Process improvement

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(Redirected from Lean process improvement)

Process improvement task of identifying, analyzing and improving business processes. Process improvement is one of the elements of continuous improvement of the enterprise important for achieving true and long lasting competitive advantage. It involves creating measurable criteria for process success and results, critical review and analysis of current process performance, brainstorming ideas for improvement in various areas of process (timing, resources, people, methods, tools, etc.), implementing improvements in selected processes and measuring effects, deploying improvements thorough the company[1]. The Process Improvement is a continuous practice that should be followed along with the analysis of improvement areas[2].

Process improvement techniques

Process improvement is on going practice described in various management concepts such as[3]:

  • kaizen - the concept that continuous improvement is the constant pursuit of improved performance and services to customers. In this method we can make big improvements considering time and quality.
  • TQM - Total Quality Management - System of apprenticeship practices and training methods for business management in order to ensure customer satisfaction in a changing environment. The Total Quality Management concept is quality management at every stage of the operation.
  • EFQM - European Foundation Quality Model. This model is based on the excellent result in terms of performance, customers, people and society are achieved trough effective leandership and development.
  • six sigma - is set of tools and techniques of process improvement. Its aim is to improve the quality of the process improvement results by identifying and removing errors. Its goal is also to minimize variability in production and design processes. It uses quality management (mainly empirical) and statistical methods. Then they create the infrastructure of people who are specialist in these fields. The Six Sigma focus on achieving measurable and quantifiable returns.
  • Lean - In three areas: administrative (improving customer service, reducing errors), strategic (reduced costs) and operational ( increase of efficiency, reduction of time of implementation).

It is important element of organizational development and business strategy.

The importance of process improvement

Here are three concepts of the process improvement [4]:

  1. Process improvement is most effective when we practice it throughout the organization, at all levels. In order for the process improvement to be effective, our entire organization must be willing to change their behavior and thinking.
  2. Process improvement is attitude, not an event. If we want to see the result of process improvement, we need to change our behavior and attitude. A lot of organizations consider the process improvement to be temporary event or action to solve problem. This is not an event. Process improvement is a daily mindset and practice.
  3. Process improvement helps us to maximize value and deliver faster. The purpose of process improvement is to enable teams to find a way to deliver value to their clients faster. We can achieve this by continually improving our daily work.

Process improvementrecommended articles
Deming wheelJoseph M. JuranDeming 14 pointsValue managementHoshin kanriHouse of total quality modelArmand FeigenbaumContinuous improvementProcess strategies



  1. Seethamraju, R., & Marjanovic, O. (2009). p. 920-936
  2. Roy, R. K. (2001).
  3. Randnor, Z.(2010) p.1-86
  4. Roy, R. K. (2001).

Author: Justyna Tereszkieiwcz