12 Days of PEXmas, Day 3: How highly is process excellence regarded at your company?

Why do so many companies find linking process improvement to strategy so difficult? One of the reasons that several telephone interviewees cited, was that often the corporate strategy wasn’t clearly articulated in the first place.

"Strategic planning is hard work and that’s where everything starts," says David Behling, Director of Process Improvement at Goodwill Industries. "But so many people look to the fads to come up with the silver bullet. They misapply these new tools because they don’t really understand them and aren’t prepared to do the hard work necessary to get the fundamentals right."

When asked "which statement best describes how important your executive leadership team views process excellence at your company?" nearly half of survey respondents indicated that process excellence was "one of the top priorities of the company"; however, 32.2% of survey respondents reported that "getting anyone to commit much in terms of resources or budget is difficult". Full details of the results of this question can be seen in the chart below.

Tamarah Usher, Business Analytics Process Leader at agricultural company Monsanto (and speaker at the upcoming PEX Week USA) explains that it’s not that leadership doesn’t understand that execution is important but that there are multiple means through which corporate strategy can be achieved and executives must prioritize where to put their focus.

"I think leadership in most of these organizationsagree that processes are important and the operational excellence work that we as process professionals do is important," she says. "Everyone would agree with the principle of improvement. But the amount of effort and resources we want to put into it is another question and that has bearing especially when we’re looking for investment."

It’s clear then that while process is seen as important, its true value is sometimes eclipsed by seemingly more immediate goals and objectives. Often overlooked is how process can in fact aid in achieving these goals, particularly when looking for investment. This January at PEX Week, companies Phytel, Hewlett-Packard and Monsanto are just some of the companies who will be demonstrating how process excellence will give you the competitive edge, help you grow your pipeline and increase value both to your shareholders and your customers.

Download the agenda below for more information.

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