Monday, November 17, 2008

Taking Stock

If you’re in operations management, when was the last time you reviewed your organizational processes? Really dug in and analyzed the nuts and bolts of the work that’s being done? Activities, and the steps required to fulfill them, are rife with redundancy, rework and opportunities for error. Talking to staff members about frustrations they might face in their approach to the work they do often reveals inconsistency in work processes – the great enemy of quality outputs. Just taking the time to model processes can reveal multiple opportunities for improvement. The first step is to simply get organized.

One method we use in our practice to help our clients organize their improvement efforts is Process Mastering. The Process Master is a list of critical organizational processes we assemble to examine the suppliers, inputs, activities, outputs, consumers and measures for each. We create the Process Master by working directly with our clients’ management teams to identify critical “moments of truth” in operational processes that introduce opportunities for error, cause delay and enable other process challenges that drive up costs and destroy productivity.

It takes very little time to create, yet provides an extraordinary launching pad for all future process improvement efforts.


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