Process Management

Process Management is about
ensuring processes deliver value efficiently.

Step one in Process Management is to find out what is going on and what should be going on.
Once what is intended to happen in future is determined, the task is to make sure the people who need to know are informed and trained. Process documentation is the next step in adding value to the business: it allows training towards uniform actions through delegation, and where appropriate, automation.
Processes should not immutable: the documenation must not be a straight-jacket, but an ongoing repository of knowledge and wisdom. Incident and problem reviews are both potent opportunities to deal with process issues, looking to find ways to strengthen the processes, to make them more robust. This should be done without allowing the phrase "we've always done it this way" to pass unchallenged.

An example:
coach bolts

I wrote my first process automation for a manufacturing business some 30 years ago. As background, items that did not make the cut during quality assurance inspections would be internally impounded and stored in a locked cage. The need for a larger cage triggered a process review. At that time there was no 'world wide web' and it was early days for software supporting what would become known as email. "Reject Notes" were multi-part paper documents that were carried from department to department by hand. Other than seeing the items in these quarantine cages, management had no view on size of what was clearly a growing issue. There was no accurate assessment of the monetary value of the segregated product.

These Reject Notes might be left on the desk of the next person to action, or buried in their in-tray. The person might be on holiday. Due process was being circumvented by somebody writing "Not Required" for what was intended to be a essential check.

Consequently, items were being reworked when it was not economic, or the perceived fault was in truth a desired feature. Thousands of pounds worth of product was impounded, meaning even more thousands of pounds was being spent manufacturing urgently needed replacements to satisfy promised delivery dates. This carried the penalties of paying over-time rates and disrupting planned schedules.

Valuable factory floor space was be taken up by ever larger cages.

The automated process

Skore Associate Certified Instead of a custom software solution, new tools enable the quick capture of process information as a diagram that can be reviewed, becoming the template for a process engine like Intelligent Actions. This technique delivers a quick and resilient solution that is ISO9001 compliant. Skore is recommended for process mapping software: this is a powerful tool that I wish had been available fifteen years ago. We can convert an existing written protocol, or a photo of a white-board diagram, into a process flow diagram. The best part, though, is being there in a meeting then doing one-on-one interviews.

Process map for a new protocol
Why hire a Service Management Analyst to help you carry out process reviews?
More information on improving business documentation is available on a sister site.

send email For more information on how we can help you with improving process management, including carrying out an ad hoc review, please write to robert@esm.solutions.