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How to be successful with BPI/BPM

womanwriting19115187.jpgProcess improvement methods target the needs of the customers and the efficiency of the company. In order to become successful with business process improvement or business process management, you need to carefully follow these steps:

Step # 1 - Identify which method works
Six Sigma has about 10 different methods to use, so does lean manufacturing. When you are trying to become successful with BPI/BPM, you need to determine which method fits the needs of your company and your customers. In addition to Six Sigma and lean manufacturing, there is also Total Quality Management (TQM). The good news is that all of the processes can be implemented and you can add tools from other ones as you go along. This means you can implement the 5 "S" method in addition to your TQM strategy.

Step # 2 - Quantifiable Measures
Once you select a method, you need to use quantifiable measures to track the customer satisfaction rates. Many companies lack success because they don't select the right measures that are needed to convert customer information into statistical data.

Another reason to choose quantifiable measures is because they eliminate the need to create general opinions about customer feedback. When you have system in place, you have factual results. When you don't have a system in place, employees will make up their own opinions and this usually leads to a handful of problems for the company. You will have confusion and frustration among the staff members, mistrust from customers, and wasted money on the amount of time people are wasting talking about customer feedback.

Step # 3 - Employee Involvement

Employees need to maintain high levels of energy in order to stay productive. Employees provide a large role in process improvement because they interact with the customers and can provide you with instant information from the customers. It is also important for your employees to feel respected in the system by giving them increased responsibility like collecting customer data, organizing, and analyzing it. This will give the employee a sense of responsibility and it helps to improve employee loyalty.

Step # 4 - Deadlines

One thing you need to clearly communicate to employees is their deadlines. People are often blamed for the failure of a process improvement strategy when they didn't meet a deadline. To combat this from happening, have each team within your company establish their own deadlines for when the projects need to be completed. This gives them the energy to work hard to meet the deadline and they are in control of their own job duties. If you assign projects without deadlines, you will get positive energy, but people often put it off and they don't start working on it until they hear more information from you. It is important for your company's financial situation to have deadlines because you may need to make a large investment as part of the project. If you don't have enough fore-warning you will need to draw for your cash reserves, which can be a dangerous practice for any company.

Another reason why you need to have deadlines is so you can determine if the project is adding value to the company or not. It is hard to figure out if the project will be a success if no one knows when it is due. Once a project starts to deliver results, it is easy to assume that it is successful. Don't be fooled by the early data, give it some time before you pull apart the data and compare it to your investment to see if it is successful. This is why process improvement strategies exist. They focus on the long-term goals versus the immediate successes.

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