Igniting Workplace Enthusiasm

Process Improvement

Improving Existing Processes

by Dale Carnegie

May 21, 2014
Once you clearly understand a process, you can focus on ways to make improvements. Review each step of the process with the following key points in mind to make your problems SCARCE.
Simplify: Identify steps that can be made easier, done faster or completed with fewer resources. Look for changes in technology, software, and best practices in the industry. Consider when the number of movements or moving parts can be decreased. Consider the distances to transport people, machines, or raw materials that can be reduced.
Combine: Look for opportunities to combine two or more different operations. Reduce the number of people who interact with the process. Have the same person, function, or department do more so that more value is added to the system at that point. Identify redundancies that create additional steps or rework.
Add Value: Create added value at new points in the process. Determine what could be done at each step to either add new value or add value that was being created somewhere else in the process. This actually means adding elements to the process, so be certain that the added value is worth the investment. Value is determined by the ultimate customers, so be sure to keep their perspectives in mind. Be careful not to create unnecessary redundancies across departments that could lead to conflicts later.
Re-Arrange: This could involve moving people, equipment, work spaces, raw materials, etc. Look at options to change the sequence of operations or activities. Could something be done earlier or later? By a different person or at a different location? Small changes can make a big difference.
Clarify: Sometimes we discover that a process is correct, but it is not being followed consistently. Be careful of change just for the sake of change. You might discover that people are unaware of processes, need additional training, or have to be convinced why it is important to do the process in the prescribed way. This is where good communication and human relation skills are critical.
Eliminate: This is usually the most effective and easiest approach. Careful examination of long-held processes usually brings to light steps that are no longer necessary. Often there is little or no investment in time or resources required to eliminate these types of steps. Just be careful not to eliminate elements that are essential to downstream operations. Before eliminating something, ask stakeholders in the organization why a step is being done.

Post a comment (3 posted)

  1. Halil /

    Thanks Mark! Some of the highlights are:If you're new to Social Media, get on LinkedIn first!We are now in the Relationship age, not Technology.Imagine that, budinlig relationship, what a great concept!

  2. Wouter /

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  3. Bayu /

    Again today I listened to the mp3 and then rweiveed the pdf of the note. This is one of my favorite notes! (I have visited upon it at least 3 times in the past). It is so practical and focuses on what we can do -today-. No matter what your burden, you can carry it from awakening to falling asleep, right? Isn't that what we do every single day? How many behaviors do we engage in habitually but don't think of them as habits, because that is just how we are/how our life is? If I can carry the burden of my problems I can also carry the burden of my positive, productive rituals such as those mentioned in Quadrant 2 space yesterday. These are just routines, just habits. It should be no harder to do the positive stuff than to carry the negative burden. So get busy, rest before you get tired, then get busy again. This is by far one of my favorite quotes from all of the notes so far.... "The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not" so, "Get busy. Keep busy." (and rest intermittently) :] http://kpkpolpmf.com [url=http://ehclgr.com]ehclgr[/url] [link=http://gepduejgxvf.com]gepduejgxvf[/link]


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