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10 Things to Remember When Improving Processes

Business process improvement (BPI) might just be the added boost your organization needs. Like Vitamin C, it can make a sick company well and help a well company achieve optimal health. In a TechRepublic article, Scott Lowe lays out the 10 most important things to consider when pursuing BPI.

The BPI Information Spill

  1. Executive Support / Governance
  2. Identify Problems
  3. Think of the Whole
  4. Immediate Time Savings
  5. The Right People
  6. Map Processes
  7. Model Scenarios
  8. Determine Metrics
  9. Verify Automation
  10. Locate Checkpoints

As with many IT operations, the ball gets rolling at the top. That’s why Lowe recommends having your BPI “chartered and blessed” by the company leadership.

Not all problems are created equal. Therefore, when conducting your initial analysis, be sure to consider all relevant pain points. Prioritize and start with the most painful. That being said, be wary of improving “processes that stand alone,” since any organization is a complex set of interlocking parts. “Simple” fixes may create problems elsewhere. And speaking of big picture thinking, there may be immediate time-saving benefits to analyzing a process – tasks that can simply be nixed on the spot. However, if anyone (stakeholder) is left out of the review, it will directly devalue the effort and may lead to excluded change resistors who will further block improvement. Furthermore, looking at the big picture may be inadequate if you are unable to literally “look at” a picture of the process. Process mapping tools are a major plus.

Maybe you’ve already established a new process. Don’t stop there. Try to break the process. Model it and weed out any bugs for a truly improved scenario. Also, getting back to “pain points”: don’t stop at prioritization. Determine how to measure success and then quantify your improvement accordingly. Furthermore, don’t assume automation, as each improvement will take on its own character – something your business stakeholders should account for. And finally, understand and locate potential weak points where systems link up, in order to make deeper analysis and change.

Visit the original article at: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-things-to-keep-in-mind-when-improving-processes/

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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