10 Tips to Develop a Lean Office Business Process Mindset

Written by  Published in Lean Office

Those with a “process mindset” are those who consider how to improve an “output” whether that output is in the form of a product, service or value.  Process improvement in the simplest sense starts with an input followed by actions and decisions that culminate in a (hopefully) desired output.

To improve the quality or value of an output, the evaluation of business processes, using measurements and process mapping are powerful ways to discover and correct potential weak points that may be affecting a desired outcome.

You can cultivate a process mindset in your team or in yourself by constantly looking for ways to improve processes that will create greater efficiency, higher customer satisfaction, reduce errors, lower costs and ultimately enhance company profitability.



10 Tips for developing a process mindset:

1. Understand that “work” is composed of a series of tasks that result in an output.

2. Within a business, every person will play a role in one (or more) tasks that result in an output.

3. These individuals are the folks you want to talk with and in order to map the steps in a process, asking them to identify the inputs and outputs for each task step.

4. Engage individuals involved in the process to specify inputs that are necessary for their work.  In other words to describe inputs they need to do the work they do.  Examples could be:  Where do you receive input and from whom? What do you do with the inputs you receive? When? Why? How?  How does the quality of inputs you receive effect the task you have to do?

6. Have upstream workers interview downstream workers to see how upstream work affects downstream work and vice versa.

7. Use sticky notes or simple flow chart symbols to identify process steps.

8. Create a flowchart of the multiple processes and have your team explore them to discuss/discover how variations with input or output affect them personally and how they may affect the final output as a whole. This could include what is affected by a last minute request or what happens when established communication steps are not understood or executed.

9. Create a list of how you, your peers and customers are affected when an established process is not followed, or does not exist.


Watch for next steps and other lean office process improvement ideas in future posts or connect with us at www.simplicated.com

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 12:08
Tracy Parks

Tracy Parks Principal and Founder of Simplicated, LLC is a gifted, engaging and enthusiastic leader, speaker, and experienced trainer, passionate about developing and delivering innovative and practical training and imparting skill development to help business professionals create a productive environment to accomplish their work and enjoy their lives.

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