Implementing a Process Improvement Mentality
It would be great if our jobs were isolated, unrelated activities that we controlled, with little influence from the outside. In reality, our job duties are often a small part of a much larger “process” of interconnected functions, often covering several departments.
A process is defined as “a series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result”. Taken further, a process is “a series of operations performed in the making or treatment of a product”.
In the early ‘80’s American business was swept into the Process Improvement, Statistical Process Improvement (SPC) phenomenon. Everson Consulting was on the cutting edge of that movement until we realized that nothing is a panacea for all the woes of business. We realized that each of the initiatives included valuable tools but taken as a whole, no single process improvement technique was most effective. In fact, we coined the phrase Fads of the Month (FOTM’s) to address our concern.
Looking back, the process improvement movement was a huge step forward for American business. We were fortunate enough to surround ourselves with many theories and tools, and from those we selected those that are most effective and efficient. Our 4-phase Work Management (WM) series is an amalgamation of the best of the best. We have had great success implementing Work Management in a wide variety of industries, to include utilities, manufacturing, and state service.
Notice, we do not refer to ‘workforce management”. We believe that the process usually drives performance. Phillip Crosby’s quote on our home page says it all. We can manage processes, technologies, but we need to “lead” our people.
The entire premise behind Work Management is the need to improve customer service, whether it an external customer or the person across the aisle. We all have “customers” and their expectations keep rising. For that reason we need to look for ways to better deliver our “products” in a professional and cost effective manner.
Too often we fall into a comfort zone, a habit pattern. Joel Barker refers to these as “paradigms”. To address this epidemic of organizational “sacred cows”, we can help you identify and address your paradigms. Using a proprietary investigation process called “The Polasky Method”, we come into your organization looking for your department and organizational habit patterns. Trust us, they are there; they are usually so ingrained that an outside eye is needed to define them.
To help better define the “opportunities,” we begin by implementing our Data Collection phase. Next, during our “Idea Generation” phase, we bring all contributors together to “brain storm” new ways of doing things. While creative people thrive in this environment we realize that more practical people resist the idea generation concept.
Fortunately, the practical people get to shine in the Evaluation Phase. This balance continues into the final, Implementation Phase. The cooperation we see is a true testament to the Work Management Process.