Methods for Service and Admin Process Improvement
Visible or Hidden Processes
The most important factor in selecting your improvement method is whether you operate visible or hidden processes.
The focus has traditionally been on manufacturing, assembly and engineering type businesses. They operate so-called visible processes, where you can see the work being carried out and it is obvious where to intervene (when you know what you are looking at). They try to squeeze the greatest efficiency out of the people and machines using sophisticated methods like six sigma and lean manufacturing techniques.
Contrast this with the 80% of organisations with transactional, service or administration processes - here it is rare to find structured improvement, but the potential is enormous. This work is more complex and it is hidden; i.e. it takes place in conversations, in computers, across the Internet. An external expert cannot immediately “see” opportunities for improvement; you have to involve the people doing the work.
For service and administratiive processes, the best method is Practical Process Improvement (PPI). See Selecting Your Improvement Method for a brief description of popular improvement methodologies. Contact us to discuss the most appropriate method for your organisation.
Selecting Your Improvement Programme
Complex work needs only Simple Improvement methods.
Find out more in Dr Mike Bell's book "Selecting Your Improvement Method". Order by adding the book to your shopping bag; cost £3.99 plus shipping. Also available on Amazon as the Kindle edition, price £1.99.
It outlines the things that you should consider in choosing an improvement programme for your organisation, starting with why you need such a programme in the first place.
There is brief description of the origin of the most common methods and the type of work that they are best suited for. Finally, the type of organisation is important in making your choice. A blend of methods may be the most appropriate, say PPI for the hidden processes and lean for the visible processes.
The improvement methodologies covered in this book include Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Practical Process Improvement (PPI), Theory of Constraints, Ford's 8D, Kepner Tragoe, Quality Circles, Total Quality Management, High Performing Teams.
Practical Process Improvement
Practical Process Improvement (PPI) is simple, practical and involves everyone in the organisation. In fact, so simple that you can implement it yourself with little or no external support.
Employees are formed into teams to solve important problems for the organisation using the PPI 8-Step Method. Everyone will require training initially and the training projects are run over an intensive 5 days (full time) or spread over 6-14 weeks. Thereafter projects can be completed in a few days or even a few hours.
The programme was developed by Ed Zunich and adapted and updated for service and admininstration processes by Dr Mike Bell.