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Process for the Process



Anyone surprised to hear that The Better Process Company has a process for process improvement?


There are lots of methodologies that tell you what things you need to consider and documents you need to create, but few of them talk about how to go about it on the ground.


We believe in keeping things simple, which is why there are just three stages:

  • Discuss & Discover

  • Document & Decide

  • Deliver & Do


Discuss & Discover

Regardless of the methodology, you use (ITIL, ISO20000, LEAN, etc) they all start with understanding the current situation. This makes sense. Before you start a journey it’s probably a good idea to know where you are.


I’m sure you have all your processes documented… right?

And they perfectly represent what is actually happening… don’t they…?


We all know this isn’t the case.

If both of those statements are true then there’s probably little need to do any process improvement. It’s when you don’t have things well documented or people are bending the processes almost to breaking-point that you really need to change what you’re doing.

Tip: The more stressed your team looks, the more likely you need to take a good look at how everything is actually running.


We start by talking.

To everyone. Not just those carrying out the tasks, but the stakeholders as well, anyone who has some connection with that process or the team.


This allows us to fully understand what is actually going on, where there are bottlenecks, friction points, and the needs of everyone involved.



Document & Decide

All that talking results in a report detailing everything found - the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly.


Actual workflows will be diagrammed and the processes will be described. The views of stakeholders will be anonymously reported, as will those of the team. Where issues with the operational models are found they will be described in detail and their impact on the process.


Specific recommendations will be made for improving any problem areas. There is no such thing as a perfect solution. There will be limitations due to tools in place, expertise of the team, and just how much change people can take. The aim is to get the maximum improvement for the minimal amount of change.


Working with the senior management team a plan will be created for what will be changed, when, and how.


All of this needs to be at least presented to the team and stakeholders. This is a crucial step to get buy-in. It also functions as a kind of test-run since they get to think through how this will affect their day-to-day tasks.


TIP: The more input people have to change the less resistant to it they’ll be.


Deliver & Do

Once the decision is made on how to move forward and everyone has had a chance to review the plan it’s time to deliver.


In an ideal world, any change would be introduced incrementally. Since we don’t live in an ideal world, this isn’t always possible. If you’re changing anything in a tool that is already in use some of the changes might be visible to the team or stakeholders. We aim to deliver the changes with the minimum disruption to the current process until we are ready to switch over to the new process.


As the delivery progresses we review completed steps and next steps with all those impacted, adjusting the work and time frames if and when necessary. This is especially important when any of the ‘pre-release’ steps will change something already being used.


TIP: It is almost impossible to over-communicate during this stage.


After the new process has been rolled out we review the project and plan any improvements that might be needed.

After all, the only constant is change...


Find out more on our website

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