Organizational process improvement questions depends on perspective.
Therefore, from an executive perspective, fewer participants and lower costs may indicate process improvement. However, from an employee or associate perspective, getting more done quickly and easily, without losing personnel, may indicate process improvement.
Generally speaking, consensual answers to the following process improvement questions yield the type of improvement that everyone will support, from the board room to the boiler room.
Process Improvement Questions
- What input required has been automated?
- Where is it derived?
- Which input required must be manually generated or obtained, and what is the source?
- What calculations or algorithms need computed?
- What are the discrete outputs and who do they go to?
To better understand the term ‘in-formation’, add the hyphen and observe the dynamism of the term, rather than viewing the need as static data alone:
- What data supports each activity?
- Where does it come from?
- What does it look like (ie, field, statement, table, etc.)?
- How is it used?
- What data is missing?
- What data may have questionable authenticity?
- Where is the missing data?
Sensitize yourself to how to obtain the information, thereby noting potential inefficiencies when participants acquire the data:
- What screens, reports, or manual forms do you use to secure the data?
- Optimally, how should it look?
- Explain any flows or dialogs to obtain the data.
- What conditions dictate using it?
- What conditions dictate NOT using it?
- How is it used?
Because card access and ATMs provide examples where ambient conditions affect optimal design. Consider the following:
- Describe and determine data generated and transactions performed
- What security requirements appear prudent?
- How frequently does it occur?
- What are the special considerations?
Also, consider the dependent relationships on the process in scope. Therefore, do not optimize in a vacuum:
- Which relationships affected by the process require optimization?
- What starts, stops, or changes the relationships?
- What business policies affect them?
- Separately identify the one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, or many-to-many relationships between them?
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