A process is a series of actions (steps) taken in order to achieve a specific outcome. For all their simplicity, processes have been at the heart of improving human life and work for hundreds of years. In business, companies that thrive the longest have understood that becoming expert at process improvement—change management—helps them seize opportunities and weather all business cycles.
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Handling Change Means Updating Processes
Everyone gets work done by following a process, whether formal or informal. People follow a series of steps to accomplish the tasks of their jobs and deliver their work output to the next person who uses it to do his or her job.
Then something happens:
- A new competitor shows up or an old one goes out of business.
- Social media—or its next generation—is invented, turning around your relationships with your customers.
- A competitor starts selling the same product you offer at the price it costs you to make it.
- Government passes a new law about health care, workman’s compensation, or minimum wage levels.
- Your most talented employee leaves for a new opportunity.
- Everyone moves their manufacturing to China.
- Then everyone moves their manufacturing back to the US.
What Is Business Process Improvement?
According to Wikipedia, business process improvement (BPI) is a systemic approach to help and organize underlying processes to achieve more efficient results. Companies that focus on BPI look at processes as part of their vision and strategy, incorporating continuous improvement as a philosophy and way of life such. This is what Toyota, Disney, and many others have done to sustain market leadership.
In the same Wikipedia article, process improvement is defined as a “series of actions taken by a process owner to improve existing business processes to meet new goals and objectives.”
Why bother making the distinction? Because it’s key to helping you organize your approach, tools, and tactics to get better results.
- If company-wide improvement is needed to significantly increase your competitiveness, your strategic plan should include a business improvement plan that brings everyone on board.
- If a department or small group wants to improve its efficiency and results, then the project can begin with a process improvement effort to coordinate the work.
So, What Is The Next Step for YOU?
Contact us today for a free initial consultation. We have helped companies and nonprofits achieve process improvements that deliver measurable results.