Process improvement action plans are developed and implemented which address identified weaknesses and improvement opportunities, including organizational and cultural change issues.
Human beings are typically resistant to change. This resistance often comes from uncertainty, which can generate fear, anxiety, a sense of loss, and skepticism (“here we go again”). If an organization has had previous change initiatives which were unsuccessful, this creates a climate of doubt and resistance. Management needs to be aware of the change climate in an organization prior to beginning a major change initiative such as a process improvement program..
To implement specific changes an organization should:
- plan a continuous process improvement program;
- encourage wide-spread participation in the organization's process improvement activities;
- continuously improve the organization's processes.
Transition strategies facilitate the introduction of process changes by addressing eight key organizational issues and possible points of resistance. Key issues to be dealt with are:
- Team structure
- Establish the process improvement team and its structure to plan, implement and sustain the change. Include the sponsor, key executives, process owners, and process group members.
- Establish the sponsorship development activity and learning organization environment for achieving and sustaining the desired change.
- Education and training
- Establish the education and training to provide personnel impacted by the change the knowledge and skills of methods, tools and processes integral to the change initiative.
- Establish the business value, process, and readiness measures that should be tracked and monitored to enable learning and measure progress, as well as results.
- Business and technology integration
- Determine the desired changes in business performance and integrate the technology-driven changes that will support it, such as systems life cycle, project management, or new tools.
- Performance management
- Identify the desired behaviors and performance results for the change; establish the reinforcement mechanisms for each behavior (positive and negative) to institutionalize the change.
- Relationship management
- Determine how the change will impact your customer or supplier and establish a win-win business relationship for working together.
- Establish communications for the change within all levels of the organization.