Process Improvement Isn’t a DIY Project!
Recognizing your business’s need to make changes to your operations is the first step in the process improvement process, but how you go about it will make or break your business. When you engage only internal resources to make a plan for improvement and then implement that plan, you are at the mercy of their time and knowledge. While you know your business better than any outsider, you are also limited to possible solutions because you have not been through this a hundred times before. You’ll suffer through the trial and error process at the expense of your business.
Within any organization, you’re constantly keeping up with everyday maintenance, finding ways to improve upon your current state, and monitoring what your competitors are doing to increase their value. There are plenty of things you can do on your own to help improve certain aspects of your business, but when you need to make a major overhaul to one area or the entire organization, it’s time to call in the experts.
Your Business is Like Your Home
When renovating your kitchen, you wouldn’t hand each family member a sledge hammer and tell them to start the demo or let each of them take a corner of the room to put in the specific things they want. During the renovation, they also have to keep up with their regular duties throughout, so the improvements would be done at different paces, with different levels of craftsmanship. Unless your family is made up of an interior designer, an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, and a general contractor, your kitchen probably isn’t going to turn out better than it was before.
When your organization approaches process improvement plans, a functional cross-departmental plan is unlikely to emerge in a timely manner. Even with a plan, you need to trust that your people know what they are doing and can actually do it while keeping up with their regular workload. Does your organization have an expert for each aspect of the change who can devote the necessary time to execute the process improvement plan on time? If not, this may not be the right approach.
If you are able to complete this change without outside assistance, you may enjoy some short-term benefits. However, when things start to breakdown, you will have to go back and try to fix them, adding to the cost of the process improvement. Continuing to patch-up parts of your business over the long-term will reduce your overall efficiency and chip-away at your bottom-line year after year.
Buying the “How To” isn’t a Sure Thing
Some organizations believe that they just need the right plan, and everything else will fall into place. These organizations will pay an outside firm for an assessment and purchase a “How To” guide based on the results. While they may have the manual telling them what to do to make the changes they desire, they are often unable to fully implement the outlined process improvements.
If this was how you planned to renovate your kitchen, the results would be better than the first approach. Hiring an interior designer is the right move, but reading about how to install electrical, gas lines, and plumbing doesn’t guarantee everything will function.
Leave it to the Experts
By bringing in outside resources specializing in operational process improvement and organizational restructuring, you remove much of the risk and stand to achieve better results in less time than an internal approach. Their people will do all of the work and your people will reap the benefits. While having someone else complete the entire project from development through implementation may cost more in the immediate future, the guaranteed success and long-term benefits make it the obvious choice.
Selecting a contractor with an experienced crew to design your dream kitchen and meticulously complete each piece of the renovation to your exact standards, will ensure your kitchen is done right the first time. Investing in the right resources adds value to your home and increases the overall functionality of your household.
Taking the opportunity to invest in your business when making process improvement changes is crucial to achieving your long-term goals and ensures the change doesn’t shift your business in the wrong direction. In the end, your staff will have the tools and training to maintain the new processes.