Process Improvement

Business process improvement (BPI) is a systematic approach to help an organization optimize its underlying processes to achieve more efficient results. First documented in H. James Harrington's 1991 book Business Process Improvement, it is the methodology that has reportedly been responsible for reducing cost and cycle time by as much as 90% while improving quality by over 60%. The goal of BPI is a radical change in the performance of an organization, rather than a series of incremental changes.

Process improvement is that aspect of organizational progress where a series of phased activities are taken by the process managers to identify, analyze and improve existing processes to meet better goals and achieve higher standards of productivity. It attempts to reduce variation and/or waste in processes and increase efficiency, so that the desired results can be attained with optimal utilization of resources. In this way, business are also able to introduce process changes to improve the quality of a product or service and further to better match customer and consumer requirements. These actions may also include restructuring the training programs and updating the protocols/instructions of the company to improvise their effectiveness. An organization's strategic goals should provide the key direction for any Business Process Improvement exercise. It is imperative that the voice of customer is also factored in.

Process Improvement places a lot of emphasis on measurable results and should always be followed up with the analysis of areas of improvement. After implementation, the results could be compared in the measures of product quality, increased productivity and efficiency, new levels of customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, development of the skills of employees and increased profit resulting in higher and faster return on investment (ROI).