Identifying process excellence opportunities is the most critical point in the journey towards achieving process excellence. It ensures prioritization of the ‘right’ resources focussing on the ‘right’ opportunities that stand to create the most value to the company and its stakeholders.
Identifying process excellence opportunities is the first step towards prioritizing, selecting, and defining, and resourcing for efficiency and effectiveness improvement opportunity implementation.
Identifying process excellence opportunities is a task that involves the organization’s leadership, excellence champions and sponsors, project team leaders, and everyone involved in the processes.
Identifying process excellence opportunities is a simple yet crucial step. It is basic good management practice but surprisingly often neglected or poorly executed. Without a structured identification mechanism, the proverbial loudest voice gets the resources to go after biased opportunities. The result is often frustration and minimal impact on the bottom line.
Top-Down & Bottom-Up Identifying Process Excellence Opportunities
When identifying opportunities different approaches can be adopted. Typically a mix of top-down and bottom-up delivers the best results.
Leaders of an organization have a good view of the big picture. Opportunities lie in the organization’s strategic intent, gaps that exist in achieving key performance indicators and financial results, or understanding the current level and target level of the organization’s processes maturity (see article Maturity Roadmap).
A valuable tool for aiding the top-down approach is the Goal Tree that distills specific opportunities from the objectives of the high level.
Those in the processes, whether on the shop floor or admin and services processes are best placed to identify opportunities for improvement in the organization’s core and supporting processes.
Measuring defects, output speed, resource usage, throughput, and many others against a process’s entitlement is the first stop for identifying opportunities.
Process mapping and/or value stream mapping remains the best approaches to understanding processes and for identifying process excellence opportunities.
Although a good mix of top-down and bottom-up approaches yields great results, the entire stage of process identification should be owned and driven by the organization’s leadership. Regular iteration should form of the standard operating procedure for identifying opportunities.
Click here to read the next article that delves into Prioritizing and Selection of Process Excellence improvement and innovation opportunities
Click here to read our article ‘Doing the right things’ which addresses the leader’s vital role around opportunity Identification, prioritization, selection, definition, method selection, and resourcing.
Some of our articles related to doing the right things include: