Improving business processes
An organisations success is measured by its profitability. With globalisation,
competition has increased, and so profits have become increasingly difficult
to achieve. In this situation, one of the most important tasks for CIOs is to
roll out Business Process Improvement (BPI) in their companies. Plans for quality
improvement may help ensure increased profits and long-term success of the organisation.
While implementing BPI, a CIO is bound to ask questions such as:
- Why do we need continuous quality improvement?
- Is the improvement process worth the investment?
- How do we manage the improvement process correctly?
This book answers such questions and gives comprehensive guidelines for chalking
up a business improvement strategy.
According to the book, the business plans that most companies use have not kept
pace with the markets dynamic business environment. Many organisations
are wasting millions of dollars every year implementing strategies that do not
produce satisfactory results. The management therefore needs to invest in resources
to amend critical business processes. Interestingly, efficient business planning
brought about by revamping can be effective enough to sometimes cut overhead
costs by half.
The first step in setting up a successful BPI model is ascertaining whether
management support for the concept exists. A typical BPI model has several stepsorganising,
improvement, understanding the process, streamlining, measurement & control,
and continuous improvement of the BPI model.
BPI should be performed as a team to minimise implementation time and provide
long-lasting results. A process improvement team typically does the BPI implementation.
The functions of this team include establishment of process boundaries and measurements,
and setting-up improvement goals for the business process.
can be understood better by flowcharting, which is an effective tool for analysing
the impact of the proposed changes. Flowcharts serve the main purpose of documenting
a process to identify areas in need of improvement. This helps to focus attention
on opportunities for change, and enables managers to view business activities
systematically and creatively.
Business improvement is aimed at ensuring that the output is good, and that
all parts of the process are improving. To ensure this, many measurement systems
have been incorporated in the business improvement process. These systems help
CIOs gain increased knowledge through which they can improve production.
The success of business improvement lies in continuous improvement of the plan,
even when it is nearly perfect. This is to ensure that the plan is in keeping
with the changing dynamics of people, systems and customer needs.
Title: Business Process Improvement
Author: H J Harrington
Publisher: Tata McGraw-Hilll
Price: Rs 250
The book outlines benchmarking, and systematically defines
the best systems, processes, procedures and practices which help a company to
know its strengths and weaknesses, understand competition, and then integrate
the finest standards into the business.
Continuous improvements in business are done to keep the customer satisfied.
All the business improvement strategies outlined in this book are therefore
customer-centric. The author tries to communicate to CIOs that the emerging
breed of customers is smarter, tougher and less forgiving than before.
Hence it is now important to restructure outmoded business processes.
The book discusses the topic right from scratchtracing the difficulties
in the present business situation, defining terms related to business improvement,
and then giving a step-by-step formula for planning an effective business improvement
process. Aimed at CIOs, visionary managers and people interested in mapping
future business trends, it is a valuable read for getting the basics right and
developing pointers to a successful business improvement plan.
In effect, while becoming the best is a lofty and difficult objective, for
ambitious CIOs the first step begins here.
- Newly Paul