Continuous improvement of processes

publication date 23.04.2012

Continuous improvement of processes

Continuous improvement is a long-term process designed for well-established companies to avoid stagnation and keep their position on the market. The point is to get the workers actively involved in improving their own work, simplifying the processes, utilizing the technologies avaliable and so on.  

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Most companies´ management is process-based, which means that the company is "crumbled up" into the individual processes. The simplest overview of how the company is divided into processes is provided by the process map. Such a division makes it possible to pay attention to the particular parts, which, in this case, are the individual processes, and improve them one by one. If the processes are well designed, all the linkups to the other processes are apparent in them, for the company is an integral system that holds and works effectively just because of its connections. The connections that make the system work as a whole must not be eroded in the course of the improvement.  

Improvement is then based on the following activities:  

  • process analysis:
    • needed activites
    • the manner activities are carried out in view of their: 
      • costs
      • duration
      • required qualifications of workers
      • modernization - robotization and so on
    • inforamtion flow analysis
    • functionality of connections 
    • the mode of management or leadership 
  • utilization of the information system or other technologies
  • the company´s strategy and the management of change 
  • process monitoring through the metrics, kpi
  • creation of added value
  • loss making
  • motivation of workers
  • etc.

The improvement of processes is entirely individual and in its performance you need to consider the company´s entrepreneurial intent, the style of management, the company´s line of business and the corporate culture, too. For the company represents a socio-technical system where technologies, capabilities and the influences of social groups blend together. A single technological improvement can have a strong impact on the behaviour of teams.  

You had better reckon with the fact that in order to make the improvement continuous and reach useful results, you will need to combine more methods from diverse branches of business.  


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Advisor ideas

„Nobody is going to collect results for the manager.“ more >>

Jiří Střelec Jiří Střelec

The manager is supposed, along with his or her team, to deliver results for the company. That is what they are paid for. The results need to be proven. Not always they are obvious from the reporting, especially if the measurement systems are soft. The manager needs to keep their eyes open, taking into account every change, result, conclusion and communicating them to the others.