Process Improvement

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Process Improvement
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Process Improvement is the responsibility of whom? organizational quality or business representatives ?
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This is quite challenging. I believe there must not be any bias toward organisation or to business representatives. Let us take it piecemeal
1. Organisation: An organisation must consciously endorse process improvement as a policy. This will encourage the employees to make suggestions for improvement.
2. Business representatives: An organisation is as good as its business representatives. So it is also their responsibility to consistently improve processes.
To sum it up, culture of an organisation will determine the orientation of business representatives towards process improvement.
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Quality I think should lead the process of 'process improvement'.. The responsibility to make the process effective by defining gaps and activating improvement project lies in everyone in the organization and mainly in the management.
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1 reply by Khaled Al Kolfat
Oct 02, 2016 9:38 AM
Khaled Al Kolfat
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The approach you used are absolutely correct quality as lead but business as owner of the know how.
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Oct 01, 2016 4:32 PM
Replying to Cesare Riccardo Fogli
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Quality I think should lead the process of 'process improvement'.. The responsibility to make the process effective by defining gaps and activating improvement project lies in everyone in the organization and mainly in the management.
The approach you used are absolutely correct quality as lead but business as owner of the know how.
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Business people should set the priorities and sponsor the effort, Quality has the tools and the knowhow to do it. Everyone is responsible for what they do. Ideally speaking :)
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Quality is the one that should lead the effort, however, we, as project managers must be able to suggest where the areas/processes can be improved considering our experience and the feedback we got from different teams... If there is no quality team, then we will lead the effort (as I currenty do hahaha)
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Process Improvement should be responsible for every department involved. Organisation as a umbrella should set up policies & targets. Each department is responsible to go Lean in their day to day work. Ways should be found to contribute to the umbrella as a string attached to it.
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1 reply by Amir Ali
Apr 03, 2018 11:14 AM
Amir Ali
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Completely agreed.
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Process improvement must be everybody´s responsibility. Not only the involved. Even the new employees can have a tip or a different perspective to improve a process. This is not only for the Mighty Godly Handcrafted High Administration. Kaizen. To answer your question both should work together as a team to improve process. (Silos should disappear). EA.
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Process improvement!!... it is a continuous improvement cycle!... when systems are upgraded or replaced by new technological approach the process must also change!.. what was done before it may not no longer be viable. Since we are into Project Management implementation... it is key to review the process \ procedures it is necessary to process map what has significantly changed the way of doing things !... Many are afraid of changing their existing processes... however, business efficiency and customer satisfaction is a big price to pay if not taken seriously it may impact on customer care-focus and income generation. New or revised processes need to be tested!... internally and externally.. does it work!.. does it do what is suppose to do!... is the customer happy!... feedback is imperative by the way... so good luck!... love processes its the only way forward to ensure your organisation stays competitive!... everyone should be involved. Quality assessors welcome them!... these people are not policing your process they will actually quality pass your process or will highlight areas of improvement!...
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1 reply by Mudassar Khan
Feb 02, 2017 7:01 AM
Mudassar Khan
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I agree with Vasoula Christoforides, Since we are into Project Management implementation... it is key to review the process \ procedures it is necessary to process map what has significantly changed the way of doing things !... Many are afraid of changing their existing processes... however, business efficiency and customer satisfaction is a big price to pay if not taken seriously it may impact on customer care-focus and income generation. New or revised processes need to be tested!... internally and externally.. does it work!.. does it do what is suppose to do!... is the customer happy!... feedback is imperative by the way... so good luck!...
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Some organizations have the luxury of having a dedicated Business Process Improvement team with the know how to recommend such changes. These teams encourage practices such as LEAN within the organization and assist departments in their Uptake. In the absence of such a dedicated team, any one of these can champion the process improvement effort:-

1) Business Departments (Quality and Non -Quality ) could be encouraged to define the problems within their areas and possible suggestions for improving them
2) These could be put forth to the Quality Department to receive guidance on the best way forward
3) These could even be tabled at the Departmental Managers' meeting to receive endorsement and support , either to spawn a new Project or bring about improvements in existing business practices
4) It may be suggested that an external agency , specializing in Process Improvement could be summoned upon

I agree with David Hernandez and Abhinav Chojar. Process improvements may begin from silos across the organization but it has to be brought out in the open and it's every body's responsibility to suggest improvements.

We as project managers can definitely look at the Enterprise Environmental Factors and Organizational Process Assets and suggest improvements in existing Business Processes.

Another group of people that can definitely recommend process improvements is most certainly Business Analysts who are closely working with the Business.

In the end, the implementation of the improvement is in the hands of persons of authority or the departmental heads who can provide the resources and funding to undertake the activity/project.
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2 replies by Amir Ali and Jess De Ocampo
Mar 16, 2017 4:32 AM
Jess De Ocampo
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Process improvement is inevitable. It is management's responsibility to instill a culture of "process improvement awareness" within all levels of the organization. Transparency of communication in all levels in imperative for any recommendations for any process improvement. Management has the final say in revising, changing, approving and implementing these processes.

Some companies have the Business Process Innovation Team (BPI) wherein, they practice and apply the Six Sigma/Lean Six Sigma methodology. Stakeholders reach out to the BPI Team for any data-driven approach and process improvement/optimization (vice-versa) The BPI Team can only provide recommendations for process improvement but management/stakeholders have the final decision/responsibility whether to implement it or not.
Apr 03, 2018 11:17 AM
Amir Ali
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Well described Deepesh. Just one comment that influencing skills of project manager are also involved here to convince the authorities how process improvement will help everyone in long term.
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Process Improvement responsibility, I think, could be as tricky as finding one who has 'responsibility to identify a risk'. As we know it is every body's implied responsibility to identify a risk or share the doubts/apprehensions faced in a project, similarly, it is every body's responsibility to identify the possible area of improvement. Therefore, an open and bold organization culture can easily help in cultivating this mindset. But, I think, the question here is who should make decisions on areas to improve and and drive them to closure. I don't recall having come across an identified specific role responsible for Process Improvement. Mostly, it is one of the items managed by QA teams. They, however, mostly facilitate in tracking the improvement plans and measure/present the outcome of the plan. They may not have skills and authority to force a process improvement. A process oriented organization identifies process owners for their key processes. In that case it becomes their responsibility to keep seeking feedback on the given process and take responsibility to improve them. In absence of process owners it would be every Project Manager and the chain of command to assume the responsibility to drive the process improvement. The ultimate goal would be to save time, cost, and resources by improving the process. Who would be happier than the Project Manager to close a project successfully with savings on the already constrained area.
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