Lean process improvement is a business methodology. This methodology focuses on eliminating wasteful or redundant activities from project operations while hyper-focusing on delivering value to customers. As Regina Temple says, the key goal of lean process improvement is to help project teams to effectively identify and addresses opportunities for continuously improving upon process workflows.
Regina Temple offers a general overview of lean process improvement
The term process improvement refers to a range of tasks, like identifying opportunities for improvement, implementing changes, and ultimately measuring the impact of those changes. A structured, continuous approach towards process improvement is necessary to keep the momentum going. Unfortunately, in the fast paced business landscape of today, many busy, overworked teams to become desensitized to process inefficiencies, and hence allow bad habits to fester that negatively impact their quality of work and speed of delivery. Lean process improvement can help businesses to steer clear of such a situation.
The prime differentiator between the generic term “process improvement” and the lean process improvement methodology is that the latter is a mindset and a practice, not an event. Lean organizations consider continuous improvement as a daily mindset and practice, the means by which the company is able to deliver on its commitment and promises to the customers. For lean process improvement efforts to be effective enough, each and every aspect of the company has to be available for and willing to change. Unless this happens, the company may run the risk of having teams that are optimizing their performance, sub-optimize the performance of another team, thereby creating complexities for the business. For instance, in case the improvement efforts of a marketing team lead them to refuse any non-marketing requests so that they can focus on delivering their campaigns, they may run the risk of creating campaigns that do not reflect the latest version of the product accurately. This would invariably cause a strategic discord that can be felt by the customer. Hence, lean process improvement is most effective when practiced across the organization.
As Regina Temple mentions, the goal of lean process improvement is to help teams to find ways to deliver better value to the customers in a systematic and swift manner. They typically achieve this goal by maintaining a well-defined approach towards practicing continuous improvement as a part of daily work. Businesses that incorporate lean process improvement often see a range of benefits from this shift, such as:
- Fewer costs
- More profits
- Lesser waste
- Lesser inventory
- Better quality
- Happier customers
- Increased productivity
The benefits of lean process improvements make perfect sense as it involves removing redundancy, streamlining processes, and creating less waste, which ultimately improves the bottom line. As the customers receive their product faster and with less hassle, one would have a set of satisfied customers who are even more likely to recommend the company to others. Lean process improvement essentially has a direct impact on the revenue a company accrues. After all, the more customers value the products or services a business has to offer, the more would they be willing to pay.