What is a Process Improvement Team and How Does It Work?
Did you know that NASA’s lack of processes resulted in a mistake that caused the $193 million Mars Climate Orbiter satellite to disintegrate?
Having efficient processes can make all the difference in your business. Unfortunately, most managers are too busy dealing with problems and their regular responsibilities to have time to focus on processes. Most companies don’t dedicate the resources towards process improvement until it’s too late.
If you’re looking to create efficient workflow processes, you should consider implementing a process improvement team. Keep on reading for everything you need to know about process improvement teams and how they work.
What Is A Process Improvement Team?
Whether you’re looking to simplify the procurement processes or find a way to create efficiency in your office or manufacturing floor, a process improvement team can make all the difference. A process improvement team is a specialized team assembled to improve a selected process within a company.
Management assembles the process improvement team by including team members who will be involved with the process at some point. Rather than being led by management, a process improvement team lead the initiatives. A process improvement team's goals are set by the team.
A business process design is all about working smarter, not harder. If your company is dealing with frustrated employees or customers, workflow stagnation, or resources that are not used efficiently, you should consider creating a new process or workflow from scratch.
Benefits Of A Process Improvement Team
A process improvement team has many benefits. They are a better option than management-led teams. A management-led team can result in ideas that are not dealing with the actual issue, but something perceived to be an issue by management.
On the other hand, a process improvement team gathers the right people who understand the process because they deal with those processes in their day-to-day responsibilities.
Team process improvement ideas are submitted from the bottom up which creates ownership in the idea. As employees feel more connected to the idea, they’ll work harder and be more enthusiastic about it.
Setting the right process improvement team goals can also lead to new and innovative solutions. With the right direction, the team will come up with quick and easy-to-implement solutions. These can lead to immediate process improvement setting the stage for bigger improvements in the future.
A process improvement team focuses on teamwork. It’s designed in a way that complements team behavior ensuring that all employees feel valued.
With the right people on the team, the improvement team can work to design the right processes. Employees who will be using the process and know the ins and outs of the process can identify issues quicker. They will also have a vested interest in implementing the best process.
What Makes A Strong Process Improvement Team?
First, you need the right employees to make up the team. You want to make sure you have members who can work well together. They should also be from different departments who are involved in the businesses processes the team is being asked to address.
You don’t want members who dominate the conversation or cause morale issues. All voices should be heard equally without anyone feeling uncomfortable speaking up.
A strong process improvement team will have to complete training, including lessons on creating flow charts or data collection. They need to be trained on proper methods for problem-solving. These tools can aid the process improvement team and let them know that the company supports them.
How To Create A Process Improvement Team
It’s important to create a dedicated process improvement team. If your employees are overworked and distracted by other projects, they will not have the time to fully accept their role in the process improvement team.
1. Select The Right People
You want to make sure you have a knowledgeable and diverse team. These members should be trained in process improvement methodology. You want to make sure they’re a diverse group that can offer different views to tackle the problem.
2. Keep The Group Small
There are many benefits to having a small group. A smaller group allows people to voice their opinions more comfortably. They can also make decisions faster without too many arguments or bureaucracy.
3. Set Clear Roles
It’s a good idea to assign roles to the different members. You can have a “Champion” that acts as a liaison between upper management and the process improvement team. You can also assign a facilitator or an administrator to keep the meeting organized through agendas and minutes.
It’s also a good idea to assign a team leader, so there isn’t any confusion. A team leader can ensure the team stays on track and reports on the team's progress.
4. Establish Process Improvement Team Goals
The most important step is to establish process improvement team goals. Defining expectations beforehand can keep the team on track. A process improvement team can develop a charter that sets out the objectives and scope of the team’s work.
5. Set Ground Rules For The Meeting
Make sure you have ground rules for the meeting. This includes a convenient time when the meeting will take place, quorum requirements, and how long the meeting will be. Make sure everyone knows what to expect from meetings with agendas sent in advance. Meetings should be completed on time.
Need Help With Your Process Improvement Team?
Now that you know all about process improvement, you can start to implement a process improvement team to increase your efficiency. Change in any organization takes time and effort. Let the experts in change management help you solve your problems.
At Ignite, we will work with you to improve the likelihood of delivering your project’s objectives. We can help you reduce the risk so your employees are prepared to succeed with the change.