School of Electronics and Computer Science
Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences
University of Southampton
MANG3023 – Management 2
Table of Contents
2. Approaches and tools for process Improvement
3. Process Improvement Phases
3.1 Process definition and assessment
3.2 Process Mapping and Analysis
3.3 Process redesign and improvement.
A work process is “a method of doing something, generally involving a number of sequential steps to transform inputs into outputs that lead to a specific outcome” . In some instances in organisations, work processes are models that have been developed in an ad-hoc basis through task performance that has evolved over time. However, to sustain efficiency in the contemporary business environment driven by competition, customer satisfaction, globalization, increasing regulations and quality assurance requirements, and change, continuous review and improvement of work processes is required. Business efficiency can be achieved by defining the process, mapping the process, defining process measures and analysing the process with a view to adopting new techniques, streamlining and simplifying the process. The work process considered for illustrative purposes is a purchase requisition process in a furniture manufacturing business. Efficiency of the purchasing process can be determined by the occurrence of errors in purchase orders, number of purchase orders and requisitions processed within a given period and cost savings . 2. Approaches and tools for process Improvement
There are various approaches and tools employed for process improvement. The most widely adopted is Total Quality Management (TQM). It helps to achieve process efficiency through its plan, do, and check and act cycle (PDCA). TQM interventions such as the lean and six Sigma techniques enable the identification and elimination of problems in work processes. The basic process improvement tools utilized in TQM include quality control tools, statistical process control, benchmarking, team work and training. Other problem solving, tools and techniques include process mapping, SIPOC Diagram, SCOPE, matrix analysis, flow chartings, cross functional ( swim lane) diagrams, Pareto diagrams, cause/ effect diagrams, histogram, control charts, scatter diagrams and checklists and brainstorming 3. Process Improvement Phases
3.1 Process definition and assessment
The process should be defined and documented. An important aspect of process improvement is the documentation of policies and procedures. The documents act as control measure, set limits and expedite the work process. For example, in a purchasing process scenario these documents are readily available to clarify issues and provide accurate information to staff instead of the uncertainty and time wasted in consulting team mates for direction. The work process should also be assessed to find out if it fulfills objectives. Customer satisfaction: Satisfying the needs of both internal and external customers is crucial. There should be clarification as regards where customer needs are being adequately met in terms of metrics such as timely delivery and quality products. The needs of internal customers within the work group should be considered and one of the goals of assessment is to determine if there are tasks within the process which bring about bottlenecks and frustrations. Waste management. Determine if the process is capable of compressing the timeline from the beginning of the process (requisition) to the end (purchase). 3.2 Process Mapping and Analysis
Identification of the specific tasks and activities and flow of the unit of work within a process can be achieved through process mapping. In this context, flow charts, swim-lane diagrams (See figure 2 in Appendix) and SIPOC diagrams could be used. Flow charting makes the tasks and...
References: 1. S.Kumar and R.Harms. “Improving business processes for increased operational efficiency: a case study”, Journal of Manufacturing technology management, vol 15, pp. 662-674, 2004.
4. Md. Maaz, M.Kumar “Structured Method for Business Process Improvement” in 3rd Int Conf. Services in Emerging Markets, 2013,Mysore, pp.183 – 188
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