Process improvement initiatives are often launched in response to a specific set of problems, opportunities or needs. Perhaps there is a need to cut costs, to streamline processes so that a new product can be rolled out, or perhaps operational problems have caused an unexpected increase in customer complaints. When these types of initiative are raised, we may initially find that our stakeholders make early implied assumptions over the nature of the root cause or problem. In some cases they may even make an assumption over how it can be solved. Often, there is an unstated and untested assumption that underlying problems lie with a particular area or function. Perhaps it’s assumed that the problem lies with IT, or with the sequencing of work in the process itself, or perhaps we find that a single department is (unfairly) singled out.
Of course, there may be some validity in these hypotheses and certainly they provide us with areas that warrant further investigation. Yet business issues can be caused by a wide range of other factors too, including a lack of resources, untrained staff, an unsupportive culture, unsuitable IT systems, inadequate data, and so on. It is important that we examine the situation holistically. In doing so, we may even find that the issue lies not with the process itself, but with the way the process is managed. Process management issues can be extremely tricky to identify and handle but we would be foolhardy to ignore them. They may have originated due to a lack of management support and buy-in, a lack of communication or for a range of other issues. In this eBook, we examine a variety of management issues and discuss how to detect and handle them.
In this paper, Adrian Reed outlines practical tips for ensuring that processes are supported and effective, and how to broach problems of process management. Login to continue reading and download the ebook.