In this series, we highlight operational and process excellence capabilities, providing best practices and steps to identify and address gaps or opportunities.

Is your company looking to improve operational or process efficiency? Or perhaps initiate a program or Center of Excellence (COE) focused on Operational and Process Excellence, Lean, Six Sigma, or all three?

Are there known quality and customer service issues within your company? Maybe you’re just curious about all the hype around operational process excellence. Regardless, we’ve got you covered in a six-part blog series on the topics.

We believe Operational Excellence, or OE, requires a holistic roadmap with the proper balance across People, Process, Information, and Technology. A company can definitely advance by focusing on only one of these areas or by executing individual projects to address specific issues, but a holistic, balanced roadmap is necessary to truly achieve operational excellence.

In this blog series from some of our foremost thought leaders, we address the details of each of these operational excellence capabilities to help you get started on developing this roadmap. Each post will provide best practices and steps you can take to identify and address any gaps or opportunities within your organization, as it relates to critical OE processes.

We’ll also share examples of how other companies have addressed similar issues as well as how operational and process excellence fit into a company’s overall business transformation efforts.

Read the Blog Series

In this six-part series, our experts cover the following: 

Part 1 – Getting Started: What is a Process Assessment? Why Do You Need One?

The first step is to assess your organization’s process effectiveness, and develop a strategic roadmap based on the findings. Even a brief self-assessment with process participants and change sponsors will help you identify any upfront inconsistencies to address before you start on your path to operational excellence.

But why should you do this work? Everyone’s “why” will differ, but they usually align with six different value drivers: financial performance, business agility, scalability, reliability and predictability, customer experience and quality, and visibility and transparency. However, all of these value drivers share one thing in common: improving processes.

This blog will also help you answer some basic questions about process improvement so that you can build a roadmap made up of opportunity areas and needs organized into logical chunks of work or projects. Finally, we discuss tips and best practices on sequencing the projects into a roadmap based on priority, dependency and organization readiness for change. Read the blog

Part 2 –  People: The Foundation of Your Company, Culture and Process Excellence Programs

What would a process initiative be without people to drive it?

In this post, we look at two scenarios for process excellence (PEX) programs that will provide a coordinated effort and game plan for including your people in your improvement plans. The first scenario starts with projects that can grow into a PEX, and the second starts with PEX but is more focused on organizational change management and executive support.

We then dive into the components of excellence programs: Center of Excellence, Change Enablement and Technology Enablement. However, throughout we keep the focus on how to drive process improvement initiatives and establish an operational excellence culture at the enterprise level. This includes program sponsorship, process governance, Center of Excellence development, organizational change management, and more. Read the Blog

Part 3 – Process: Five Factors for Business Process Improvement Success

This segment will focus on the need to establish high-performing processes that grow with your company.

We will discuss the different disciplines you can apply – Lean, Six Sigma, “Just Do It,” the DMAIC approach.

Many people have heard of these initiatives or participated in efforts to implement such examples of Business Process Improvement (BPI). While BPI initiatives have become essential in every organization, 70% of all BPI projects fail, according to ASQ. In this blog, you’ll learn how to lead organizations through change while keeping an eye on customer needs, and five key factors that are critical to the success of any business process improvement initiative. Read the Blog

Part 4 – Performance Metrics: “If You Can Measure It, You Can Manage It”

Effective metrics are essential to measuring and driving ongoing improvement. That also means you need to measure performance in such a way that many aspects of your organization build alliances so that your team is more proactive. Performance measurement allows you to focus on your company’s health by keeping an eye toward what decisions impact both internal and customers and how those decisions affect the bottom line and future processes.

In this installment, we will discuss how to use performance measurement to measure, communicate, manage and improve overall business performance. Read the Blog

Part 5 – Technology: What’s the Right Way to Automate a Process?

There are lots of buzzwords out there when it comes to using technology to drive process optimization. But when it comes to improving your processes, the last thing you want to do is pick the flashiest product. Before you can choose the best tool for your organization, you need to know your company’s current technology environment and needs. Moreover, you’ll need to fix some processes before incorporating technology — after all, automating a bad process only gets you inefficient or bad results faster.

We’ll help you sift through the technology, including process modeling tools, BPMS, rules management, Robotic Process Automation, and the application of emerging digital technologies. Read the blog

Part 6 – Bringing It All Together: How Operational Process Excellence Enables Business Transformation

Again, a company can surely advance by focusing on only one of the areas that we’ve discussed so far. But operational excellence does not exist in a vacuum — instead, as the core of everything companies do, it exists as an essential puzzle piece for any large-scale business transformation.

And as more and more organizations adopt a “Rethinking Business Transformation” mindset, in which business transformation must be agile rather than a five- to- 10-year effort, we discuss the importance of bringing all the key capabilities we discussed in this series together to develop a balanced roadmap. In the conclusion to this six-part series, you’ll truly learn how operational and process excellence help create a better future.

But to truly achieve Process Excellence, we believe that a holistic and balanced roadmap is essential. In the final installment of the series, we will discuss how all of the key capabilities come together, like puzzle pieces, to develop a balanced roadmap. Read the blog

Final Thoughts

In each of these blogs, we go into greater detail on each of these capabilities. Read each to learn the steps you can take to assess and improve your organization’s position in each of these areas.