Process optimization is about improving the ways of doing each of a company’s steps to get better results. This optimization can be done by benchmarking i.e. a comparative analysis of the processes between organizations or by a diagnostic analysis of the performance of the processes of an organization or a company.
Process Optimization Approaches
These process optimization methods cannot be successfully implemented without an approach that takes into account the human dimension, which ensures the continuity of the process and facilitates change.
- Set up the Conditions for Success
It is important to focus on certain aspects considered fundamental in such an approach:
First and foremost, create and maintain a climate of trust with the people involved. Without this climate of trust, it will be impossible to change anything.
- Ensure transparent, continuous and varied communication.
- Involve all concerned (managers and employees).
- Validate the data collected and the proposed changes with the people involved.
- Take into account the pace of the staff and the direction of management.
- Produce concrete results in the short term and generate tangible benefits.
- Transfer skills and knowledge to ensure continuity in the pursuit of the process.
- Follow up on the work done.
- Develop the Intervention Strategy
Developing the intervention strategy is planning the project, preparing the environment, defining a meaning for change. The more well-defined, well-planned and well-understood the intervention strategy development phase, the greater the chances of success. The first step is the foundation, the foundation of the next steps.
It is therefore very important during this phase to have a clear understanding of the objectives pursued, the context of the project, the current problem, the expectations, the orientations of the management, the scope and limits of the mandate, the methodology and the timetable of the project.
This step also serves to form the working groups, to determine the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders, to specify the logistics of the intervention, the communication strategy, but also and above all to create a team of people convinced of the importance to change the ways of doing things.
- Analyze Current Processes
Process analysis aims to know and document the work done by employees and the results obtained in each process; who does what, how, with what resources and why.
This step involves a diagnosis of the organization of work, identifying the obstacles and causes of non-performance as well as ways to improve the performance of processes. During this stage, all involved employees participate in the collection of information. Questionnaires and interviews are used to complete the information. Employees are informed of the objectives pursued by the approach and sensitized to the notion of process.
To ensure an objective view of work organization, a proven methodology and computer tools for analyzing process performance can be used (including a relational database). With this methodology and these computer tools, it is possible to have a better knowledge of the work of the employees.
For example, it is possible to establish the number of hours worked by process, activity, administrative unit and employee.
It is also possible to identify the processes, activities and resources that contribute the most to improving performance and those who contribute the least, and thus assess the added value of each process, the relevance of resources invested and customer satisfaction. This exercise makes it possible to have objective, complete data, validated by the employees and the management, which can justify a reorganization of the work.
- Submit Changes
This step involves refining the changes to optimize processes and making them more efficient and effective. These changes may include simplifying existing processes, making significant changes to certain processes, adding new processes or activities, eliminating duplication, making better use of resources, reducing wasted time, improving working methods, better distribution of workloads, better definition of responsibilities, improvement of management practices, etc.
- Develop and Implement Solutions
This step consists of developing and implementing solutions that will correct the current situation and that will respond to the strategic orientations of management. This step may require major investments in time and money. This is why it is necessary to be able to count on the best resources of the company.