to the process as needed over time — as you should always be doing within all areas of your operations in the first place! In all seriousness, you likely won’t need to create an entirely new process improvement plan as you make these slight adjustments. But, if the “new way” doesn’t pan out the way you’d hoped, there’s no shame in going back to the drawing board.
8. Document, Document, Document
At this point, you’ll have likely documented the new process in text and graphic formats. Now, you’ll want to start creating additional knowledge documentation that:
- Explains procedural steps in full detail
- Demonstrates the process in action (via video content)
- Provides expert tips and best practices to optimize the process
Zooming out a bit, be sure to adjust any documentation regarding your overarching approach to process improvement planning. On top of making the new process “official”, documenting it also makes the information more accessible. Marco Armineta, Director of Customer Experience at Valant , explains that documenting new processes with Helpjuice enabled his team “to quickly rollout initiatives that proved difficult with our previous solution, including the ability for customers to rate content and provide free-text feedback.”
Use Helpjuice to Empower Your Process Improvement Plans
Helpjuice’s knowledge base software can supercharge your efforts to improve internal operations at every step of the process. Brainstorm solutions and create plans for improving processes in real-time with collaborative documentation Document and share new workflows with employees and other stakeholders in seconds Make continuous improvements to process and workflow documentation over time Ready to get started? Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Helpjuice today!
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7 types of process improvement methodologies you should know about
Business process improvements are methodologies in which a team evaluates their current processes and adapts them in order to increase profitability. This article highlights seven different process improvements your team can use to reduce inefficiencies and increase profit.
If businesses decided to consistently stay the same over time, many of them would collapse. Innovation requires change, and if businesses don’t change to meet customer demands, they won’t achieve much growth.
This is why many organizations use some form of process improvement methodology to adapt their processes to customer demands.
What is process improvement?
Business process improvements are methodologies in which a team evaluates their current processes and adapts them with the intent to increase productivity, streamline workflows, adapt to changing business needs, or increase profitability.
7 types of process improvement methodologies
There are seven different business process improvement methodologies your team can use to help reduce inefficiencies. In most cases, the methodology you choose depends on why you want to improve your processes and what you’re looking to improve.
1. Six Sigma methodology
Six Sigma is often used in manufacturing, mainly because it helps minimize defects and inconsistencies. The goal here is to optimize for consistency, which in the end leads to customer satisfaction.
There are two main processes used in Six Sigma: DMAIC for existing processes and DMADV for new processes. Since this article focuses specifically on improvements to existing processes, let’s dive into the DMAIC process.
What is the DMAIC process?
DMAIC is a Six Sigma process used to optimize existing processes. DMAIC stands for:
Define the opportunity for improvement.
Measure the performance of your existing processes.
Analyze the process to find defects and root causes.
Improve processes by addressing root causes.
Control any improved processes and assess future process performance to correct deviations.
The bulk of the DMAIC process improvement happens during the analysis stage. During the analysis stage of DMAIC, teams use a fishbone diagram, or an Ishikawa diagram , to visualize the possible causes of a product defect. The head of the fishbone diagram states the initial problem—then as you follow along the spine of the fish, each rib lists different categories of issues that can lead to the initial problem. This type of visual analysis is a good way to identify the different issues one root cause can create.
2. Total Quality Management (TQM)
Total quality management (TQM) is a customer-focused method that involves continuous improvement over time. This technique is often used in supply chain management and customer satisfaction projects.
TQM relies heavily on data-driven decisions and performance metrics. During the problem solving process, you use success metrics to decide how you can improve a process.
Here some key features of TQM:
Customer-focus: The end goal of TQM is always to benefit the end customer. If your team is focused on improving quality, ask yourself how that process change may affect how end consumers experience your product.
Full-team involvement: Unlike other process improvement methodologies TQM involves the entire team—not just production. As a result, you may end up looking for ways to optimize more business-centric processes, such as sales and marketing, to benefit the end consumer.
Continuous improvement: Continuous improvement in business is the idea of making small changes with the goal of continually optimizing processes. There's a lot of variability when it comes to business, and continuous improvement helps your team adapt when outside circumstances change.
Data-driven decision making : In order to apply continuous process improvement, you must continually collect data to analyze how processes are performing. This data can help identify where there may be inefficiencies and where to focus improvement initiatives.
Process-focused: The main goal of implementing TQM is to improve processes. Other process improvement methods like Six Sigma work to minimize the amount of defects, while TQM works to decrease inefficiencies.
3. Lean manufacturing
This form of process improvement goes by many names, with lean manufacturing being the most common. It may also be referred to as Lean production or just-in-time production. Defined by James P. Womack, Daniel Jones, and Daniel Roos in the book "The Machine That Changed the World," Lean highlights five main principles based off of the authors' experiences at Toyota manufacturing.
The 5 principles of lean
Value stream mapping
4. Continuous improvement (kaizen)
The Japanese philosophy of kaizen guides the continuous improvement model . Kaizen was born from the idea that life should be continuously improved so we can lead more satisfying and fulfilling lives.
This same concept can be applied to business—because as long as you are continuously improving, your business can become more successful. The goal of continuous improvement is to optimize for activities that generate value and to get rid of any waste.
There are three types of waste that kaizen aims to remove:
Muda (wastefulness) : Practices that consume resources but don’t add value.
Mura (unevenness): Overproduction that leaves behind waste, like excess product.
Muri (overburden): Too much strain on resources, such as worn out machinery or overworked employees.
5. Plan Do Check Act (PDCA)
The PDCA cycle is an interactive form of problem solving. It's used to improve processes and implement change. PDCA was created by Walter Shewhart when he applied the scientific method to economic quality control. Later, the idea was developed even further by W. Edwards Deming, who expanded on Shewhart's idea and used the scientific method for process improvement in addition to quality control.
There are four main steps to the PDCA cycle:
Plan : Decide on the problem you would like to solve, and create a plan to solve it.
Do: Test and implement the plan at a small scale.
Check: Review how the actions in the Do stage performed.
Act: After reviewing the results of the test, decide whether or not you want to implement the change at a larger scale.
PDCA is an improvement cycle. This means that these steps can be repeated until your team reaches the desired result.
6. 5 Whys analysis
The 5 Whys analysis is a process improvement technique used to identify the root cause of a problem. It's a really simple process in theory: you gather a group of stakeholders who were involved in a failure, and one person asks: "Why did this go wrong?" Repeat this question approximately five times, until you get to the root cause of an issue. The 5 Whys analysis aims to identify the issues within a process, but not human error.
Here's an example:
Problem: There was an increase in customer complaints regarding damaged products.
"Why did this happen?" Because packaging was not sufficient enough to protect the products.
"Why was the packaging not sufficient enough to protect the products?" Because the team testing packaging did not test past a certain level of stress.
"Why did the team not test the packaging further?" Because current standard processes indicated that the testing indicated was sufficient.
"Why did the current standard process indicate that this testing was sufficient?" Because this process was created for a previous product, and not this current product that is coming back damaged.
"Why wasn’t there a new process for the new product?" Because the project template for launching new products doesn’t include stress testing the new packaging.
You can see from this example that the team asked “Why” until they identified the process error that needs to be fixed—in this case, adding a “stress test new packaging” step into their product launch template . When working with stakeholders in processes like this, it's important to identify the issues, and co-create next steps together so that your production can improve.
7. Business process management (BPM)
Business process management, or BPM , is the act of analyzing and improving business processes. Much like any organic being, businesses grow and shift over time. Your team may have implemented processes that worked when your team was small, but as you grow those processes may not scale in a way that allows your team to be as efficient as possible.
Most of the time, BPM helps teams identify bottlenecks, ways to automate manual work, and strategies to improve inefficiencies. There are five main steps to business process management.
Analyze: Look at your current processes and map them from beginning to end. This is commonly known as process mapping.
Model: Draft out what you want the process to look like. Ideally, you'll have found any inefficiencies in the first step, and you can draft how you would like to solve them in this stage.
Implement : Put your model to action. During this stage, it's important to establish key success metrics so you can gauge whether or not the changes made were successful.
Monitor: Decide whether or not your project is successful. Are the success metrics you identified in step three improving?
Optimize: As the process evolves, continue looking for inefficiencies in your process and continuously optimize as you go.
Manage process improvements to increase productivity
As a team lead, one of the most valuable things you can bring to your team are clearer processes and better workflows . When used effectively, process improvement increases your team's productivity and decreases inefficiencies.
To increase clarity and improve processes, try work management. Work management tools like Asana can help you take your team’s productivity to the next level by standardizing processes, streamlining workflows, and keeping your team in sync.
SMART Goals: How To Write Them and Why They Matter
8 time-saving Asana tips to get more done, faster
Why templates and bundles are game-changers for your workflow
6 tips to use portfolios for cross-project planning
Process Improvement Plan: What is it & How to Create It? (Steps Included)
Improving your business and its functioning isn’t always a piece of cake. In fact, it’s a lot like driving- Highly strategic!
You start with the idea of reaching from one place to another, turn on the engine, and begin the journey. At first, everything seems fine, you are halfway down the road, you feel pretty good. Then the inevitable happens: you miss a turn, stop, and remap the way to your destination!
Similarly, striving to improve your business follows the same pattern: you introduce a great idea that will improve your business and its processes . You communicate the plan to your manager, get approval, and then implement it.
However, fast-forward a few weeks, and you find that things have gone back to the old ways! Thus, no matter how good an idea is, without a solid improvement plan in place, the idea won’t last!
“A rule of thumb is that a lousy process will consume ten times as many hours as the work itself requires.”- Bill Gates
This is where a process improvement plan comes in! A process improvement plan identifies, analyzes, and improves existing business processes to meet new standards and goals!
Let’s quickly get started with learning everything about a process improvement plan, why it’s important, and how to create one!
What is the Process Improvement Plan? (Definition)
Everything we do in our professional or personal lives involves some kind of a process. These processes require constant development every step of the way, which is why businesses create a process improvement plan for better management of processes!
In other words, a process improvement plan is a document defining how to improve your processes after analyzing and identifying them to help you get better at what you do!
“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”- Edwards Deming
This plan is part of a broader, overall project management plan. It guides the project manager and team on how to examine the project processes and outlines the areas for measurable improvements. Creating a process improvement plan is itself a process that occurs throughout the project’s life cycle.
A process improvement plan aims to eliminate bottlenecks or weak points in business operations. By identifying these bottlenecks, you help your business:
- Minimize process completion time
- Improve process efficiency and quality
- Eliminate wasted efforts
- Minimize friction in business processes
- Meet regulatory compliance
Read more: The Ultimate Guide To Process Documentation (Template Included)
Why is a Process Improvement Plan Important?
Businesses need to remain constantly agile to respond to a changing dynamic externally and internally such as technology changes and demand shifts along with competitors entering the market.
Therefore, they must look for ways to improve, these improvements will result in higher-quality products & services that can be distributed and developed in increasingly cost-efficient ways. Process improvement plans can help businesses identify areas for potential improvement , plans for implementation, and measures of success!
Anyone who’s been in the business world has heard of process improvement plans. They not only add workplace efficiency but naturally results in reduced time to complete a given task. Furthermore, these are many of the benefits of having a continuous improvement plan, such as:
1. Engaged employees
Inefficient processes can be highly disruptive for employees. Weak business processes can lead to frustration and cause the morale of employees to decline if they feel that their efforts are being overwhelmed by a broken system. A well-crafted process improvement plan changes the employee’s role and responsibilities from being a passive actor to being an active participant in the business processes.
2. More Efficient Operations
The most obvious benefit of a process improvement plan is to have more efficient operations. When you remove wasted motion, time-consuming components, and unnecessary tasks, your processes become more effective and efficient.
3. Communication and involvement
Functional process improvement plans involve a team effort. Even those not involved in the project management team need to be informed of the plan and the intended results. The more clearly and thoroughly employees can be informed of process improvement goals and their roles, the greater the likelihood of successful implementation.
4. Increased Innovation
Improving processes is not only about removing waste. Often, you’ll be finding a better way to do something.
5. Better Customer Service
Effective process improvement plans take an inside as well as an outside perspective, with a clear focus on specific customer needs. These plans consider the aspects of a process that are most valued by end-user customers and then take steps to increase that value.
Read more: Top 5 Business Process Management (BPM) Tools
How to Create a Process Improvement Plan? Follow these Steps!
In case you have a new way to improve any business process, you should work on it. To ensure that your idea becomes a reality, you need a well-defined process improvement plan. Here are the steps to create one:
Step 1. Map the process
The first step is to identify and select the process that needs to be improved. Then visually map out the existing steps to see the process as a whole. This will help you find areas that have scope for improvement.
Step 2. Analyze the process
Once you’ve mapped out the process, take a closer look at different aspects in each step. Note areas where problems occur, delay happens, or where you spend a lot of money.
One of the most crucial aspects in this section is tracking down a problem to its origin. You must find out exactly what part of the process causes issues, to figure out how to fix them!
Try and investigate the problems within the process and as part of the evaluations, consider the following factors:
- What difficulties are getting team members or customers frustrated?
- Which steps are building bottlenecks?
- What is causing quality to decline or costs to rise?
- Which steps need the most time to complete or cause the most delays?
Step 3. Redesign the process
Now is the time to redesign the process and eliminate the problems you’ve identified . It’s best to finish this step with your team. They will ensure that you hold an in-depth understanding of the old process and effectively work on the new one!
Collaborative working will help you come up with potential solutions and keep track of them. You must think about how the team would carry out each idea, identify potential risks, and estimate how long it would take for implementation.
Step 4. Draft your plan
When a solution is chosen and resources are assigned, it’s time to create an implementation plan. List all the specific tasks that each of your team members will be working on and allocate other resources accordingly. Creating a detailed process implementation plan ensures that your plan is being carried out until the end.
Step 5. Communicate and execute
Before you move into the execution stage of the process, communicate the plan with your team. Even if you have previously discussed the new steps, communicate your plan for a transparent workflow.
Step 6. Monitor and optimize
Process improvement is a continuous effort!
Even after you’ve made improvements to a process, you need to make sure that employees follow the new process by closely monitoring the results. Regularly improving your business process ensures that the changes you made last long!
Read more: Risk Management Plan: What, Why, and How to Write?
Important Recommendations Before You Start Creating Your Plan!
1. continue to improve.
You should remember that process improvement plans are supposed to themselves improve on a regular basis. There is always room for a process to be more effective and efficient.
Create feedback loops for your business to gather further actionable data. Your work to improve will not stop with a single loop of a process improvement plan, it is bound to be repeated as a part of your business processes. Define metrics to get a real picture of your process improvement plan.
2. Choose the right software!
From process analysis to communicating changes, using software for planning out process improvement and its levels is an excellent way to make sure that everything is flowing in the right direction.
This software will not only help you document a well-defined process improvement plan but will encourage collaboration, usage, and flexibility while improving your business processes! One such software, designed for the modern-day workplace is Bit.ai .
Bit is the dream tool to help organizations transform the planning process, by making it highly interactive using 100+ integrations .
- Bit allows employees to create unlimited documents and interlink them to create wikis that expand the knowledge base. Simply highlight the words and you have the option to create a new document.
- Get management feedback in real-time using @mentions and highlight features as every document comes with its separate comment stream.
- Create, share, and store documents related to the product in one place without going back and forth to your cloud storage services.
- Bit has a plethora of amazing templates to kickstart your work.
- Content management capabilities allow you to store PDFs, videos, images, charts, and more inside one platform for easy access. Say goodbye to Google Drive and Dropbox!
- Bit documents are nothing like you have ever seen. Create interactive docs and embed Airtable blocks, Google spreadsheets, PDFs, video tutorials, Typeform surveys- basically anything with a link inside your document.
Our team at bit.ai has created a few awesome business templates to make your business processes more efficient. Make sure to check them out before you go, y our team might need them!
- SWOT Analysis Template
- Business Proposal Template
- Business Plan Template
- Competitor Research Template
- Project Proposal Template
- Company Fact Sheet
- Executive Summary Template
- Operational Plan Template
- Pitch Deck Template
Over to You!
That’s it, folks! Now, as you hold an advanced understanding of a process improvement plan along with the benefits it involves for your business, it’s time to create one using our robust documentation software- Bit.
A process improvement plan is a great way of implementing change in business processes, delivering quality work, improving communication, and much more. Remember, in order to create a successful process improvement plan, you’re going to need to constantly measure and report it.
We hope you find this article useful. If you have any questions or want to share your own experience, let us know in the comments below or tweet is @bit_docs
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Bit.ai is the essential next-gen workplace and document collaboration platform. that helps teams share knowledge by connecting any type of digital content. With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, anyone can work visually and collaborate in real-time while creating internal notes, team projects, knowledge bases, client-facing content, and more.
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7 essential steps to create a process improvement plan [+templates]
Lucid Content Team
Reading time: about 5 min
Attempts to improve your business can follow a common pattern: You introduce a great idea that will really improve your business and processes. You communicate the plan to your manager, get approval, and then make the change. Fast-forward a few weeks, and you find that things have gone back to the old ways.
No matter how good the idea, without a solid process improvement plan in place, the change won’t last. Learn seven essential steps involved with every process improvement plan.
What is process improvement?
The definition of process improvement is pretty straightforward. It’s the process of identifying, analyzing, and improving existing business processes. More simply, it’s taking a look at your organization and figuring out how you can do things better.
Process improvement is part of your larger project management plans. It should be an iterative approach of examining your processes to make them better throughout the project lifecycle.
The goal of process improvement is to identify and eliminate weaknesses in your business processes to help you:
- Increase quality and efficiency.
- Eliminate bottlenecks in your operations.
- Reduce costs.
- Minimize errors.
- Increase innovation.
- Improve employee productivity and satisfaction.
Ultimately, process improvement is a way for your business to become the best it can be. Without it, innovation would be almost impossible.
7 steps to process improvement
If you have an idea to improve a business process, you should act on it. To make sure your idea becomes a reality, you need a process improvement plan that uses process improvement methodologies.
1. Map the process
Once you’ve selected a process to improve, map out the current steps to visualize the process as a whole and help you find areas for improvement. Consider mapping your process using a process flowchart template .
2. Analyze the process
After you’ve mapped out the process, take a closer look at each step. Use the same diagram from the first step to identify where roadblocks occur. Note areas where delays occur, where you use too many resources, or where you spend a lot of money.
One of the most important aspects of this step is tracing the problem to its origin. You need to figure out exactly which part of the process causes problems to understand how to fix the problem. For an additional layer of investigation, use the root cause analysis method or Six Sigma process mapping .
3. Redesign the process
Next, redesign the process to eliminate the problems you’ve identified. It’s best to complete this step with your team. They’ll make sure that you have a correct understanding of the old process and that you don’t miss anything.
Talk with your team about the problems you’ve found and how you can solve them. Try a brainstorming session to come up with ideas and keep track of potential solutions.
Pro tip: Open a brainstorming template in Lucidspark to allow the entire team to contribute ideas in real time.
When you’re finished brainstorming, analyze each idea to determine whether it’s the best solution. Think about how your team would carry out each idea, how long it would take, and what the potential risks are.
4. Assign resources
Who do you need to include to make the change happen? Consider the teams who will be impacted by this change—you might need to talk with managers or colleagues from other departments if you require extra help to get the new processes underway.
Once you've figured out who to include, let them know what's going on and what they’ll be working on. Explain the new process and how the change will benefit the organization. The process maps you developed earlier will clarify the process and act as a reference for the team. You can even add swimlanes to delineate roles and responsibilities.
5. Develop an implementation plan
With resources assigned and a solution chosen, it’s time to create an implementation plan. Your plan should be as detailed as possible. You’ll want to include the team members you've identified from the previous step in your plan.
List the specific tasks that each of your team members will be working on. Then create a timeline that shows when each task will start and finish. Creating a detailed process implementation plan ensures that your plan is carried out to the end.
6. Communicate and execute
You’re now ready to put your plan into action. Before you move into the execution phase, communicate the plan to your team. Even if you’ve previously discussed the new process, communicate your plan to carry out the work. Keeping your team in the loop reduces the chance your team will resist the new process.
After you’ve communicated the new process and plan to your team, it’s time to execute. Follow the plan you created and start making improvements to your process.
7. Monitor and optimize
Making a process improvement plan is not a one-time event. It’s a continuous effort.
Even after you’ve made improvements to a process, ensure that employees follow the new process by closely monitoring the new process and its results. Should any bottlenecks or problems arise, work with your team to figure out how to get past them. Continuously improving your process ensures that the changes you made to your process last.
What process improvement methodology should you use?
A process improvement plan is only as effective as the methodologies used to carry it out. The key to choosing a process improvement methodology is recognizing the strength of each method and choosing the one that can help you improve your process.
Learn more about process improvement methodologies and decide which is best for your business.
Start your process improvement plan
In the business world, you should always be looking for better ways to work. By following the steps outlined above, you ensure the enhancements you make to your processes become a permanent part of your company.
Whatever process you’re looking to improve, Lucidchart has a template that can help you get started.
Which process improvement methodology should you use?
Struggling to decide which process improvement methodology to use? Learn about the top approaches—Six Sigma, Lean, TQM, Just-in-time, and others—and the diagrams that can help you implement these techniques starting today.
3 diagrams to make your processes more visual
To help you visualize processes, there are different types of visuals that are particularly helpful—in this blog post we talk about three.
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Business Process Improver
How to create a process improvement plan - complete guide.
How do you create a process improvement plan? A process improvement plan is essential for any company hoping to improve its processes and achieve more efficient operations.
Your business must have an effective process improvement plan in place because it helps you identify areas where improvements can be made and stay on track with those changes. In this article, we'll go through the steps involved in creating a process improvement plan and help you get started.
What Is A Process Improvement Plan?
A process improvement plan is a document that outlines the steps you need to take to improve your business processes. It focuses on how you can make changes in your current processes so that they are more efficient, effective, and productive.
A process improvement plan is similar to an action plan or a project plan in that it describes what needs to be done and how it will be done. However, unlike an action or project plan, which focuses on accomplishing specific tasks or projects, a process improvement plan focuses on improving the way you do things, cutting costs, increasing productivity, or improving customer satisfaction.
Process improvement plans are typically created during one of two situations when there has been a problem with your company's processes or when management decides to change its processes to improve efficiency or effectiveness.
Process improvement plans are essential for organizations that want to offer their customers better products faster. They allow organizations to create repeatable processes that can be improved over time, which leads to greater efficiency and happier customers. It is also a standard tool used by organizations to help them create better customer experiences and increase customer satisfaction.
Why Is Having A Process Improve Plan Important?
Creating a process improvement plan is vital for a business because:
1. Process Improvement Plan Helps You Identify Problems And Areas For Improvement
One of the essential benefits of having a process improvement plan is that it helps you identify problems and areas for improvement. When you first start, you need to know what sites are doing well and what areas could use some work so that you can focus on where your company is struggling.
Process improvement plans help companies identify these areas by providing an overview of what's happening in the business. It shows you how each step in your process works, who's responsible for it, and why it's crucial to your company's success. This information can be beneficial when determining whether or not something needs to change or if there are ways to improve upon it.
2. Process Improvement Plan Helps You Develop Solutions To Those Problems And Areas For Improvement
A process improvement plan is essential for your business because it helps you develop solutions to the problems and areas for improvement in your company.
Companies often use process improvement plans to find ways to improve their processes. A company's management team can use them, or an outside consultant may develop them. The process improvement plan is often a document that outlines what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, how it will be done, who will do it, and when it will happen. It also includes information about how much the project will cost and how long it will take to complete.
This will allow you to determine if any inefficiencies need to be fixed or if any red flags might indicate a particular process is not working as well as it could be.
3. Process Improvement Plan Helps You Set Goals And Measure Success Against Those Goals
Process improvement plans are important because they help you set goals and measure success against them.
When you create a plan, you're committing to do something. You don't just want to make the plan and not follow through. You want to follow through on the plan that you've made. Otherwise, why bother making it? But how will you know if you're succeeding or failing unless there's some measurement system in place?
A process improvement plan is a good way for businesses to keep track of their progress. The procedure helps them understand what needs improving, why it needs improving, and where they're going next. It's also a good way for businesses to communicate with their employees about their progress toward reaching their goals.
4. Process Improvement Plan Can Be Used To Develop Documentation That Can Be Shared With The Team
Having a process improvement plan in place is one of the best things you can do for your business. You can use it to improve your processes, and you can also use it as a way to make sure that everyone on your team knows what they need to be doing.
A process improvement plan is a document that outlines all of the steps involved in a particular process. It also explains how each step works together with the pus step and future steps to achieve success. Having this documentation is crucial because it allows you to explain how each step should be performed by each person on your team, which will ultimately improve efficiency throughout the company's workflow.
5. Process Improvement Plan Can Help Uncover Resources That Might Be Helpful In Achieving Your Goals
As we said before, process improvement plans help uncover resources that might help you achieve your goals. When you're writing a process improvement plan, you're essentially laying out what you need to do to accomplish your goal. And when doing that, it's essential to consider whether any resources would help make the process easier.
For example, if your goal is to improve customer service for your business, maybe there's a way for you to get some new software to make the customer service process easier for both customers and employees.
Or perhaps it's a matter of getting more training for employees so they can focus on providing better service. Either way, having a process improvement plan written down allows everyone involved with the project to see what needs to happen next. Whether or not any additional resources are needed along the way.
6. Process Improvement Plan Track Progress Made Towards Achieving Your Goals And Make Adjustments As Needed
A process improvement plan is vital in business because it allows you to track progress toward achieving your goals and make adjustments as needed. If you don't have a process improvement plan, it's tough to know whether or not your business is making any progress. You won't know whether your employees are actually doing their jobs or just showing up every day and pretending to work so that they get paid.
But when you have a process improvement plan in place, you'll be able to tell if things are going well by looking at the reports provided by your employees at the end of each month. These reports will show how much work was completed during that month and what percentage of tasks were completed on time.
You can use these numbers to make adjustments as needed. For example, if you find out that only 30% of jobs were completed on time one month, but 90% were completed on time the next month, then clearly, there's something wrong with how your team works together!
7. Process Improvement Plan Gives Your Team Members A Sense Of Ownership Over Their Work
You might think that process improvement plans don't do anything other than just improve your processes, but they serve an essential purpose for your team members. They give them a sense of ownership over their work. When you don't have a process improvement plan, employees may feel like they're just following orders and not contributing to the business.
But when you have a process improvement plan, you can make it clear that this is their plan. They came up with it together, and everyone had input into how it worked. This helps create a culture where everyone feels part of something bigger than themselves. It encourages them to work harder because they know their efforts make a difference!
8. Process Improvement Plan Keeps Everyone On Track
If you're like most business owners, you probably have a lot of things on your plate. And when it comes to running your business, it can be easy to lose track of what needs to get done, especially if you have multiple employees working for you.
Process improvement plans help keep everyone on track by providing a clear-cut list of steps to be completed for the project to move forward. This way, even if you don't have time to sit down and write out each step yourself (or if there aren't enough hours in the day), employees will still be able to refer back to their plans as needed and make sure they're doing everything correctly.
What Is Included In A Process Improvement Plan?
The following is a list of what can be included in a process improvement plan:
1. A Description Of The Current State Of The Process Being Improved
It is essential to include a description of the current state of the process being improved. It allows the reader to understand what they will be working with. This gives them an idea of what they are trying to accomplish and how they can do it.
This section aims to provide an overview of how things currently work to help you identify where improvements need to be made. The more detail you can provide about how things currently work and what problems you've experienced, the easier it will be for you to implement changes later.
2. An Assessment Of Strengths And Weaknesses In The Current Process
Assessing strengths and weaknesses in the current process is vital for a few reasons.
First, it gives you an idea of what needs to be improved. No matter how good your process is, there's always something that could be better. By identifying your current strategy's strengths and weaknesses, you can determine where improvements need to be made.
Second, it helps you identify areas that aren't being fulfilled by your current process. If there are areas where things are working well, but there are also some gaps in your system, then you know where you should focus your efforts on improving.
Finally, knowing what works well and what doesn't will help you determine how much time and effort should be spent on each part of the process. Knowing which parts need more attention than others means that your resources will be focused on the right things at the correct times so they're not wasted or misused!
3. The Steps Of The Improvement Process Plan
It is essential to include the steps of the improvement process plan in any document you create. People will be looking to you for guidance on how to carry out their work, and if they don't know where to start or what to do next, they might get frustrated and start making mistakes.
By including a list of steps, you can help them understand precisely what needs to happen next and how long it should take. This can keep everyone on track and ensure the project is completed successfully.
4. The Timeline For Each Step In The Plan
Including a timeline in the process improvement plan is crucial as it will help manage resources and reduce the risk of failure. A timeline will ensure that each step in the plan is completed before moving on to the next, which is crucial because it ensures that you don't miss any actions or forget about anything.
In addition to managing resources, a timeline helps reduce the risk of failure by ensuring that all of your strategies can be completed before moving on to the next stage. You also have time to make adjustments if something doesn't work out as expected or if something unexpected happens.
The timeline will also help you stay on track to meet your goals. Without a timeline, it's easy to lose track of where you are in the process and what needs to happen next.
You also need a timeline to ensure that all your stakeholders have been appropriately informed about when specific steps will take place and what they can expect as they move through each phase of the implementation period.
It's also important because if there are any delays or setbacks along the way, you'll want to know how long those delays will last to adjust accordingly.
5. Team Members
Team members are a crucial part of the process improvement plan. Without them, it would be impossible to implement the changes you want to see in your company. Your team members need to understand why they are being asked to change things and what they can expect in return. They also need to know they have a voice when deciding how their job changes.
This is especially true if you are working with people who have been doing their jobs for a long time or have been at your company for a long time. They may resist change because they don't want their work ethic questioned or think any changes will make their job more difficult.
You can help ease these fears by explaining why this process improvement plan will benefit everyone involved, including yourself and your company. By showing them how this new plan will improve efficiency and productivity, you can show them that it's not only good for them but also good for you and everyone else involved too!
A business process improvement plan is more than just a list of steps. It includes all the necessary resources and information to ensure a successful process.
You need to know how much time, money, and effort you will have to invest in your improvement plan. You also need to know what resources you'll need to complete the project. Whether it's new software or equipment or perhaps just some additional employees who can help with key parts of the project.
The more you know about what resources are needed before beginning a process improvement plan, the better equipped you will be to ensure it's thriving!
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are used to measure the success of a process. It helps you understand your business's performance and where you can improve. KPIs help determines whether your company is on track to meet its goals and objectives. If a KPI is not met, then it indicates that there may be an issue with how your process is implemented or managed.
KPIs are important because they help companies identify areas of improvement and measure them against goals set by management. Using KPIs, managers can see if their processes are effective at achieving desired outcomes.
How To Create A Process Improvement Plan in 7 Steps
1. map out the process.
This is the first step in making any improvement plan and the most important one. You need to see your process as a whole to identify where improvements can be made and which steps will be most effective to change.
To do this, first, take some time with your team members to map out all of the steps involved in your current process (or even just one step at a time). Make sure everyone understands what each step is responsible for, who's responsible for it, and what happens when it's done correctly.
2. Analyze Each Part Of The Process
A process that works well in one area may be flawed in another. When analyzing the process, you should consider how each step can be improved or modified and what is causing the problem. You may find multiple issues with different parts of the process, or you may discover one common problem at all stages of your process.
In this step, you will look at each part of your process and identify areas for improvement and potential solutions for those issues. It is important to note that this step is not limited to what is currently working within your business or organization. Instead, it also includes identifying areas where improvements may be needed based on past experiences and customer feedback.
3. Redesign The Process
In this step, you will redesign the process. This is where you'll start drafting and creating a new plan for handling the work, using your unique insights into what works and what doesn't. You can do this by making the process flow more smoothly, straightforwardly, and efficiently. You should also consider whether there are any unnecessary steps in the process. If so, remove them and make sure that no one misses out on anything by doing so.
This is because you want to ensure that your new process is as straightforward as possible, making it easier for people to follow it and complete their tasks successfully.
The first step in this process is identifying what needs changing, which can sometimes be difficult. It might help if you break down the problem into smaller pieces and prioritize them based on importance or impact on other areas of your company's operations, such as customer satisfaction or efficiency levels.
Once you've determined what needs changing, you'll need to examine each piece individually and decide how best to make those changes happen. Consider whether it would be better to make one significant change rather than multiple small ones. This will depend on your current situation as well as any regulatory requirements involved with making those types of changes (such as when dealing with regulations related to environmental issues).
Once again, it's essential that all decisions made during this stage align with company policies/guidelines. So everything meets regulatory requirements for successful implementation for future processes to continue running smoothly and improve.
4. Test The Process
Once you've developed your process improvement plan, it's time to test it. Testing involves implementing the new process and then evaluating how well it works. This helps you identify any issues before they become entrenched in your operations, saving time and money when fixing them later. It also allows you to find out what needs improvement so that you can make adjustments before rolling out the new process across an entire department or company.
5. Adjust And Communicate Changes
You may find that the changes you made are not enough to make a difference or that they were too drastic and caused more problems than they solved. Either way, it's essential to tweak your plan and ensure it's working for you before moving on to the next step in your improvement process.
At this point, it's also essential to communicate with your team members about how these changes affect them and how they can expect them to go forward from here on out. This is integral to ensuring everyone is on board with what needs to be done for success!
6. Implementation Of The Process
Implementation is the phase where you implement your plan and start seeing results. This can be challenging, but it's also necessary to achieve the benefits of process improvement. You'll need to ensure that everyone using your new process understands how to do so and that they're comfortable with any changes that may have occurred. This is also a good time to monitor how well your team performs with the new process and make adjustments if necessary.
7. Monitoring And Optimizing The Results
It's time to monitor your progress and see how well your plan works. Keep an eye on your metrics and make sure you're making progress toward your goals. You might want to revisit a few key areas of your plan to ensure everything is still going smoothly or adjust as needed.
If you're progressing on a particular goal, consider scaling up your efforts in that area. If things aren't going as well as you'd hoped, consider scaling back or adjusting your strategy accordingly. After all, this isn't just about setting up a new process. It's about improving how things are being done now so that they can be done better in the future!
Tips When Making A Process Improvement Plan
Here are tips for making a process improvement plan:
1. Avoid Over-Complicating The Problem
When making a process improvement plan, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the things that could go wrong. You might start thinking about all the items in your business that could be improved and start obsessing over all the possible ways that some of those changes might have negative consequences.
But there's no need to worry about every single thing at once! When making a process improvement plan, it's better to focus on one or two issues simultaneously (and then move on to another). That way, you can easily see what needs improvement and which parts of your plan work well. And if something doesn't work out? You can always try again later!
2. Be Thorough In Identifying The Root Cause Of The Issue
If you want to make a process improvement plan for your business, one of the most important things you can do is to thoroughly identify the root cause of the issue.
There are a few ways to do this, but the most important thing is to make sure that you can identify all factors contributing to the problem.
You might be able to narrow down the issue by using some type of brainstorming technique or by using some other method like a fishbone diagram.
3. Ensure Your Plan is Realistic And Achievable
When you're putting together a process improvement plan for your business, it's essential to ensure that the overall objective is realistic and achievable. You'll set yourself up for failure and disappointment if you don't. If your plan is too ambitious, then there's a good chance that it won't even be possible to accomplish what you've set out to do, and then people will lose faith in your ability to lead them.
If your plan isn't realistic or achievable, it will be better if you don't do it at all. When you're putting together an improvement plan, think about what needs to happen and how much time it will take before deciding whether or not it's worth pursuing.
4. Make Sure Your Plan Is Specific Enough To Be Implemented And Evaluated
The fourth tip to help you create a process improvement plan is to make sure your plan is specific enough to be implemented and evaluated.
This is an essential step because it helps ensure that your process improvement plan can be implemented and allows you to evaluate whether or not the changes in your process have the desired effect.
When creating a process improvement plan, it's important to remember that you want your plan to be as specific as possible. For example, if you say that "the goal of this project is for us to improve our customer service," that's not very specific. Instead, try saying something like, "the goal of this project is for us to increase customer satisfaction by 10% by eliminating wait times in our call center." That way, you can measure whether or not the change has been successful, which makes it easier for you to figure out what went wrong (or right) in the future!
5. Don't Forget About The People Who Are Implementing Your Improvement Plan!
This is one of the most important tips when making a process improvement plan for a business.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised at how easy it is to neglect the people who are going to be responsible for implementing your process improvement plan. This can have disastrous consequences on your project's success, so it's vital to ensure that you don't leave anyone out of the loop.
If you do this, you might end up with a group of employees who are frustrated or confused by their new responsibilities and tasks. They'll feel like they have been left out of the decision-making process, making them less willing to accept change and more likely to resist it.
You must ensure that everyone involved in implementing your plan is on board, knows what they're doing, and is given the tools they need to succeed. This includes giving them proper training to ensure they have access to necessary resources (like supplies) to get their jobs done.
It's also essential that you communicate with these employees regularly. Both before and after implementing your improvement plan. Let them know how things are going and if there are any issues or problems with what they're doing.
6. Keep It Simple!
The more complicated you make your process improvement plan, the harder it will be to implement. This is especially true if you're working with a large group of people and need multiple departments to get involved. If this is the case for your company, try breaking the work into smaller pieces.
If you can't break things down into smaller pieces or if there's not enough time in the day, try simplifying your language and format using bullet points instead of paragraphs and simple graphics instead of complex diagrams.
7. Don't Rush Through The Whole Process
There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you're trying to make a process improvement plan for your business. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is rushing through the whole process. It's easy to get caught up in all the excitement, but if you rush through it, you'll miss important details, which means that when it comes time for implementation, things will go wrong, and everything will be ruined.
Don't let this happen to you! It's essential to take your time and consider what you're doing. You want to make sure that you've considered all of the relevant factors to your process and considered all the potential improvements that might be available to develop a plan that works for your business.
What Are The Challenges In Creating A Process Improvement Plan?
It is vital to create a process improvement plan for business. The benefits of this include increased productivity, greater efficiency, and lower costs. However, many challenges can make it difficult to create an effective plan.
The first challenge is the lack of adequate resources. Many companies do not have the necessary funds or personnel to implement their plan, which can lead to problems later on down the road.
Another common challenge is understanding how long it will take to complete each step of your plan, especially if you have never done this type of work before. You need to accurately estimate how long each section will take so that you don't get behind schedule or miss important deadlines.
Another challenge is time management. If you don't have enough time to work on the project, then it's unlikely that any progress will be made! In addition, if you don't manage your time well.
It will be difficult to complete any tasks within a reasonable timeframe will be difficult. This can lead to frustration, which can cause stress levels to rise within an organization, so it's crucial not only for individuals but teams working together on projects like these too!
The final challenge is finding qualified employees willing to help with this project. You may want to hire someone who has experience with improving processes before so they can provide valuable insight into what worked well in previous projects and what didn't work so well either way. However, if not, just make sure whoever does sign up for this task knows what's expected from them beforehand, so there aren't any surprises later down the road either!
How To Create A Process Improvement Plan - Complete Guide - Conclusion
Process improvement is a process that should be embraced by any organization that wants to succeed in the long run. Many strategies need improvement, so there's no "one-size-fits-all" approach to creating one.
But if you follow the guidelines we've outlined here, you'll be able to create a process improvement plan that will work for your organization. It takes time, effort, and patience, but you can make it happen with the proper guidance and tools.
How to Write a Process Improvement Plan
How To Create A Process Improvement Plan - Complete Guide - Recommended Reading
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The Easy Guide to Business Process Management
Business process management (BPM) is an effective strategy for improving efficiency, streamlining operations, and achieving strategic goals. In this easy guide, we’ll explore what is business process management, its various types, essential process steps, templates, the wide-ranging benefits it delivers and more. Better understand, implement, and leverage the power of BPM to optimize your business operations. Let’s get started!
What is Business Process Management (BPM)?
What is a business process management strategy, different types of bpm, business process management lifecycle, business process management templates, why is bpm important, business process management best practices, business process management vs project management, business process automation vs business process management, how to use creately to manage your business processes.
Business process management, or BPM for short, is a structured approach that organizations use to improve and optimize their operations. It serves as a set of guidelines and tools to systematically improve and streamline the way they conduct their business activities.
It involves analyzing, documenting, automating, and continuously refining these processes to improve efficiency, quality, and overall performance. BPM helps businesses align their operations with strategic goals and adapt to changing market conditions.
What’s particularly important about BPM is that it’s not a one-time effort; it’s a continuous cycle. Businesses employ it to make sure that they are consistently optimizing their processes.
A BPM strategy is a plan that an organization creates to effectively manage and improve its business processes. It involves defining the goals and objectives related to process improvement, outlining the steps to achieve those goals, and specifying the tools, technologies, and methodologies to be used.
A well-defined BPM strategy acts as a roadmap for the organization to improve its operations, become more competitive, and adapt to changing business environments. It guides the entire BPM lifecycle from initial analysis to continuous improvement.
There are several types of business process management, each with its own focus and purpose. Organizations can choose one or a combination of these BPM types based on their specific needs and the nature of their business processes. The goal is to align BPM with the organization’s goals and improve operational efficiency.
Process-centric BPM : This approach focuses on optimizing and managing individual business processes. It involves defining, modeling, and improving processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Human-centric BPM : This BPM type emphasizes the role of people in processes. It focuses on how individuals interact with systems and each other to complete tasks, in order to improve their productivity and satisfaction.
Integration-centric BPM : This type of BPM concentrates on integrating different systems and applications within an organization to create seamless end-to-end processes. It’s especially useful in managing complex workflows and data exchange.
Document-centric BPM : This type is all about the handling and management of documents and content within business processes. It simplifies document creation, approval, storage, and retrieval.
The BPM lifecycle refers to the stages involved in managing and improving business processes. It’s a continuous cycle aimed at achieving efficiency and effectiveness. The Business Process Management Life Cycle typically consists 5 stages as follow:
In the “Design” phase of the BPM lifecycle, organizations begin by identifying the specific processes that require improvement. This phase involves carefully mapping out the current state of these processes, including how tasks are currently performed and who is responsible for each step. Make sure to set clear objectives for the process improvement effort, ensuring that these objectives align with the broader strategic goals of the organization.
In this stage, create visual representations of the processes you want to improve. These representations can take the form of flowcharts, diagrams, or process maps.
The primary purpose is to visualize the structure and logic of the process. Stakeholders then analyze these models to identify potential bottlenecks, redundancies, or areas for improvements. Before implementing changes, organizations can use simulation tools to test various scenarios and analyze the impact.
This phase involves putting the designed and modeled processes into practice. You can do this manually, with employees following newly defined procedures, or with technology and automation tools. During this phase, employees need to be properly trained to make sure that they can execute the new processes correctly.
Here organizations continuously monitor the performance of their processes. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and relevant metrics can be set up to measure process performance. To make sure the processes are working properly, collect and assess data regularly. You can also make use of advanced BPM systems which provide real-time monitoring capabilities, to intervene right away in case of delays or issues.
During the “Optimize” phase, organizations analyze the data collected during the monitoring phase to identify areas for improvements. This analysis may include examining process efficiency, cycle times, error rates, and other relevant data. As a result, organizations make necessary changes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their processes.
This could involve streamlining tasks, reducing bottlenecks, automating to eliminate manual work, or other improvements. Typically, the optimization phase leads back to the design phase, creating a feedback loop where insights from ongoing monitoring inform further process refinements.
BPM templates are pre-designed documents that can be customized to suit your specific BPM needs. Here are some examples of BPM templates that you can edit and use right away.
Business process modeling (BPMN)
Visual representations of how a process flows, often created using business process model and notation symbols.
Used to display the steps and decision points in a process, showing the flow of activities and responsibilities of different individuals or departments within the process.
Value stream maps
Value stream maps highlight the value-adding and non-value-adding steps within a process, helping to identify areas for improvement.
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Template
Standard operating procedures are predefined formats for documenting step-by-step instructions for performing tasks or processes.
Simple lists of items or tasks that need to be completed as part of a process.
Root cause analysis templates
Tools such as fishbone diagrams or the “5 Whys” technique to identify the root causes of problems within a process.
Risk assessment template
Formats for evaluating and documenting potential risks associated with a process.
Benefits of BPM contribute to overall organizational success and growth. Some of the benefits include;
Increased efficiency : Business process management helps organizations to streamline their processes, eliminating unnecessary steps and reducing errors. This leads to increased efficiency, cost savings, and quicker task completion.
Consistency and quality : It helps maintain consistent standards and quality in business operations. Standardized processes ensure that products and services meet or exceed customer expectations.
Adaptability : BPM helps organizations to be more agile and responsive to changing market conditions and customer needs. They can quickly adjust processes to stay competitive.
Visibility and control : BPM gives you a clear picture of how your processes are doing. It allows organizations to monitor progress, identify bottlenecks, and make data-driven decisions.
Compliance : Many industries have strict regulatory requirements. BPM helps make sure that processes comply with these regulations, reducing the risk of penalties and legal issues.
Cost savings : By optimizing processes, BPM can significantly reduce operational costs. It minimizes resource wastage, making operations more cost-effective.
Customer satisfaction : Efficient processes mean faster service delivery and higher customer satisfaction. Happy customers are more likely to remain loyal and recommend the business to others.
Risk management : BPM can identify potential risks in processes and help create strategies to mitigate them, reducing the likelihood of business disruptions.
Use these BPM best practices to create a structured approach to improving and managing business processes, helping organizations operate more efficiently and effectively over time.
Set clear goals : When you start any BPM effort, it’s essential to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Whether it’s making a process faster, reducing errors, or cutting costs, having specific goals helps keep everyone on the same page and motivated to improve.
Involve everyone : Processes often involve many people, from the ones who do the work to the managers who oversee it. By including everyone in the conversation, you benefit from their insights and expertise. They know the process inside out and might have valuable suggestions for making it better.
Write it down : Documenting a process means putting down on paper how it’s currently done. This can be in the form of flowcharts, diagrams, or written procedures. It makes the process clear and helps people understand it better, making it easier to identify areas for improvement.
Use the right tools : There are various software and tools available for managing processes, often referred to as BPM software . These tools can automate tasks, track progress, and provide a central place for everyone to work on the process.
Listen to feedback : People who work with the process might notice things that can be improved. Encouraging them to share their ideas and concerns creates a culture of improvement.
Train and manage change : When you make changes to a process, it’s important to teach everyone how to work with the new way of doing things. This training makes sure that everyone can use the improved process effectively. Additionally, managing change is about helping people adapt to the new way of working and addressing any concerns they might have.
Learn from data : The process data you collect gives valuable insights into what’s working and what’s not. It serves as a roadmap that shows you where to make improvements. Using this data, you can make informed decisions to improve the process continually.
Business process management and project management serve different purposes in business operations. BPM focuses on improving ongoing, day-to-day processes that are important for the organization’s functioning, aiming to make them more efficient and effective continuously.
On the other hand, project management deals with handling specific, time-bound projects with defined goals and resources, which need to be completed within specified deadlines. In essence, BPM is about refining regular work, while project management is about achieving particular tasks with set objectives. To maintain operational excellence and accomplish project goals, organizations often use both approaches.
Business process automation and business process management are two related but different concepts. BPA is all about using technology to automate specific tasks within a process, like data entry or document processing, to make them faster and more accurate. In contrast, BPM is a broader approach focused on improving whole processes from start to finish. It considers everything in a process, including technology, people, and the way things are done. The goal of BPM is to make processes work better overall, making sure they’re efficient, effective, and aligned with an organization’s goals. Often, businesses use BPA to automate parts of their BPM efforts.
Using an online visual collaboration and diagramming platform like Creately can help greatly improve your BPM efforts. Here’s how you can use Creately to improve BPM:
Process mapping : Start by creating visual representations of your processes. Creately offers extensive shape libraries and pre-made templates and tools to design flowcharts, swimlane diagrams, and process maps. This helps you document and communicate how processes work easily.
Collaborate with stakeholders : Creately is designed for teamwork. Collaborate with colleagues, process owners, and stakeholders in real-time with multi-user editing, synced previews, and commenting. They can provide insights, feedback, and suggestions, making it a collective effort.
Standardization : Use Creately to develop standard templates and guidelines for process documentation . This ensures consistency across your BPM initiatives.
Brainstorming : Conduct brainstorming sessions to identify process bottlenecks and improvement opportunities. Creately’s whiteboard capabilities, freehand drawing, visual brainstorming tools and sticky notes are useful for this. You can also use Creately’s Microsoft Teams integration to connect with participants and conduct the brainstorming session without leaving the meeting platform.
KPI tracking : Create visual dashboards and charts to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) related to your processes. Bring in data from external sources and visualize them on the canvas with meaningful shapes.
Collaborative documentation : Store all process documentation in one place within Creately with integrated notes. It serves as a central repository for process information, making it easily accessible for everyone involved.
Now that you know what is business process management, it’s time to put this knowledge into action. BPM is a key to making your organization work better, and it’s a journey of continuous improvement. By using BPM techniques and tools, you can streamline your processes, save time, and become more efficient.
Join over thousands of organizations that use Creately to brainstorm, plan, analyze, and execute their projects successfully.
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Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Creately, online diagramming and collaboration tool. She is an avid reader, a budding writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.
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Top 7 Improvement Plan Templates with Examples and Samples
An improvement plan is a strategic framework organizations employ to enhance operational efficiency, productivity, and overall performance. It involves identifying areas of weakness or inefficiency within the existing processes, systems, or products and implementing targeted strategies to address these shortcomings. Companies can outline the steps necessary to achieve desired outcomes by conducting a thorough analysis and setting measurable goals.
A well-structured business improvement plan encompasses clear objectives, resource allocation, timeline establishment, and continuous monitoring to gauge progress and make necessary adjustments.
An example of a brand that executed a successful improvement plan is Starbucks. In 2008, facing declining sales and economic challenges, it devised a comprehensive improvement strategy that included store closures, reevaluation of product offerings, and heightened focus on customer experience. This initiative not only revitalized the brand's market presence but also underscored the significance of a thoughtfully crafted improvement plan in achieving sustained growth and relevance.
If you are responsible for drafting a strategic improvement plan for your company or are a business consultant looking for helpful resources to assist you in delivering top-notch services to clients, we offer the best solution for you – Improvement Plan Templates.
Sample Performance Improvement Plan Improvement Plan Templates
This blog will walk you through the most popular templates that global organizations use to enhance the organization's overall productivity. It includes PowerPoint Templates for:
- Performance Improvement Plan
- Continuous Improvement Plan
- Process Improvement Plan
The best part is that the 100% customizable nature of the templates provides you with the flexibility to edit your presentations. The content-ready slides give you the much-needed structure.
Template 1: Performance Improvement Plan Template
This PowerPoint Deck is your all-in-one solution to drive organizational growth. Crafted for seasoned strategists and consultants, this comprehensive template empowers you to draft actionable performance improvement plans easily. Using this resource, you can outline objectives, allocate resources, and establish clear timelines for measurable results. It also includes pre-designed slides for progress checkpoints and f ollow-up updates. Use this presentation template to elevate your company's efficiency or confidently provide exceptional consulting services. Download it now!
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Template 2: Improvement Plan Template
Presenting an exceptional sample of our Improvement Plan Template, designed to empower HR professionals in cultivating a streamlined workforce. This all-inclusive resource is tailored to elevate employee performance by encompassing crucial themes such as the four-stage process, the renowned PDCA Cycle , and comprehensive assessment criteria. Equipped with essential checklists, precise timelines , and a strategic training plan ,use this template facilitates the seamless presentation of your initiatives. Download today!
Template 3: Continuous Improvement Plan Template
Craft compelling presentations that showcase your continuous improvement strategies, complete with insightful data, performance metrics, and iterative models . Equip your team with the tools needed to embrace change and drive progress. It includes improvement plan slides for software processes, a six-month plan, continuous improvement action plans, a timeline, key advantages, and more. Filled with themed graphics, this presentation template is an easy-to-understand layout to communicate the essential components of your plan. Get it today!
Template 4: Performance Improvement Plan Template
This comprehensive solution is designed to guide you through every step of the enhancement plan of your process. With user-friendly action plan tables , you can precisely outline your strategies and allocate responsibilitie s. Assess your current and expected performance metrics to clearly define your goals. Use the provided resources to ensure that every action step is well-informed and supported. Deadlines are set with precision to keep your improvement journey on track. And as progress unfolds, our template ensures consistent review mechanisms are in place to refine your strategies. Download today!
Template 5: Process Improvement Plan Template
Presenting an all-in-one template that contains comprehensive slides for:
- Call Centres Process Improvement Plan
- Manufacturing Process Improvement Plan
- Project Management Improvement Plan
- Business Process Improvement Plan
- Customer Support Process Improvement Plan
All the plans are complete with well-structured tables and visual graphics to present components like gaps that slow progress and solutions, quality control, monitoring and review, mind maps, methodologies, and more. Download this PPT Bundle now to create the most cost-effective process improvement plan for your business.
Template 6: Business Process Improvement Plan Timeline Template
Streamline your improvement journey using these visually appealing PPT Template timelines that map out every phase of your strategy. From analysis to execution, this template ensures a clear roadmap, making complex processes easy to comprehend. It includes six sections that help you display the task, duration, start date, finish date, completion status, and task owners. Download this slide now and ensure that every team member is aware of the allotted task details.
Template 7: Quarterly QA Continuous Improvement & Planning Roadmap
Ensure hitting all the milestones within the deadline with this Quality Improvement Plan roadmap covering four stages: Planning, implementation, monitoring and review, and improvement. Minimize time lag and increase work efficiency by providing insight into the process with our research roadmap PowerPoint Layout. Color coding helps in highlighting the process and grabs the attention of the audience. Download now!
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Progress with Precision
Management guru Peter Drucker wisely said, "Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately translate into hard work." At every step, an improvement plan fuels our hard work, propelling us toward excellence. Unlock the power of strategic enhancement today – download SlideTeam's feature-packed templates and boost your business performance in the most cost-efficient and effective manner. Your success story begins here.
PS. If you are looking for Risk Assessment Matrix Templates, here’s a handy guide with the most popular templates with samples and examples.
FAQs on an Improvement Plan
What is a performance improvement plan.
A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is a structured strategy designed to help employees enhance their job performance. It is typically initiated when an employee's work falls below expected standards or requires improvement in specific areas. The PIP outlines clear objectives, actionable steps, and a timeline for improvement, allowing the employee and their manager to work collaboratively toward achieving the desired performance level.
How do you write an improvement plan?
Writing an improvement plan involves several key steps:
Assessment: Identify specific areas where improvement is needed, based on performance data and feedback.
Setting Objectives: Clearly define the goals and expectations for improvement, making them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
Actionable Steps: Outline the actionable measures and tasks required to achieve the objectives, including any necessary resources or training.
Timeline: Establish a realistic timeline for achieving each objective and completing the required tasks.
Responsibilities: Clearly define who is responsible for each action and task.
Monitoring and Review: Specify how progress will be monitored and how regular check-ins or reviews will be conducted.
Support: Identify any additional support or resources that the employee may need to succeed.
What are the important aspects of an improvement plan?
An effective improvement plan should encompass the following aspects:
Clear Objectives: Well-defined, achievable goals that guide the improvement process.
Actionable Steps: Specific tasks and actions required to achieve the objectives.
Responsibilities: Clearly outlined roles and responsibilities for both the employee and the manager.
Timelines: Realistic timelines for completing tasks and achieving objectives.
Measurement and Metrics: Clear indicators to measure progress and success.
Support and Resources: Provision of necessary resources, training, and support to facilitate improvement.
Communication: Open lines of communication for feedback, questions, and updates.
Review and Feedback: Scheduled review points to assess progress and provide feedback.
What are the three areas of improvement?
The three areas of improvement can vary depending on the context, but they often include:
Skills Enhancement: Developing or refining specific job-related skills, such as technical proficiency, communication, or problem-solving abilities.
Performance Efficiency: Increasing productivity, accuracy, and overall efficiency in executing tasks and responsibilities.
Behavioral Growth: Addressing interpersonal aspects, such as teamwork, adaptability, and time management that contributes to job effectiveness.
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Home Blog Business How to Create Process Improvement Plan: A Guide to Optimizing Business Procedures
How to Create Process Improvement Plan: A Guide to Optimizing Business Procedures
When you run a business, staying ahead of the curve is not just a goal but a necessity. Technologies improve. Market conditions shift. Customer preferences change. Businesses that fail to keep up with these changes risk falling behind their competitors or, even worse, closing down.
That’s why every organization, no matter how well their business is running, must proactively seek opportunities for process improvement to adapt to changing times.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Working with a Process Improvement Plan
Common methodologies of process improvement, how to make a process improvement plan, what is a process improvement plan.
Ingrained processes may become comfortable and familiar, but they can hinder growth and efficiency without regular assessment and optimization. A Process Improvement Plan (PIP) helps in this regard by providing a structured approach to analyzing, optimizing, and refining existing organizational processes.
Whether it’s a manufacturing procedure or a customer service workflow, a PIP provides a systematic framework to identify areas that need enhancement and implement changes to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.
Process improvement is part of the monitoring phase of the project management lifecycle . Project managers and teams monitor project progress, performance, and key metrics. Process improvement initiatives may be initiated to enhance project outcomes if any inefficiencies or bottlenecks are identified during monitoring.
A well-executed PIP offers numerous advantages, including:
- Enhanced Efficiency: Identifying and rectifying inefficiencies leads to optimized workflows and reduced operational waste.
- Improved Quality: Streamlined processes result in higher-quality outputs and fewer errors.
- Increased Productivity: With streamlined workflows, teams can focus on value-adding tasks, leading to increased productivity.
- Cost Savings: Process improvements spot broken procedures that can have significant financial implications, ultimately positively impacting the organization’s bottom line.
Process improvement relies on methodologies to provide guided approaches and tools for identifying inefficiencies and achieving desired outcomes. While project management methodologies focus on successfully delivering specific projects, process improvement methodologies are designed to enhance ongoing operations within an organization. These two methodologies serve distinct purposes but can complement each other to drive overall business success.
Here are the most commonly used process improvement methodologies:
1. Six Sigma DMAIC Process
DMAIC is a widely embraced and structured process improvement methodology that is a key component of the Six Sigma approach. It is an evolution of the PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle that presents a systematic roadmap adaptable to any organization seeking “incremental improvements” on existing processes to attain superior quality and predictable outcomes.
DMAIC has five phases and stands for:
- Define the problem or opportunity for improvement.
- Measure the current performance of a given process.
- Analyze the underlying causes of problems and inefficiencies.
- Improve processes to address the root causes of the problem.
- Control improved processes by implementing the measurement plan.
The keyword in DMAIC is “incremental improvement.” While DMAIC is an effective methodology for continuous improvement and optimizing existing processes, it may not be the best fit for projects that require radical or exponential improvements or when designing entirely new processes.
Let’s see an example of this tool by using this case study: SoftTec, a software development company, is looking to improve the situation of one of its projects. One web application they created frequently experiences performance issues and crashes during peak user times, which in turn delivers a poor user experience.
- Reduce application crashes by 70% during peak hours.
- Improve the average response time by at least 40% during those peak hours.
- Enhance the overall user satisfaction based on surveys.
- List down the number of app crashes during the defined time slot per week.
- Measure the avg. response time during those peak hours per week.
- Insufficient server resources to handle the user demand during peak hours.
- Inefficient database queries (human error or lack of knowledge).
- Code bottlenecks or suboptimal algorithms.
- Upgrade the server infrastructure to handle increased traffic during peak hours.
- Optimize the database queries to speed up data retrieval.
- Implement code reviews and performance actions into critical parts of the process.
- Implement real-time monitoring of the performance metrics.
- Foster a culture of continuous education for the Development team.
Organizations often turn to the modified DMADV (Define—Measure—Analyze—Design—Verify) methodology for scenarios that demand significant breakthroughs, also known as DFSS (Design for Six Sigma).
2. Improvement Kata
Mike Rother introduced The Improvement Kata concept in his book “ Toyota Kata .” Drawing inspiration from the continuous improvement practices of the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, Rother adapted and extended these principles to help organizations embrace a culture of lean production.
The Improvement Kata emphasizes the development of habits and “muscle memory” that foster a mindset of continuous improvement throughout the organization. It is not just about the “systematic pursuit of desired conditions”; instead, it seeks to instill a way of thinking that empowers employees to think more openly, experiment, and constantly seek better solutions.
This improvement methodology has four steps:
- Understand the distant direction (vision) to be achieved
- Grasp the current condition
- Establish the NEXT target condition (time-specific goal beyond your current knowledge limit)
- Experiment against obstacles to achieve the target condition
3. Total Quality Management (TQM)
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management method born from a belief that pursuing quality should be an ongoing and cooperative effort involving everyone in an organization, from top management to the lowest-level employees and customers. It’s an evolution of various quality management approaches from Walter A. Shewhart and W. Edwards Deming, bringing together the best practices from each methodology.
The fundamental principles of Total Quality Management include:
- Customer Focus: Understand and meet customer requirements and put them at the center of all activities.
- Employee Involvement: Encourage active participation from employees in problem-solving, decision-making, and process improvement initiatives.
- Process-centered: Create well-defined and well-managed processes to ensure consistency and quality in the final output.
- Integrated Systems: Processes and functions within an organization should be interconnected and aligned toward the common goal, avoiding silos and focusing on collaboration.
- Systematic approach: Use a methodical approach to managing quality to achieve goals.
- Data-Driven Decision-Making: Eliminate guesswork and use data to ensure that quantifiable facts back decisions.
- Communication : Implement transparent communication channels within the organization to help disseminate information about quality goals, progress, and changes effectively.
- Continues Improvement: Promote the idea of the ongoing pursuit of process improvement to meet or exceed customer expectations.
While distinct in their approaches, process improvement methodologies share some common activities and principles. These activities reflect the core elements necessary to drive successful process improvement initiatives.
In this section, let’s zero in on the shared steps you can take to build an effective process improvement plan.
1. Select a Specific Process to Improve
It’s important to take a healthy dose of changes within an organization. As the famous proverb says, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Trying to implement abrupt and multiple changes within your activities may cause multiple problems, like spreading resources thinly and overwhelming your employees.
Focus on one process that has strategic significance within your organization. By selecting a specific process to improve, you can concentrate your efforts, resources, and attention, increasing the likelihood of success.
Think about the following when considering processes that need improvement:
- Which process is the most critical to the business?
- Which process offers quick wins or immediate benefits?
- Which process is causing the most significant challenges or bottlenecks?
You may use a simple prioritization matrix to determine which process improvement to focus on first.
Let’s assume you are a manager of a grocery delivery service, and you want to improve your overall customer satisfaction rate. You have identified four processes that require improvement:
Based on the prioritization matrix, it’s clear that the “Delivery Time and Efficiency” process should be the first area of improvement to focus on. Improving delivery speed and efficiency can immediately impact customer satisfaction, leading to higher retention rates and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
2. Set Goals
A project without a clear goal is often the worst kind of project. When there is no well-defined scope and set objectives, such projects encounter numerous challenges and setbacks, making measuring progress and success difficult.
It would help to follow the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) formula when setting the end goal of your process improvement endeavor. This will help establish metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to quantify the results of the improvement efforts.
In our grocery delivery service example, the goal could be a 90% reduction in failed delivery attempts within the next two months.
3. Map the Current Process
The next step is to understand how the current workflow operates. Collaborating with the team members is paramount to gathering insights and details about each step, including the common pain points encountered.
Create a flowchart or process map that illustrates the sequence of activities, decision points, and interactions involved in the process. Then, analyze the process map to identify bottlenecks or areas where delays occur.
Here’s a possible flowchart for the grocery delivery service example.
As you can see, a delay in delivery may arise when the receiver of the parcel is not at home. A second delivery attempt constitutes additional expenses for the company, like fuel expenses.
4. Redesign the Process and Allocate Resources
After mapping the process and identifying areas that require improvement, the next step in the process improvement journey is to redesign the process. It involves making intentional changes to the existing workflow to eliminate inefficiencies.
You may consider several solutions. However, weighing your options concerning the resources you are willing to allocate is important. Consider the potential return on investment (ROI) for each solution.
In our example, the grocery delivery service may ask customers upon checkout to select a delivery date based on a fixed time window that suits their convenience. This may require several technologies, like a time slot management system. Still, it offers cost-saving benefits such as reduced delivery fleet downtime, optimally filling delivery vehicles, and reducing failed delivery attempts.
5. Test the Redesigned Process
Testing is a crucial step before implementing any process improvement plan. This step will ensure that the proposed changes deliver the desired outcomes without causing unintended negative consequences.
Test the process improvements on a small scale involving the end-users, and collect feedback. Use the data you gather to make additional changes to the plan.
Going back to the grocery delivery service, they may select a specific geographic area or a small group of customers to participate in the pilot test of the time slot management system. This allows for a controlled and focused testing environment.
6. Present and Implement
It’s time to introduce the process improvement plan and implement the changes to the stakeholders. At this stage, the organization should ensure alignment of expectations with the team members so everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. Provide training when necessary. Additionally, securing buy-in and approval from key decision-makers is essential for a successful implementation.
Using the ADKAR Model presentation can address the key elements of introducing and implementing the process improvement plan. It focuses on individual change management and helps stakeholders understand and embrace the proposed changes.
7. Monitor and Iterate
Finally, keep looking for opportunities to optimize your workflow. As mentioned, improving your processes is an ongoing activity. So, keep assessing the performance of the redesigned process, gathering feedback, and making further improvements to enhance its effectiveness and efficiency.
Process improvement is not just an option but a necessity for organizations to stay competitive and relevant. This vital practice elevates efficiency, eliminates ineffective procedures, and reduces costs. Use the methodologies and tools we discussed in this article to systematically analyze your processes and navigate them toward the path of success.
1. Process Improvement 9 Steps Circular Diagram Template
By working with this TQM (Total Quality Management) slide deck, your organization can showcase the entire process that aligns all workgroups, regardless of their hierarchy, toward the same goal: continuous improvement. Meet the customer requirements as the core step in your organization, and then work through the 9 steps shown in this slide systematically and pursue a data-driven decision-making model. This presentation slide is ideal for introducing new employees to the methodology or innovating within your organization regarding process improvement methodologies.
Use This Template
2. Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) PowerPoint Template
Create powerful process improvement plans by implementing the Six Sigma DMAIC model into your organization. With a mapped layout in the first slide of this slide deck, you can go into detail by covering each phase, listing steps and tools required for its completion.
3. Six Sigma Process Improvement Plan Template for PowerPoint
Present all the stages required to accomplish a Six Sigma Process in your Process Improvement Plan Presentation. An ideal slide deck to coach new personnel into the Six Sigma methodology, with a very clear layout that helps us focus only on the key details of each stage of the process.
4. Process Improvement Action Plan PowerPoint Diagram Template
Working with an Action Plan Template for PowerPoint is an ideal measure to implement Process Improvement Strategies. 6 placeholder areas with vivid handmade illustrations make this template apt to motivate any team to push toward new horizons.
5. COBIT 7 Phases PowerPoint Diagram
A Control Objectives for Information and Relevant Technology diagram is a tool used in IT to optimize organizational practices. Companies can use the 7-phases in this diagram to evaluate quality control and reliability tactics.
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Process improvement plan made simple: templates and examples
Not every process in the IT industry is perfect, but there is room for improvement! But how to simultaneously alter so many interwoven operations impacting finances, people, and project management while improving operational efficiency? Here’s a universal recipe for a process improvement plan for the IT industry.
Table of contents
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What is a process improvement plan? Definition
A process improvement plan is a systematic and strategic approach to identifing, analyzing, and optimizing any existing process to achieve better outcomes in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, quality, and customer satisfaction.
What is included in the process improvement plan?
A process improvement plan requires a structured and data-driven approach to identify areas of improvement, set goals and objectives, implement changes, and monitor and measure the effectiveness of the improvements over time. Thanks to in-depth analysis involving all of these factors, it can help the project management team identify inefficient processes and create process improvement plans for the company's competitive advantage.
Which processes can be enhanced thanks to a process improvement plan?
Both existing business processes and new operations can benefit from the process improvement. However, in the case of a new process, a continuous improvement plan should be created before the operation even starts to ensure the maximum process performance.
Why is process improvement plan so important?
Process improvement plans are crucial for IT companies because they help to streamline business operations, increase resource efficiency, and optimize productivity. With the rapid pace of technological advancements, IT companies must constantly adapt to stay ahead of the competition and ensure that current processes are still relevant and profitable. An effective process improvement plan can help identify improvement areas and ensure resource efficiency both in the current process and in their new counterparts.
Additionally, process improvement plans are also largely popular among the employees, as they also improve employee satisfaction, transparent workflow and employee engagement and allow project manager to gather feedback and use it to manage specific tasks and operations, as well as weak points and advantages of any ongoing process.
Moreover, many organizations deal with a wide range of complex business processes that require multiple teams and departments to work together seamlessly. The process improvement team can add even more value to the mix. Without their help, it can be difficult to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals while ensuring process efficiency in new and existing processes.
Process improvement plan also helps IT companies to identify and address potential risks and issues before they become major problems. By implementing regular and ongoing processes and reviews, IT companies can detect and correct problems early, minimizing downtime and ensuring that systems and processes run optimally.
Improved customer satisfaction
Ultimately, a process improvement plan can help IT companies to increase customer satisfaction by perfecting the execution stage of any ongoing process and delivering products and services that meet or exceed customer expectations. This can lead to more efficient operations, increased resource efficiency, increased loyalty of relevant stakeholders and customers, improved brand reputation, and greater success in the marketplace.
Process improvement plan step by step
A comprehensive process improvement plan typically includes the following components:
1. Assessment and analysis
This step involves evaluating the current state of the process of choice, identifying bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement.
Usually, this part of the process involves:
- conducting data analysis based on statistics and document defining the state of the project,
- process mapping,
- value stream mapping,
and other tools to gather quantitative and qualitative data about the process.
In short, the objective of this process stage is simple: to acquire enough information about the business process to find the root cause of its problems.
2. Choosing goals
Once the areas for improvement are identified, specific and measurable goals and objectives are set for the business process. These goals should be:
- aligned with the overall strategic objectives of the organization,
- achievable in the specified time for the improvement,
- relevant for a part of a business or the company as a whole,
- time-bound to ensure the work takes only a short time.
What if goals for my business processes are unclear?
Should you have any problems specifying your goals at this stage, we highly recommend using the SMART method for setting goals and objectives for the improvement plan.
By the end of this stage, you should have a list of up to 5 goals you want to achieve by improving the business process of choice.
3. Action planning
In this step, a detailed plan is developed to implement the improvements. This may include:
- defining tasks,
- assigning responsibilities,
- setting deadlines,
- allocating resources.
The plan should also consider potential risks and challenges and have contingency plans in place.
During this stage of process improvements, the alterations identified in the action plan are put into practice to make significant process improvements. This may involve:
- making changes to processes,
- updating procedures,
- training employees,
- implementing new technologies or tools.
The implementation process should be closely monitored to ensure that the changes are effectively carried out and that the business process is running smoothly.
5. Monitoring and measurement
After the changes are implemented, the process improvement plan includes monitoring and measuring the performance of the improved process. This may involve collecting data, using key performance indicators (KPIs), and comparing the actual results with the set goals. Any variances should be analyzed, and appropriate corrective actions should be taken if necessary.
6. Continuous improvement
A process improvement plan is an ongoing and iterative process. At this stage, lessons learned from the monitoring and measurement stage are used to further refine and optimize the process. The plan is continuously reviewed and updated to drive a culture of continuous improvement within the organization.
7. Documentation and communication
Throughout the process improvement planning journey, documentation of the changes, results, and lessons learned is essential. This information is communicated to stakeholders, including employees, management, and other relevant parties, to ensure transparency and facilitate organizational learning.
How to improve key processes in the IT industry?
While the process improvement plan described above can be used for perfecting nearly all the operations in any IT company, there are some processes that do not require any additional thoughts to be improved - their improvements were simply mastered by industry experts that shared their knowledge on our blog.
Here are some examples of such processes!
Resource and capacity planning
The major business processes you might want to improve in this category are:
- managing team utilization ,
- solving schedule conflicts ,
- resource management in Jira ,
- workforce optimization ,
- resource forecasting ,
- workload management ,
- resource planning process ,
- capacity management ,
- resource allocation in project management .
As far as the finance management is concerned, there are a few business processes you should consider improving in your organization. These include:
- revenue projection ,
- managing employee bench ,
- project financial analysis ,
- cost allocation ,
- cost estimation .
Last but not least, there are a few things you might want to reshape in your project management operations. These usually include:
- defining a project scope ,
- creating a project timeline or a project schedule ,
- choosing project milestones ,
- project life cycle management ,
- project management forecasting .
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Arkadiusz is Head of Growth and Co-founder at Primetric. Prior to that, Arkadiusz was at the helm of his own software development company where he oversaw operations. A great enthusiast of process improvements, his personal mission is to make software companies more profitable and efficient on their path to growth.
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Understanding The Basics Of Business Process Improvement
by Mike Vestil
This article provides an overview of business process improvement, including its definition, importance, benefits, and tools for improvement. It outlines how to identify areas for improvement, develop a plan, implement changes, and evaluate success.
Additionally, it highlights the challenges and risks associated with business process improvement and concludes with a future outlook and final thoughts.
Understanding Business Process Improvement
Business process improvement (BPI) is a systematic approach to analyzing, refining, and optimizing business processes to enhance efficiency, productivity, and quality while reducing errors, waste, and costs. It involves identifying and removing bottlenecks or areas of inefficiency, streamlining workflows, and enhancing workflow automation to create a more efficient and productive business environment.
BPI is essential for any organization that wishes to achieve operational excellence, increase customer satisfaction, and lower costs. BPI approaches such as Lean Six Sigma, Kaizen, and process mapping are widely used across industries to ensure sustainable improvements in business processes.
A. Definition Of Business Process Improvement
Business process improvement is a systematic and structured approach to optimizing business processes. It involves identifying and analyzing an organization’s existing processes, determining inefficiencies, and developing and implementing strategies to improve those processes. BPI is aimed at increasing the efficiency, quality, accuracy, and speed of business processes.
B. Importance Of Business Process Improvement
The importance of BPI lies in its ability to streamline and optimize enterprise-wide workflows, leading to increased productivity and efficiency. In today’s dynamic business environment, BPI is essential for organizations to adapt to market changes, emerging technologies, and evolving customer expectations. Implementing BPI methodologies enables organizations to lower operational costs, reduce waste, minimize risks, increase responsiveness, and enhance customer satisfaction.
C. Benefits Of Business Process Improvement
There are several benefits associated with BPI, including:
- Increased efficiency and productivity: BPI enables organizations to achieve more with less, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity.
- Enhanced quality and accuracy: Streamlining processes and reducing errors helps organizations deliver better quality products and services while reducing rework and waste.
- Lower costs: BPI helps organizations reduce operational costs by improving workflows, lowering errors, and reducing the need for manual intervention.
- Improved customer satisfaction: Implementing BPI methodologies improves the customer experience by reducing cycle times, delivering quality products and services faster and more reliably.
- Increased agility: BPI enables organizations to respond quickly to changing business environments and customer requirements by optimizing processes and workflows.
- Improved compliance: BPI helps organizations comply with regulatory and legal requirements by ensuring processes are documented, controlled, and auditable.
Identifying Areas For Improvement
To improve business processes, organizations must review and analyze their existing processes to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Organizations need to identify the areas that require improvement and prioritize them based on their impact on the business.
A. Analyzing Current Business Processes
The first step in identifying areas for improvement is to map out the current state of the business processes. This involves documenting and analyzing the workflows, tasks, and inputs and outputs that make up a process. Process mapping tools are used to create visual representations of the current state.
B. Identifying Bottlenecks And Inefficiencies
Once current processes are mapped, organizations can identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and redundancies within the process. These inefficiencies can cause delays, increase costs, and negatively impact the overall customer experience.
C. Prioritizing Areas For Improvement
After identifying inefficiencies, the organization must prioritize the areas that require improvement. Prioritization should be based on a combination of factors such as customer impact, return on investment, ease of implementation, and impact on the business process’s strategic goals.
Developing A Business Process Improvement Plan
After identifying areas that need improvement, the next step is to develop a plan to optimize the processes.
A. Setting Goals And Objectives
The first step in developing a BPI plan is to define the goals and objectives that the organization aims to achieve. Clear goals and objectives help focus the organization’s efforts towards the desired outcomes.
B. Defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
KPIs are used to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the new processes. Defining and tracking KPIs helps organizations understand the impact of the new processes on the business.
C. Creating A Project Plan
A project plan outlines the tasks that need to be done, who will do them, and by when. Creating a project plan helps organizations understand what they need to do and helps them stay on track.
Implementing Business Process Improvement
The implementation stage involves executing the BPI plan and ensuring that the changes are successful.
A. Communicating The Plan To Stakeholders
Stakeholders need to be informed about the process changes, what it entails, and the expected benefits. Communication helps in ensuring buy-in from stakeholders, reducing resistance to change, and increasing the chance of a successful implementation.
B. Training Employees On New Processes
Employees must be adequately trained on the new processes, including any changes to their roles and responsibilities. Training helps ensure that employees are comfortable and confident in executing the new processes.
C. Monitoring Progress And Making Adjustments
Organizations must monitor the implementation of the BPI plan and measure its effectiveness in meeting the objectives. Making adjustments to the process where necessary ensures that the desired results are achieved.
Evaluating The Success Of Business Process Improvement
Measuring and analyzing the results of the implemented processes is essential for determining the success of the BPI and making further improvements as needed.
A. Measuring KPIs
Measuring KPIs helps organizations identify the benefits of the new processes and areas that require further improvement.
B. Analyzing Results
Analyzing the results of the process improvements helps organizations understand what worked and what didn’t work, enabling them to make further improvements.
C. Celebrating Success And Identifying Areas For Further Improvement
Celebrating success boosts morale and encourages employees to continue improving processes. Identifying areas for further improvement helps organizations identify new opportunities to optimize their processes.
Tools And Techniques For Business Process Improvement
Organizations have several tools and techniques at their disposal to improve their business processes.
A. Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that combines Lean principles and Six Sigma to reduce waste, variability, and defects in processes.
Kaizen is a methodology that focuses on continuous improvement through small incremental changes.
C. Process Mapping
Process mapping is a visual representation of a process that enables organizations to analyze and optimize the process.
Challenges And Risks Of Business Process Improvement
Implementing BPI methodologies comes with several risks and challenges.
A. Resistance To Change
Resistance to change is a common challenge in implementing new business processes. Managers must communicate the impact of the change and ensure employee buy-in to overcome resistance.
B. Lack Of Resources
Implementing BPI requires resources, including people, time, and financial investment. A lack of resources can hinder the successful implementation of the new processes.
C. Failure To Monitor Progress
A lack of monitoring progress can lead to failure in implementing the BPI plan. Ongoing monitoring and adjusting the process can ensure the organization achieves the desired outcomes.
In conclusion, business process improvement is essential for organizations that want to remain competitive and achieve operational excellence. Identifying inefficiencies, developing a plan, and implementing new processes using BPI methodologies can ensure organizational success.
Implementation comes with challenges and risks, but organizations can mitigate these by effectively communicating the changes, providing adequate resources, and continuously monitoring and adjusting the processes.
Future of BPI involves embracing technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the internet of things, to enable even greater efficiency, productivity, and quality.
Business Process Improvement: FAQs
1. what is business process improvement.
Business Process Improvement (BPI) is a methodology that helps organizations streamline their processes, identify inefficiencies, and improve their overall performance to achieve their goals.
2. Why Is Business Process Improvement Important?
BPI enables organizations to increase efficiency, reduce costs, enhance customer satisfaction, and remain competitive in their market. It also helps to identify areas for improvement and creates a culture of continuous improvement.
3. What Are Some Examples Of Business Process Improvement Tools And Techniques?
Some common BPI tools include Process Mapping, Root Cause Analysis, Lean Six Sigma methods, Statistical Process Control, and Value Stream Mapping.
4. How Do You Approach Business Process Improvement?
The first step is to identify the current process and its shortcomings. Once the gaps are identified, the team can brainstorm solutions, develop and test the solution, and finally implement the improved process. Continuous monitoring and evaluation are necessary to ensure the process is sustained.
5. Who Is Responsible For Business Process Improvement?
BPI involves everyone in the organization. The process owners, subject matter experts, and stakeholders are responsible for identifying areas for improvement and implementing the changes. The management team provides the resources and support to drive the BPI initiative.
6. How Do You Measure The Success Of A Business Process Improvement Project?
The success of a BPI project can be measured by evaluating the changes in process metrics, such as cycle time, productivity, cost savings, and customer satisfaction. Qualitative feedback, such as employee satisfaction and engagement, can also be used to evaluate success.
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Process Improvement Plan – Achieve an End-to-End Process Improvement with 6 Simple Steps
A process is a systematic and well-defined course of action that describes how a set of tasks, communication, and data work together to achieve fixed organizational goals. These processes need to be optimized regularly to bring out an organization’s maximum efficiency and productivity. But this optimization is not often a simple step to take. Medium and large organizations will undergo a laborious task in detecting the flaw, making the necessary changes, and then finally reorganizing and coordinating a large workforce. This also demands several rounds of approvals. Hence, a process improvement plan is an essential strategy to always ensure the best result. We are going to explore what process improvement plans entail and look into strategies for developing process improvement plans.
What is a Process Improvement Plan?
A process improvement plan is a set of strategic approaches devised by an organization. This written strategy is to improve the quality of the organizational processes and extract maximum productivity using minimal resources. Having such a plan will help manage these processes more profoundly. Summing up, a process improvement plan is an official document that defines the improvement strategies of the organizational processes. This includes steps like analyzing and identifying limitations and adopting steps to rectify and improve them.
Benefits of a Process Improvement Plan
The ultimate goal of any organization is to bring out the efficiency in the work that they do. With the rising standards within the industry, organizations will have to constantly meet the expectations of factors like customers, clients, stakeholders, etc. Therefore, consistent improvement has to be achieved to meet the expectations and reach the goals. For this, a business process improvement plan is always crucial. This strategic plan will act as a framework for your workforce, and make the necessary enhancements to the lacking tasks or areas. The benefits that are acquired with the implementation of a business process improvement plan are as follows:
Improved Engagement and Satisfaction for the Workforce: With the implementation of a plan, your employees are empowered to work in a healthy environment. If the inefficient processes continue to exist, the workforce’s working proficiency will be disrupted. The tasks have to be optimized so that your employees do not feel like they are performing a mundane activity. When a well-defined plan is put together, the roles and duties of the employees are clearly specified, and they will be able to plan accordingly. They can effectively work without wasting much time or energy. With increased productivity, the employees will acquire a sense of improvement and accomplishment.
Enhanced Operations: Undoubtedly, a process improvement plan exists to enhance the organizational processes. When this is achieved, a lot of negatives like wastage of resources, and repetitive and delaying tasks are removed from process workflows. This plan will cleanse your processes making it highly streamlined and beneficial.
Developed Communication: With a curated plan, the communication system is improved. Communication becomes faster with a system in place and a high level of clarity will be present in the movement of information and other required data. Coordination is automatically established, which further expands the involvement of all the employees who are part of each process.
Increased Innovation: Establishing a process management plan not only eliminates drawbacks within the processes but simultaneously detects areas of innovation and other additional developmental opportunities.
Heightened Customer Service: As the overall quality of the processes increases, the output generated is maximized. This will develop the strength of customer service, increasing their satisfaction and creating more probability of customer retention.
Apart from these essential benefits, the following are also achieved that elevate the performance of the business –
- More safety
- Improved productivity
- Streamlined processes
- Increased regulatory compliance standards
- Better customer relationship
- Scope to install feedback systems for employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
Steps in Creating a Process Improvement Plan
Developing process improvement plans for the processes must be performed precisely as they affect the working of your organization. The right strategy must be able to guarantee the most effective results according to your work ethic and culture. Building strategies should have inputs from expert insights and research. For this, an efficient team should be employed. Let us look at the common steps involved in creating a process improvement plan.
Employ a Process Improvement Team: The first step is to create an improvement team to devise the process improvement plan. Having a team will fix the priority of building the right plan for your organization. The team will be responsible for studying the existing processes using a visualization tool like a workflow diagram. They have to analyze each task that goes into different processes and make note of the lacking areas to improvise. Finally, they have to come up with a process improvement proposal document, which has to be reviewed and approved by the higher officials. On receiving the approval, this business improvement plan will achieve an overall enhancement of the whole process.
Choose the Processes to Improve: Once the team is set up, list down the processes that the team thinks are dragging down the efficiency of the entire process. Identifying the specific factors of the tasks is necessary. For example, it could be the delay that is caused in getting a receipt approved, or in a different case, it could be the case of data handling that has to be manually maintained in a spreadsheet. Such areas need to be pulled out from the process by the team. The team can reach out to employees and stakeholders for feedback that will help them create an optimization plan.
Reflect and Identify Issues with the Shortlisted Process: Once the processes are chosen. A proper study has to be conducted on each of the processes to decide the areas that need optimization. The process has to be studied and analyzed with the existing data.
Devise a Strategy for Improving the Process: When the areas of issues are identified, it is time to develop strategies that could tackle the problems. The improvement team must determine solutions to the issues that come in. These solutions can be anything like eliminating certain activities or shifting to machinery, adopting software tools like automation, artificial intelligence, etc.
Test the Strategy: Before officially launching the strategy on a wider scale, it must be implemented on a smaller scale like a test run, to avoid major losses. During the test running, the performance of the strategy should be noted and measured. This will let you know whether the strategy was a success or not. This will also create opportunities for corrective actions and more improvement. Taking this step will assure your team of success.
Implement the Strategy and Optimize: Once the testing stage has been over, the implementation can be done. The multiple rounds of change and updates to your strategy are ready to accomplish the set objectives. When the plan is in action, it is necessary to communicate the objectives and goals to all the involved parties.
What Goes Inside a Business Process Improvement Plan?
Your business process improvement plan must be devised according to your business and its respective goals. The structure of the improvement plan will differ from organization to organization, but there are a few common things that will go into it. Some of these are:
The Process that You Intend to Improve: The process that you want to improvise will be the primary part of your improvement plan. The plan will contain a description of the organizational process in it.
List of Team Members: The plan can also list the team members who are working on the optimization of the tasks. Their roles, duties, and responsibilities will be specified clearly to avoid confusion and miscommunication.
Resource Estimation: The resources can also be listed in a process improvement plan. These resources may include budget, total number of employees, raw materials, etc . Resource planning will guide your planning team to effectively design the process accordingly.
Key Performance Indicators: Mentioning the KPIs in the improvement strategy is advisable as the employees and stakeholders will be aware of the scale that they are working on. This will help them in monitoring the performance with the KPIs as the criteria. An important point to note here is that different organizations will have their own set of KPIs to achieve.
Recommendations to Consider When Creating the Plan
A change in a system can often be a drastic shift that could alter even the functional structure of any organization. Similarly, when a change is brought into the existing processes, it is essential to consider the following points.
Consistency in Improvement: Betterment in anything always depends on consistency. In a similar way, your improvement plan must be consistent in nature. In a complex process, multiple areas could be lacking without improvement. Therefore, a regular implementation of the process improvement plan is important. To maintain consistency, feedback loops can be placed to get data and information at fixed intervals. Eventually, this revival of your processes will be a part of the business process itself.
Go For the Right Software: During the plan devising stage, it is convenient if the software is adopted as a channelling platform. This software could help the team members communicate accurately and plan the changes. You can create workflows that would drive coordination among the members. The tool will also document the newly developed process and also improve flexibility.
Cflow is one such software solution that will automate most of the repetitive and time-consuming tasks. As a cloud-based tool, documents can be scanned and stored, and will also be accessible anytime.
Tips For Using a Process Improvement Plan
While working with the improvement plan, rapport must be brought between all the entities that are working within the system. Therefore, here are some tips to heighten the experience while using the process improvement plan.
Communicate with Your Team Members: In the new system, communication is a crucial element. With proper communication, the efficiency of the work is improved and all the employees can be on the same page till the completion of the process. Collecting feedback is the key. Feedback from multiple ends maintains a level of communication between different entities of your organization. With communication, the plan is also rightly disseminated among all employees.
Monitor Results Regularly: The results of the plan implementation must be monitored at regular intervals. This step will help in constantly detecting issues within the tasks in the processes. Most often, good results may not be achieved right away. You have to be patient with several factors that have to come in line to perform. A key point to note is that it is ideal to have a regular schedule monitoring to check on the progress and suggest corrections when needed.
Install Process Management Software: There are many process management software available in the market. These tools will help you create processes digitally. This software can guide you in having a standardized system where processes and other activities are all optimized and made systematic.
Most Common Types of Process Improvement Plans
There are officially found and established process improvement plan types that most organizations adopt. These different types of plans can be integrated into your organizational process improvement planning. The common types include:
Lean & Lean Six Sigma
Total quality management (tqm), plan-do-check-act (pdca).
This process planning method is specific to the quality control developed by a Motorola engineer. The process in the Six Sigma method mainly focuses on five stages, which are, DMAIC- define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. The tasks that go under each stage are as follows:
- Define – Project Charter, Customer Input, Value Stream Map
- Measure – Process Map, Capability Analysis, Pareto Chart
- Analyze – Root Cause Analysis, Multi-vari Chart, Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
- Improve – Design of Experiments, Kaizen Event
- Control – Quality Control Plan, 5S Method, Statistical Process Control, Mistake Proofing
This is how a Six Sigma process improvement will take place:
Lean is a method of process improvement that is generally used by manufacturing industries. However, it is essential to note that the principles that this method uses can be adopted across other industries as well. This particular method is adopted to focus on the reduction of wastage of resources. This method will help you eradicate tasks or stages within your processes that do not add value to the customers, end users, or the service in general. Five steps are identified in this method. The steps include:
- Identify Value
- Map Value Stream
- Create Flow
- Establish Pull
- Seek Perfection
The Lean & Lean Six Sigma process is a hybrid version of two different methods, Lean and Six Sigma DMAIC, which will guide your organization to achieve the two goals of quality control and waste reduction simultaneously.
Before the introduction of Lean and Six Sigma approaches, Total Quality Management was one of the most successful methods adopted in the 1980s and the early 1990s. Still, this approach is beneficial and used even today. Similar to the other two methods, TQM focuses on the quality of the output that is being delivered to the customers. It aims to bring the maximum quality to the process and even higher quality to the final output. TQM holds a set of principles rather than steps. These principles will be taken as a framework that will guide the employees to perform the process improvement plan. These principles include the following:
- Total workforce involvement
- Strategic and systematic approach and deliverance
- Data-driven decision-making
- Consistent communication
- Complete team integration
As a continuous change management, Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) was first introduced in the 1950s by W. Edwards Deming, an engineer and management consultant. Initially, it was popularly known as the Deming Wheel. It was later modified and upgraded to the current version by Japanese engineers. The following are the steps involved in a PDCA method.
- Establish the objectives
- Determine the processes that need to be improvised
- Carry out the set tasks and objectives
- Gather the required data
- Evaluate the results obtained
- Evaluate the testing process
- Implement the improvised process
- Repeat the PDCA cycle regularly to improve performance further
- Standardize instructions and the processes
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Build fully-customizable, no code process workflows in a jiffy., examples of process improvement template.
After looking at the different types of process improvement methods and types, it is evident that not all organizations have to follow a fixed path for process improvement. Depending on the process type and the organization’s size, affordability, etc. the structure of the plan changes. Each type of improvement plan structure can be taken as a process improvement plan template for you to get started.
These process improvement plan templates can be of different methods as follows:
Method Detailing: This is a visually appealing template where infographics are used to give the details regarding the improvement method. This template may include details like the method are they adopting, how the method works in a management improvement process, and followed by an explanation of all the steps. These can be customized according to the needs of the team or organization.
For example, if an organization has decided to use the PDCA Cycle method to optimize its organizational processes, the following information will be given on the template.
- About PDCA Cycle
- Examples of where the PDCA Cycle works well
- How the PDCA Cycle works for change management
- Explanation of the steps in PDCA
Problem-Plan Template: In this template, the problem/issue within the process, and the plan of action will be described in detail. This also uses infographics and can be used in cases where the issues are not more than one or two. In this template, the problem will be stated at the beginning, followed by the plan devised by the process improvement team. The plan will entail the corrective measures that have to be taken by the employees.
How does the Process Improvement Plan Apply to your Organization?
No organization is an exception to the problems that arise with inefficient business processes. Take any instance like a marketing manager trying to enhance their team’s sales techniques to improve customer conversion rates, or the accounts manager trying to bridge the gap in the transaction process, all of these areas can be optimized using a process improvement plan. Adopting this strategy will result in fewer resources, more results, and less time.
Cflow – An Expert in Process Improvement and Management
Cflow is a no-code workflow automation platform that will take your organization’s work experience par excellence. Our tool easily transforms and streamlines business processes with cloud BPM and workflow automation. This will guarantee you the maximum efficiency of the processes like never before. Every type of organizational needs can be met with Cflow. Some important features that we offer are:
- Complete automation of business processes
- Easy workflow creation with zero code involved
- Automated and customized reminders and notifications
- Instant Reports and Analytics
- The approval process made easy and simple
- Encourages integration with third-party applications
Explore more features on Cflow .
Achieving stability and efficiency is not an easy task. With the increasing targets and breakthroughs in the industry, organizations are under constant pressure. To detangle from this scenario, it is essential to optimize your business processes through a process improvement plan. Shifting to this approach will give an end-to-end process improvement, which will enhance the overall performance of your organization. Achieve this success with an expert solution like Cflow. Sign up for a free trial today!
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Business Process Improvement Plan - Making a Beginning with BPI
Business Process Improvement has gained ground in all sectors of business as an on-going program that is implemented from time to time. Periodically business organizations embrace this program to reduce the barriers that create obstacles to the work flow as well as to remove redundant processes that are outdated and do not add value to the current business operations. Organizations benefit from BPI in qualitative terms as well as quantitative terms for it helps reduce costs, increase efficiencies as well as reduce wastage and more importantly enhance the customer orientation and interface with the entire Organization.
Business process improvement exercise involves the entire Organization, all its departments and processes across all geographical locations and business units . Launching a Business Process Improvement initiative would need the active support and sponsorship of the top management. Generally seen, BPI involves five distinct stages as under:
Preparing for BPI Program to be unveiled in the Organization calls for the following actions:
As in the case of any strategic decision making by an Organization, the BPI program would first need to be discussed, adapted and initiated by the senior management of the Organization . Normally the Companies call for a meeting of the senior management directors and the Business Unit heads who will ultimately own the BPI process. The meeting called for would cover discussions on the following:
The meeting should be concluded with an approval of the program and the acceptance of sponsorship by the Business Heads. The meeting should also form and finalize a Task Force or an Executive Improvement Team and define the total responsibility of the team to initiate, implement, monitor and conclude the entire BIT program.
Appointing BPI Leader or BPI Team
Once the BPI program is underway, the entire implementation can take from a few weeks to more than a year to run its complete course depending upon the business processes involved. Though the Business Unit Heads own the BPI program, they would not be able to focus on the program and be engaged in designing and implementing the program.
Therefore it becomes necessary to have an experienced senior manager or an equivalent rank individual with the right background, qualification and skill sets to be appointed as the BPI Leader for the entire duration of the program. This BPI Leadership would be a full time job lasting the entire tenure of the program duration envisaged.
An ideal BPI leader should have the necessary technical as well as overall business operations exposure and experience in the Organization with the right soft skills and attitude to work with people across all levels and lead the teams.
It would not be practical to expect the BPI champion or leader to be able to initiate, design and implement the entire program on his own without the relevant training and orientation. This is where the management would need to engage external business process consultants and practitioners to work with the BPI leader on designing the program. It also helps to send the BPI champion to attend few BPI training sessions to equip him to manage the program.
Thus the stage needs to be set at the Management level to recognize the need for BPI program, to make a conscious decision to adapt the program and to initiate action to form a Management team and initiate the first action of appointing a BPI champion in the Organization.
Depending upon the size of the Organization and span of activity, the management may choose to appoint a team of two or three members as BPI Champions.
Needless to mention that once the BPI plan has been accepted by the senior management and the Business Unit heads, the consequent costs involved in the program would be provided for and earmarked for the said purpose .
- Change Management and Organizations
- Business Processes & Organizations
- Organizations Gain from BPI
- Executive Implementation Team & BPI
- Building a BPI Model
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The article is Written By Prachi Juneja and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team . MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider . To Know more, click on About Us . The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.
- Business Process Improvement (BPI)
- Need for Business Process Improvement
- Growth and Evolution of Organizations
- Need for Business Process
- Impact of BPR and BPI
- Business Processes & Global Excellence
- Business Process Improvement Plan
- Business Cases & BPI Implementation
- Situations Warranting BPI
- Selecting Critical Business Process
- Business Process Ownership
- Setting BPI Objectives
- BPI - Preparation Stage
- Preparing for BPI Implementation
- BPI Project Planning
- BPI Project - Process Detailing Exercise
- BPI - Project Implementation
- Introduction to Process Measurement
- Process Effectiveness Measurement
- Process Efficiency Measurement
- BPI - Training Requirements
- Process Adaptability Improvement
- Flow Chart as BPI Tool
- Different Types of Flow Charts
- Information Processing Flowcharts
- Flow Charts and QC Tools
- Working through BPI Project
- Understanding People and Process
- Process Walk through on the Floor
- Process Walk Through & Analysis
- Process Measurement Analysis
- An Introduction to Process Documentation
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What Is a Performance Improvement Plan?
A performance plan, or PIP, can help you provide resources to employees who need help meeting your expectations. Learn effective ways to use a performance improvement plan and what to include in your PIP.
A performance improvement plan (PIP) is a tool you can use to help an employee get back on track after a poor performance review. It’s appropriate when you want to provide support to help your employees improve. A performance improvement plan is not a disciplinary measure but a path to help your employees meet your expectations. Performance improvement plans work well when they rely on measurable data that you can show your employees for the areas of improvement.
What is a performance improvement plan?
A performance improvement plan is a document you give to employees to clearly outline where their work performance falls short of expectations and what they can do to improve. A PIP may also include what the consequences will be if the employee is unable to improve their performance, such as being dismissed from their position or taking a reduction in their responsibilities.
A performance improvement plan can help you:
Empower your team to perform better: When an issue arises, a PIP allows you to communicate clearly what your employee needs to do to perform better. The ownership to fix the problem is on them so they can feel empowered to make a change.
Improve communication: Performance reviews and improvement plans give you a chance to define what expectations you have for your staff clearly.
Save time and money: Improving employee performance can make your team more productive, helping you earn more money and reduce labor costs if turnover is reduced.
Document employee performance: If the performance improvement plan doesn’t succeed, you’ll have documentation to back up claims, reducing the risk of litigation.
How is a performance improvement plan used?
You can use a performance improvement plan to help employees overcome many issues with their work performance. A PIP provides documentation of the steps your team member can take to improve the quality of their work, resources to guide them, and a time limit for when you expect to see improvement.
Performance improvement plan examples
You can use performance improvement plans to help address many different performance concerns, including:
Poor customer service
What to include in a performance improvement plan.
To get the most out of a PIP, include the areas of performance that need improvement, the goal of the improvement plan, action steps for the employee to take, resources to help provide support, and metrics to measure progress.
Goals and objectives : One of the advantages of writing a performance improvement plan for your employees is to provide them with clarity. Goals and objectives allow you to clearly outline what expectations you have from your team member, as well as how their role relates to the area you’re asking for improvement in. For example, if you want to address an employee’s tardiness, you would include your expectations for them to be on time.
Performance concerns : Next, you’ll need to outline where your employee is underperforming. It’s helpful to use facts and avoid statements of opinion to demonstrate the performance concern. It’s important to remember that the purpose of a PIP is to retain the employee and move past the problem. You should be clear about the issue but express support and encouragement to your employees.
Action steps : Action steps give your employee a step-by-step guide to improve their performance and meet the expectations you already outlined. Include regular check-ins with leadership to ensure the employee is on track with the PIP. An action plan can include additional training in the areas where the employee needs improvement or other essential resources.
Metrics : Include metrics in a performance improvement plan, such as measurable factors that will signal success and the time to complete the PIP. For example, if you address an employee with low sales volume, you could provide them with a specific result to hit. If working with an often-tardy employee, they could have a goal of zero late days. The length of time you include will typically range between 30, 60, or 90 days. These metrics provide a clear, measurable expectation.
Read more: Beginner’s Guide to Conducting a Training Needs Assessment
Overcoming the challenges of a PIP
When executed effectively, performance improvement plans help guide employees back on track by providing guidance and resources to overcome challenges. To keep your PIPs productive, here are a few tips for maximum effect:
Collaborate: Wherever possible, invite your employees to be a part of developing the performance improvement plan to help get their buy-in and craft an action plan to their needs.
Be as clear and direct as possible : Make sure you give your employees the facts they need to be successful. The more clearly you can define your expectations for your employees, the easier it will be for them to make the improvements you request.
Have compassion : Speak positively and point out where they are succeeding to demonstrate that you want to help them improve.
Set attainable goals : A performance improvement plan works best when it focuses on goals your employee can reasonably achieve in the designated time frame.
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