Key points for a successful process improvement program
There are many factors that lead to a successful process improvement program.
For a method process (for instance for a software development process or a product design process), the following factors are particularly important (for a business process or a manufacturing process, other factors may be important):
- The process improvement sponsor should be at the right hierarchy level
- The new processes must take into account business goals, existing practices, and state of the art practices. They should be designed in collaboration with end users’ representatives or be designed solely by these representatives.
- Process tailoring guidelines must be included in the process repository so that processes are efficient in every context and for every team. Eunomia process Builder enables you to define tailoring guidelines at work product, activity and workflow levels.
- The process repository should provide easy access to information.
Eunomia Process Builder is a business process modeling tool that has been specially designed to provide user friendly views. For instance Eunomia Process Builder generates a web page containing all the work product templates classified by domains and disciplines.
Tooltips that give key information when the mouse is rolled over a process element are also greatly appreciated by end-users because they provide a quick overview of the key points without the need to open the corresponding web page.
- Change management is of course essential: training, coaching, management involvement at every level.
- Institutionalization practices are also essential so that processes can be durable and remain efficient, and so that practices are retained during times of stress.
There are several schools of thought on this subject:
- if you are a CMMI supporter, quality assurance and measures are institutionalization practices and provides visibility of the performed processes performance. They allow the identification and implementation of process corrective actions, and provide information to improve the standard processes in the next improvement loop.
- If you are an Agile supporter, the Scrum Master (Scrum method) keeps the team aligned with Agile values. The team’s self-organization is also certainly an important institutionalization practice and the defined process is only a guide that can be changed by the team during iteration 0, during the definition of the ‘Definition of Done’ or after each retrospective.
As you see, choosing the right business process modeling tool is not the only success factor but it is a key point that can significantly influence the success of your process improvement program. Eunomia Process Builder is a good choice!