Your deployment direction has been set, your prioritized projects have been selected and your resources have been allocated: now it’s time to finally implement your process improvement projects. While we’ve already covered the project execution stage of process improvement extensively – both the basics and the more advanced techniques – there are a few high-level principles worth mentioning.
Effectiveness Still Reigns – Don’t be in such a hurry to carry out your process improvements that you forget to occasionally take a step back and look at the larger strategic picture. While short-term efficiency sometimes yields quicker (and flashier) results, you must ensure it doesn’t inhibit a more effective long-term solution. A good metric to remember is that most process improvement efforts should yield at least five times your initial investment. No matter the size or complexity of your agency, crafting an organization-wide process improvement deployment strategy is a difficult task. Don’t let the scale of your work intimidate you. Instead, connect with an expert from Big Sky Associates today to brainstorm 10 actionable ideas for your process improvement strategy that return at least five times your investment.
Use Only The Right Tools For The Job – Many process improvement tools and methodologies have popular (and devoted) followings, and some of those data analysis or decision making tools may be right for your agency and operations. But they may not be. Let the entire toolkit of process and operations improvement be at your disposal, and never dogmatically stick to a certain tool or framework if it isn’t helping your agency improve processes or realize operational effectiveness. Instead, use only the best tool for the job.
Process Improvement Never Ends – While a major deployment and a set of projects might be necessary to get your agency moving in the right direction, process and operations improvement is a cultural trait, not a project. Your deployment strategy and individual projects need to establish long-term structures, training and even professional norms that facilitate a culture of continuous improvement. When employees are encouraged and empowered to continuously improve operations (instead of just in onetime projects), operations will begin to improve without your intervention.
Operational efficiency is a journey, not a destination. Therefore, it’s critical that your deployment strategy sets the heading for a well-planned, well-executed process improvement journey. While it’s tempting to start your process improvement projects right away, you’ll be glad you took a moment to look at your map and compass.