What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the term “Process Improvement?” Is it something related to improving the process of something? Yes, the meaning is hidden in the term itself.
Process improvement is a method that is used to define and analyze any existing process in an organization. Based on the analysis, the changes are made, thus, improving efficiency and performance. The aim of process improvement is to help organizations to perform better than yesterday.
But, why do you need process improvement? What are the benefits that you can get by improving the existing process in your organization? Here we are going to answer all such questions. We will be discussing what process improvement is, its importance, and the benefits of process improvement.
What is Process Improvement?
Process improvement is a business method or procedure of analyzing business processes, identifying the flaws, and then improving them to further improve performance. Even if there are no flaws, it’s important to follow a business improvement approach so as to update the entire process as per new standards.
Companies that perform regular process improvement can easily cope with the ever-changing market demands as compared to those who ignore this method. There are various methods or techniques that process analysts use for conducting a process improvement strategy. Each technique is unique and provides results that would suit the company’s expectations.
Some of the most famous techniques are the DMAIC method, Total Quality Management, Kaizen methodology, and Kanban technique. However, process analysts always make some changes in the basic structure of the above-mentioned techniques so that it matches the process followed in the company.
Though the basic structure of these methodologies is the same, the process is different for different companies. Now, you cannot apply a technique that works for a large industry in a startup, as it would result in mishaps. That’s why it’s important for process architects to customize the methods that will work best for their company.
Importance of Process Improvement
In this busy world, “change” is the only constant. Every organization needs to change and adapt to the changing conditions in order to survive. Due to this, it’s important for all companies to continuously change and adapt to the ongoing market.
If a company still worked on principles-based a decade ago, it won’t be able to cope with the upcoming challenges and might shut down soon. Regular process improvement is required to ensure that no such thing happens.
Due to process improvement, the company would be able to determine the areas of improvement and the unnecessary parts that can be removed from the system. By analyzing and revising existing processes, the organization can easily understand its system and make changes as per the new industry standards.
It would not only provide them with a fresh outlook but would also land some nice benefits such as improvement in quality, increase in productivity, improvement in client relationship, and skill development which we will discuss later in the article. Now let’s take a look at the benefits of process improvement.
Benefits of Process Improvement
Process improvement brings various benefits to the organization. It supports the organization to keep up with the upcoming changes, helps in meeting the expectations of the target audience and many such things. Below we have listed some process improvement benefits for better understanding.
Improvement in Quality
An effective process improvement strategy improves the quality of products and services. It helps achieve the new standards set by the market and make the required changes, which further results in a quality change of the end product. Moreover, continuous process improvement also helps in updating the existing products so that the customers are satisfied.
Whether you own a startup or a large-scale company, it is extremely important to maintain the quality of the product. Several good-quality products that were loved by people a decade ago are nowhere to be seen now. That’s because the company failed to upgrade and add value to their product.
On the other hand, many companies managed to survive through decades by constantly adding new products and improving their existing products. Constant up-gradation has helped these companies in maintaining the quality their clients are looking for.
Increase in Productivity
Process improvement helps discard old methods and cope with the new methods available in the market. Various BPM tools can serve as a perfect example of this. These BPM tools help distribute the work based on the performance and skills of the team members. Besides, it also helps in dividing a vast task into small divisions so that you can complete them faster.
By analyzing the future goals, target audience, and the current process, the organization would be able to know the expectations of the clients.
Based on that, it becomes easier to meet those expectations, provide them with quality products, and ultimately build stronger relationships with clients. By doing so, the feedback and reviews from the clients’ side improve, and the organization gains some loyal clients as well.
In most cases, the team members or employees of the organizations require certain training for improving their skills. This helps the company get skilled employees and provides the employees with new skills to add to their resumes.
Moreover, these skills can also help the employees increase their efficiency and productivity. By developing proper skills, the company, as well as the employees, get several advantages.
Though it might seem that a company is doing well, process improvement experts still have to perform a process improvement method so that they would be able to keep up with the race. Process improvement not only helps the company to understand the changing market but also helps provide greater value to their customers in the long run.
Besides, process improvement also helps organizations in retaining customers. Though the process might be a bit long, it gives tons of benefits. However, if the company doesn’t have the right process improvement methodology in place, then it might be difficult to attain the yearly goals and update the existing products.
Process improvement applies to both small-scale and large-scale organizations. Though the ways might be different, the basic methodologies remain the same. One cannot compare the process improvement of a company with another organization.
That’s because the methods that work for one company might not work for another and vice-versa. In spite of that, it’s important to conduct regular process improvement sessions in order to adapt to the ongoing change.
Shyamal is the Founder of SmartTask, an online work management tool that’s helping teams be more productive by having clarity on who’s doing what by when. Has a penchant for researching and sharing strategies that could benefit a team’s productivity.