Process Improvement Methodologies
An effective Continual Process Improvement (CPI) effort should be executed via some sort of methodology. Just looking at a process and guessing as to what improvements are needed doesn’t usually net very good results. In fact, this can actually worsen process performance in many ways.
Having said that, there are times when an obvious improvement opportunity presents itself and should be acted upon as quickly as possible. We call these “Just Do Its” or “JDIs” for short. JDIs are small improvements that can be made by simply deciding to do business a different way. Examples are choosing to correspond electronically instead of using paper, ending unnecessary sub-processes or reviews, or even moving the tool cart closer to where the work is being performed.
In this section, we will discuss four prominent methodologies:
To employ some methodologies effectively, particularly Lean, Six Sigma, and TQM/TQL methodologies, it is highly recommended small organizations engage a consultant or training facility to acquire the necessary skills and tools. Larger organizations may consider hiring a dedicated process improvement coordinator/manager who has some level of qualification in these or similar methodologies. Due diligence is key in ensuring you select the appropriate methodology for your family business’s industry, size, and resources.