Breakthrough Opportunity Selection

Breakthrough opportunity selection is vital for maximizing the success of your ‘achieving process excellence program. Here’s what to do.

As discussed on the Process Excellence and Value Creation page process excellence typically focus on two key categories of key performance indicators – Quality (effectiveness) and Process Efficiency.

breakthrough opportunity selection

Using the combination of an organization’s current KPI performance and Excellence Roadmap status a Quality vs Process Efficiency matrix can be plotted to assist the prioritization of opportunities.

Typically breakthrough opportunity selection focuses on the bottom left quadrant which receives the highest priority, followed by those in the bottom right, with last priority those in the top left quadrant. The goal is to achieve a product/service that achieves the customer set specifications while attaining that at set target costs.

The breakthrough opportunity selection 2 x 2 above measures product and service quality along with the vertical access and efficiency along with the horizontal access. For simplicity, this matrix only discusses the “low” and “high” efficiency measures, and appropriate and inappropriate on the “quality” measure.

Purely measuring low or high quality prohibits an organization from creating value for itself and its customers. By focusing on what is appropriate to the customer a business avoids higher costs of producing something to the highest possible quality that is not appreciated by the customer. That is, the company avoids wasting money on creating “too good quality”. 

The reverse is also true. The company must also produce products or services that meet the quality standards of the customer and not lower. Lower standards imply losses to the company as it will not maximize sales over an extended period.

Breakthrough Opportunity Selection Priority 1 – Bottom Left – opportunities that fall into this quadrant need to both create appropriate quality while becoming more efficient at doing so. Here the first priority is to establish the appropriate quality followed by increasing efficiency.

Breakthrough Opportunity Selection Priority 2 – Bottom Right – opportunities that fall into this quadrant are efficient but need to deliver more appropriate quality. 

Breakthrough Opportunity Selection Priority 3 – Top Left – opportunities that fall into this Quadrant are delivering appropriate quality but need to become more efficient at doing so.

Breakthrough Opportunity Selection Interative Process

As process performance breakthroughs are achieved, an iterative process is set in motion. While already established improvements are sustained, the goal is to continuously improve the performance of all processes to ever-higher levels of (process) efficiency while maintaining (quality) effectiveness.

breakthrough opportunity selection triangle

The Project Management Office (PMO) takes responsibility for ensuring that at all times resources are focussed on the appropriate breakthrough opportunities to achieve the organization’s objectives.

Breakthrough opportunity selection ensures appropriate support is given to what is important to the organization’s success.

  1. The first step is to continuously prioritise and reprioritise opportunities taking care that criteria used are aligned with the business objectives. 
  2. A project portfolio is managed by tracking project progress and resource utilisation. Reviews are untertaken to ensure maximum value is created by investive in key opportunities and removing those destroying value.
  3. Projects need to be moving in the right direction to deviler the promised value benefit. The achievement thereof is priority and must be tracked. Secondary measures is resource utlization and project timeline.

Breakthrough opportunity selection is key to the continued success of the organization.

back to Process Excellence System page from Breakthrough Opportunity Selection

related page: Process Excellence and Value Creation

Related Articles:

Breakthrough Opportunity Selection

Business Process Management

High Process Performance

Project Management, Program Management, and Portfolio Management

Sustain Process Excellence Gains

8 Process Excellence KSF

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