Correcting a Process Improvement Plan

Improving Process Plan

Project managers and their teams depend on processes to ensure that a project runs smoothly. Too often processes are relied on as if they were somehow perfect and cannot be touched. That type of thinking is what will quickly send a project off track and possibly cause it to fail, meaning there is always room for improvement.

Constantly analysing processes is the best way to reach a successful end, through a technique called process improvement. Implementing what is learnt through process improvement is done by creating a process improvement plan. Document’s outlining how to improve processes after identifying and analysing them.

The process improvement plan is part of a larger, overall project plan. It guides the project team on how to analyse the project processes and outlines where there’s room for measurable improvements. It tends to be an iterative process that occurs throughout the project’s life cycle.

The point of a process improvement plan is to find weak links in the process chain or bottlenecks that are impeding work, and then figure out ways to rectify those inefficiencies. This leads to processes being completed faster, more efficiently and with a greater quality of deliverables.

A process improvement plan will also help to reduce wasted efforts and keep teams working more productively. It helps to reduce any friction that exists in the processes, and ensures processes meet regulatory compliance standards when required.

To do the work of identifying the weak points in a process and do nothing about it is counterproductive. It might feel like the effort of creating and implementing a plan is not worth the investment.

If there is a belief there are flaws in the process and don’t respond to improve them, there will be a bigger problem down the line. Therefore, it’s always beneficial to respond to the problem and work towards resolving it. To do this requires a plan. The process improvement plan can be broken down into seven steps.

The first step is to get a full overview of the process that needs improvements. Take that process and break it down into a map. This assists in getting an idea where the weaknesses are in the process.

Commence the analysis of the process to see where the issues might lie. Look closely at each of the steps and see where there was a problem, such as delays, over-allocation of resources, too much money spent, idle team members and so on. Once known, trace back the issue to its origin in order to address its cause and how to avoid it in the future.

Once the cause of the problem has been uncovered, it’s time to redesign the process to improve it and avoid the issue when next using it. At this point, it is best to involve the whole project team.

They are the ones who have the most intimate knowledge of the process and hands-on experience with it. They’ll make sure that there are no stones left unturned and everything has been documented in the process. They’re an invaluable resource for process improvement and should be listened to.

Get their ideas on how to redesign the process and brainstorm with them for more solutions. Then analyse all the solutions offered and figure out which one is the best and most likely to improve the process.

Assigning resources is the next step; they are the go-to people or team members who are impacted by this process and its change. Once the team is assembled, give them detailed instructions on how to redesign the process and why it’s important.

Implementing the process improvement plan is then put into action, which means creating a detailed task list and assignments. This part of the process is just as any project plan is created, breaking down the deliverables into tasks and assigning each team member with those tasks. Create a schedule with a timeline and add tasks, their duration, and any dependencies.

Take the time to communicate plans to the team and make sure they fully understand their part. Listen, be open to feedback, and make sure the team understands they will be kept in the loop throughout the whole process. This creates buy-in and helps them embrace the new process.

Once the team is executing the project, it’s important to track their progress. Monitoring is not micromanaging. It provides a window into the project and allows for any tweaks to keep it moving as scheduled.

Being equip with the tools needed to improve any process is important. From making a process improvement plan to executing that plan and monitoring its progress, as this will break you out of complacency and help achieve more in your projects. Unfortunately, it’s easy to stagnate when you get used to the routine of your current processes. You shouldn’t change things willy-nilly—if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it—but you should always be seeking ways to improve. Let us know your thoughts on process correction we would like to hear from you. All the very best on your project management journey.

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