Process Management - Improvement and Advantages The reasons that processes are mapped
- Allows teams to agree on steps needed to produce outputs
- Helps to identify process boundaries, i.e. where a process starts and ends
- Helps to identify process participants
- Improves communication within and across groups
- Shows problem areas and unnecessary steps
Advantages of Process Mapping
- Increase efficiency
- Eliminate activities that do not add value
- Reduce cycle time
- Expand service capabilities
- Simplify work flow
- Minimise dependencies
- Gain buy-in and organisational support for change
If after a process has been checked, a decision is taken to leave it unchanged, there is a high probability that after an extended period of time has elapsed, that process may begin to degrade. This process should now be improved to restore its productivity.
- Identify performance issue(s). Involve an evaluation of the capability to meet service levels, delivery, quality, minimise cost and meet all functionality commitments. (Evaluate effectiveness, efficiency and quality).
- Conduct Root Cause Analysis (RCA).
- Define and analyse current performance of activities related to the issue.
- Communicate results.
- Implement improvements (for example re-design).
- Manage operational transition and monitor.
Root Cause Analysis
Root Cause Analysis may be conducted using tools such as:
- 5 Whys Method or
- Fishbone or Ishikawa Diagram
5 Whys Method
Ask 5 Whys and have team members answer.
Follow through on a trail.
Stay focused on objective evidence.
Disadvantage: The team members may be difficult and attempt to derail the questioning.
Fishbone or Ishikawa Diagram
This tool requires brainstorming by category of potential causes. Potential causes (6M) fall into the following categories:
- Milieu (Environment)
These categories help to guide the thoughts of the team. Efforts should be made to eliminate potential cause until only the root cause is left.
Here’s how to use this tool:
- Clearly define the problem. This problem is written in the circle to the right (effect).
- Identify potential cause categories – 6M. These go into the six rectangular boxes around the diagram.
- Extend a line from each major cause in the boxes to the ‘backbone’. Attach ideas to the potential causes on the horizontal arrows.
- Brainstorm potential causes by each category.
- Discuss potential causes with the goal of eliminating all but the root cause. In other words, determine the cause that, once addressed, will solve the problem (effect) for good.
When and where to stop brainstorming is the most important part of this approach. It would be wise to stop only after reaching a policy, process, procedure or a person that seems to be a root cause.
It should be noted that this is not a blame game. The goal is process improvement.
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