Building a Foundation Can Produce Great Results
I am amazed sometimes how companies or parts of companies can even operate. I am asked to help them improve their processes which sounds great. A close examination shows they really have no process that even exists.
I do believe that everything has a process. So, what I mean by no process is the current one is not organized, inconsistent, unstructured, anything goes and just plain shoddy.
Some might say, you can’t improve something that is inconsistent because you need consistency to establish a baseline to improve from. I believe establishing consistency is an improvement.
There have been times when all I have done is helped the organization develop a standard process to adhere to. This standard process was used consistently by everyone in the process and great gains were achieved by nothing more than gaining high agreement on what was going to be done and how it was going to be done.
There is always one best known way to execute a process. That may change as improvements are made. If there can only be one best way, then by definition everyone that starts to follow this best known way will become more efficient.
What still surprises me, is how many processes still are not standardized. This change alone can increase efficiencies across the process, gaining better results and making the person who standardized the process look like a genius.
Always make sure the foundation is laid before you start jumping to improvements. And look at laying the foundation of a process as a big improvement. Don’t underestimate the power of standardization.