A company’s ability to change depends on its resources, values and processes.
As an organisation matures processes become increasingly important. Executive Education facilitator Lim Lip Khoon gives six insights into developing efficient and adaptive processes.
Understand customer requirements
A business exists because of its customers. Customers make a purchase when a company’s product or service meets their requirements. These requirements range from price, quality and features, to delivery time, safety and warranty. For a company to survive and thrive, it must ensure its business has the ability to consistently fulfil its customer requirements.
Understand business requirements
Profit is important for all profit oriented businesses. A company’s values prioritise the business opportunities and set the business model and goals. The annual operating plan (AOP) contains the company’s business strategies, budget, financial and operational performance measures. The executives must understand these requirements to deliver the desired results according to the AOP.
A process must be designed to meet the most critical customer and business requirements. Process misalignment occurs when outputs fail to meet any one of these requirements.
Ensure the process is fail-safe
A company develops processes for particular tasks or outcomes. A process may fail because of poor quality or late deliveries. Unintentionally, many businesses look at plugging the process gaps only after a customer complaint or a non-conforming incident. Instead of reacting to process failures, successful companies systematically analyse and prepare for mistake opportunities and apply the mistake-proofing technique to create a more robust process.
Measure, analyse and improve
A process performs efficiently when employees execute it with consistency, within its intended environment and parametres. While there is inherent drift in any process, the process becomes incapable when it drifts expectedly. The process owner must put in place a method to systematically measure the process performance, analyse the causes of unexpected process drift, and identify solutions to limit or prevent future failures.
A capable process must also be adaptive to change in technology, business, and market environment. A company must establish a platform for employees to challenge and enhance processes with innovative ideas. An innovative process is one piece of the jigsaw for a company to lead the change in the marketplace.
Written by Lim Lip Khoon, facilitator of our upcoming short courses:
- LEAN Six Sigma Yellow Belt
- Creative Thinking and Kaizen Process Improvement Methodology