Time to declutter, let process excellence be process simplification

Posted on Posted in Blog, Monday Blues

Change is inevitable, no matter how hard you try to runway from it, you will be followed. The best way to deal with change is to adapt it, no one is immune to it, look around, we all are dealing with change in different shape and form.

If you have been in and around service industry, change is happening every day and majority of the time its people driven, via process excellence initiatives, more of internal and less of external. Process excellence initiatives have given us great benefits and it continues to do so in driving change, some of the biggest output focused projects I have been part of were driven by process excellence.  Lots of organization continue to build this DNA and its paying off but not to the extent it’s expected, some haven’t been able to get any benefit at all in spite of driving numerous program and for those its working, still not the right ROI, so what’s going wrong.

There is absolutely nothing wrong fundamentally, there is an inherent challenge in how we are driving process excellence concepts and communicating it to our teams. The complexity around using process excellence tools and methods forces people to remember it rather the applying t, in reality the knowledge is of no use, if it can’t be used effectively.  I was speaking to a set of people, all the roadblock  and challenges were focused around learning process excellence and six sigma terms as they were trying to memories rather than focus on application.

I will share one classic example, in typical HR service a transaction has to through multiple levels of approval to complete, majority of the time, its system HRIS system driven.  A job change with pay transaction to really hit the system  for payroll processing may take 9-10 days (assuming three levels of approvals, each approver has 3 days) and by the time, the final approval is received, it might have missed the pay cycle.

Now someone asked to do a project on it, reduce the over cycle by 5 days.  For this change and problem identification to happen, you will start with problem identification and agree upon a approach to follow, work through a business case, you may be required to use Kanban, five W’s, etc. Take these thoughts to front line staff to drive it, they will be overwhelmed with the complexity and effort required, you will see the push back.

The need here is make it simple for people to understand and de clutter process excellence concepts, given people simply tools and approaches  in the language which is used day to day.  An experienced professional must mentor the project and ensures, all different perspective are looked into.  The change is as simple as you can think through, all it requires is, simply map the process on a piece of paper, enter time and duration it takes,  identify the opportunities, remove NVA and proceed towards implementation with controls.

In the above example, the transaction should only go through a managers approval, rest of the approvals are more focused on controls, so instead of the transaction going through multiple approvals for control, publish a daily report on Job pay change transaction, get it delivered to individuals who really are interested to know or want to have control.

Give people the required trainings lean, six sigma fundamentals and process excellence to create that DNA but when it comes to application, we need to ensure its simplified!

Leave a Reply