Implementing continuous improvement has become essential for companies nowadays. It optimizes procedures, ensuring more productivity and profit. But how to develop process improvement in companies? Here are the seven essential steps: Process improvement strategies
- Identify the need for process improvement;
- Analyze current processes;
- Get the support of your team;
- Create an improvement strategy;
- Use technology;
- Facilitate collaboration;
- Track implementation and review changes.
What is process improvement and how to develop it?
Demand for business process improvement continues to increase as new technologies emerge and competition grows. Process improvement strategies
This is because continuous process improvement tools are essential to keep a business competitive, increasing its performance and achieving better results.
The first step in initiating process improvement in companies is to identify which areas need to be optimized.
By evaluating what is working well, it is possible to identify which areas can have their processes and results optimized. Having this information, you will be able to prioritize a strategic action focus.
In addition, an organizational culture that continually seeks to improve internal processes is also capable of analyzing how each stage of its production affects the entire organization and its customers. Process improvement strategies
But how to develop process improvement in companies in practice?
A few simple steps are essential to get to know each procedure in depth and be able to set goals to improve a company :
- consider which steps in the current process are not working or are failing;
- identify if there are steps that increase operating costs;
- talk to people who are directly affected by this process and find out what they think is wrong and how they suggest the problem be resolved.
Regardless of the process you are trying to improve, the improvement procedure follows a similar path.
Next, we define 7 important steps to achieve process improvement in companies. Take note and try to apply them in your business.
7 steps to implement process improvements in companies
1. Identify the need for process improvement
Auditing is one of the most effective ways to identify the need for process improvement in companies, because it helps in the recognition of current problems and even those that may occur in the future.
The FMEA method is a good way to do it, as it makes it possible to predict and eliminate failures, whether in processes, products or services. Process improvement strategies
In addition to identifying opportunities for improvement, the audit must also indicate what the priorities for change are.
Therefore, in this first step you should also analyze how each process affects: Process improvement strategies
- the company;
- the resources;
- the clients;
- the partners;
- the suppliers, etc.
2. Analyze current processes
After doing a process improvement analysis and identifying which ones need to be optimised, it is necessary to look at how the procedure is performed at the current moment.
Try to understand how each step of the process is performed to understand which aspects will need changes.
To make the work easier and more didactic, you can try to answer the following questions:
- what are the flaws in the process?
- Which changes take the most time to complete?
- what are the expected benefits of optimization?
- among others.
In this way, it is possible to define the priority of process improvement projects, in addition to establishing clear and realistic objectives.
Also, remember to always document process improvement. Documentation is essential so that the entire team knows what is happening and that changes are implemented correctly. Process improvement strategies
3. Get your team’s support
If you don’t have the support and commitment of employees and managers, all the process improvement analysis presented in the previous two steps is useless.
It is critical that you gain everyone’s support to apply process improvement techniques and to implement changes.
After all, companies are formed by several people and depend on teamwork, right? Therefore, it is not possible to make relevant process improvements without everyone’s contribution.
Manpower, time and resources are fundamental factors for the implementation of process improvement in companies. And everyone should be aware that this is not always a simple task.
4. Create an improvement strategy
So far you have performed a process improvement analysis. Now is the time to develop your strategy. For this, it is recommended that you include the following points in the presentation: Process improvement strategies
- which process steps can be optimized;
- why and how they should be improved;
- and the financial and resource implications for implementing the changes.
In addition, it is also essential that you set realistic goals that are aligned with the organization’s goals and that can be measured properly.
It is recommended that you consider the following objectives:
- increase market share;
- seek cost reduction;
- increase productivity;
- maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.
5. Use technology
The use of technology allows you to develop with more practicality, agility and ease the improvement of internal processes in companies. Process improvement strategies
There are numerous process improvement management tools, ranging from spreadsheets to turnkey software solutions.
Our recommendation is that you have apps and software that automate part of the analysis and strategies.
In this way, you optimize your time, making the implementation of the process improvement project faster and more productive.
Applying process management in your company is the most efficient method to automate procedures and simplify their improvement. Here’s how to implement it in seven steps:
6. Facilitate collaboration
Encouraging the collaboration of the maximum number of people in the process improvement project in companies is a great way to increase execution efficiency and reduce costs. Process improvement strategies
For this, you can create a virtual calendar that everyone can access and see the tasks and those responsible or use a communication application to exchange ideas.
Finally, use your creativity to think of methods and tools that can improve the collaboration of the team involved.
Brainstorming is a good technique that can be used to come up with innovative and effective ideas that encourage collaboration.
7. Track implementation and review changes
Just as you reviewed existing processes to find out where improvements could be made, you should also review the implemented changes.
Track their progress, make sure they’re meeting the goals you’ve set, and be ready to adjust your plan as it progresses.
To do this, stay in touch with your team, get information about how the new process is working, and ask about possible glitches or problems. Process improvement strategies
With this information in hand, assess whether there is a need to make adjustments to your plan so that it actually provides an improvement in the company’s processes.
How to optimize processes in SMEs?
Small and medium-sized companies are a different case because they need different process improvement strategies.
After all, they have reduced manpower and resources, which can make the implementation of changes a little difficult.
Therefore, we have prepared an ebook on how to optimize processes in SMEs . It teaches a practical step-by-step on how to develop a process improvement project capable of bringing high-impact financial results. Download for free!
Lean Six Sigma as a process improvement tool
A methodology for improving processes in companies, with great space in the market, is Lean Six Sigma . The correct use of this method provides for:
- increased productivity ;
- process quality improvement;
- cost savings and more.
Implementing the methodology requires an understanding of 2 main factors:
- the needs of a business’s customer;
- How does the company’s production system work?
By crossing these two pieces of information, it is possible to identify which internal aspects need to be improved to improve the quality of your products and processes. Process improvement strategies
In a second moment, it is necessary to look for ways to eliminate the existing gaps. For this, clear goals and specific projects will be defined to achieve the objectives outlined.
Taking a course on Six Sigma methodology can be extremely advantageous for your career.