8 ways time-poor teams can resource process improvement
People are at the heart of your processes: they understand them, they execute them, and they’ll find ways to work around them when they’re ineffective.
It is vital to your continuous improvement efforts that those people are empowered with the time and the resources required to embrace change and drive improvements.
Business teams frequently rank lack of resource availability as a stumbling block in their process improvement efforts. Increasingly teams are becoming more and more strapped for time - regardless of industry – while organizations and their shareholders expect greater efficiencies and higher returns on their investments.
This apparent lack of resources doesn’t have to be an obstacle to process excellence. This challenge can be successfully managed with the backing of the right people.
Build a supportive team
Position your business for success by embarking on your process improvement journey with the backing of carefully-selected people at every level of your organization. As well as getting the buy-in of existing team members and managers, you may need to recruit and train new additions to the team.
Take these steps to convince execs to invest money in process improvement and to ensure you have the right people on your team:
1. Create a business case. Gather evidence so you have compelling facts and evidence to present to decision makers.
2. Build momentum. Sell process improvement roles as being critical to business success. Demonstrate how a few tweaks can result in engaged teams, fewer interruptions, and targeted reports.
3. Think outside the box. Get creative and look for ways to ways to carve out time during the day to dedicate to ongoing improvement.
8 creative ways to increase resources
Solving resourcing challenges for your process improvement efforts doesn’t always have to be about hiring more people. Here are actions you can take to maximize the resources you currently have available:
1. Block out time
Schedule time away from your to-do list to focus on process improvement. It could be as short as half an hour a day or a week – those minutes quickly add up when a network of champions, owners and experts are all contributing to the cause.
2. Include process management at onboarding
Start the way you mean to continue - make process improvement part of your induction plans for new starters. Equally as importantly, preserve current intellectual property - when people resign, ask them to update the processes they own, so their expertise doesn’t leave when they do.
3. Identify process excellence ambassadors
Involve people who care about process and improvement, and who want to motivate others and build momentum. Getting this part right will go a long way to engaging and motivating your business teams.
4. Report on milestones
Keep track of progress so you can inspire others and focus their efforts by demonstrating how far along the journey you’ve come.
5. Involve undergrads
Consider using an intern to boost your process mapping capability. A trained permanent employee can oversee progress and check work as it is completed.
6. Facilitate training
Avoid spending hours on training or onboarding by creating training collateral. Videos and online courses are an efficient way to show teams how to use your business process management software.
7. Schedule feedback sessions
Book time in everyone’s calendar when they can approach champions with questions, provide feedback or share challenges. Write down questions and cover common themes in group meetings.
8. Prioritize engagement
Make participation easy and engage teams by illustrating how process improvement can go from being an insurmountable hurdle, to an approach that sets teams up for success.
Empower teams to effect change
Find the approach to process improvement that is most likely to produce benefits for your organization. Consider who your decision makers are, and focus on the things that will pique their interest and secure their buy-in.
You can motivate time-poor, apathetic teams with a compelling picture of your organization as a capable, efficient business with satisfied teams and clients, achieved by integrating effective process improvement into teams’ everyday activity.