"Process improvement" sounds so sterile and easy. It assumes an organization is a group of people arranged around completing tasks, and that if only tasks were arranged in the right order, and we had the right reporting systems, and right policies and KPIs (key performance indicators) in place, we would be successful delivering products to customers. Then, if something was going wrong, we could go to the process, make a tweak to clarify it, roll it out, and --- instant improvement!
If this was the case, why doesn't it work all the time? Or why don't the process tweaks "stick?"
We always see symptoms first; they are the easiest to identify. And while we can alleviate or clear up symptoms, the underlying problems causing symptoms to appear are still there, ready to drive a new set of symptoms to the surface.