Think it's a process problem? How to tell if your sticking point is organizational

Mail sorting assembly line by jmv via flickr.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Mail sorting assembly line by jmv via flickr.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)

"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.

Read more about how to navigate the difference between process problem and organizational problems and get a few ideas on how to fix them!

Posted on September 27, 2017 and filed under operations.