Process management is fascinating, sure it sounds very engineering based but it doesn’t have to be. Basically it’s a process to help business owners or senior management teams sort out what’s going on in their business by identifying its key business processes and its support processes.
So for example let’s look at a production line making electric irons the key business process is the assembly of the irons and support processes include the supply of the individual components, supply of human resources, supply of energy.
Having identified every process that occurs it is then possible to put measures in place to access the time, cost and quality of each section of the production line. Once the processes have been identified the improvement opportunities emerge.
Process re-engineering helps identify where unnecessary costs, time or poor quality is being incurred and therefore a process can be changed ‘re-engineered’ to significantly reduce costs or time taken or improve quality. Going back to our example of our hypothetical production line it is identified that at the end of the production line the quality control team are correctly rejecting 5% of the finished irons. We call this a “Cost of failure“ and a sum of money could be allocated to the 5% of items that are rejected. A goal is therefore to reduce the cost of failure.
This process needs to involve representatives from every part of our production line so that the people in the production line contribute as they are likely to be the only people who can say exactly what is happening on the production line.
I talk about production lines but it could equally be a call center, accounts department, warehouse operations, maintenance workshop or design studio process.
The key steps in process management are to: –
- Identify the key business processes.
- Identify the support processes.
- Put measures in place quantify time, cost and quality.
- Identify where the cost of failure needs to be addressed.
- Modify or re-engineer the processes to reduce or eliminate the cost of failure.
- Repeat the process improvement as required.
- Creates improvement opportunities.
- Reduced cost of failure.
- Make processes more efficient.
- Reduced costs.
- Improvement in quality of outcome.
- Increased profitability.
I was taught process re-engineering when I was with British Telecom and we applied the techniques to analyse our processes and QITs (Quality improvement teams) were established to make improvements. A part of the culture change was that managers only lead the teams but each team consisted of operatives and supervisors working together to refine the processes.
Significant benefits to the business were gained, staff felt valued and empowered and when changes were rolled out the acceptance of the change resulting from a QIT of peers was easier to achieve. See Change Management
How can I help you?
If you are interested in Process Re-engineering I can help you, get in touch.