Overcoming the Seven Deadly Sins of Process Improvement

Seven deadly sins

Sin 1: Process Improvement is not tied to the strategic issues the business faces. One company in the food business is proud of its seventy crossfunctional Process Improvement Teams. When asked about results, executives mumble vague homilies about “culture change” and “empowerment.” Noble pursuits, no doubt, but what’s the increase in shareholder value?

Almost every one of an engineering conglomerate’s dozens of business units has documented its processes. When asked how they’ve used these “maps,” they admit that they haven’t.

Too many Process Improvement Teams either are not centered around critical issues or are convened to address self-selected “backyard” (often intrafunctional) issues that are not high on an organization’s overall priority list ...