Process Improvement Approach
The basic principle of process improvement is based on the iterative execution of the sequence Plan – Do – Check – Act, according to the well-known Deming Cycle.
This iterative approach carries the following guidelines:
• Gradual implementation / gradual improvement
• Step by step, assuring everything gets assured
• Start simple, observe quick wins, continuously improve, iterate up-to operational excellence
• Keep the momentum going
• Chances of failure are small; in case of failure, you only loose the effort of one tiny step (contrary to big re-engineering projects)
Before the first Plan – Do – Check – Act cycle, an initial as-is assessment should be performed. The current processes are identified, existing high level business objectives are gathered and the current process objectives are articulated.
Then the iterative cycle starts:
• Check: measure and evaluate
• Act: design the to-be of the next iteration
• Plan: plan the implementation of the to-be
• Do: implement the to-be