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Process Improvement Essentials by James R. Persse PhD

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Six Common Myths

The way to manage technology business more effectively is to define what it is the business does. Once you have defined that, you can begin to operate the business based on that definition. And once you begin to move down that path, you begin to know the path, and you can start to refine the shape of the path. That is the basis for nearly all process improvement initiatives. It seems logical, even intuitive. So why is it that management will often steer away from implanting process, from adopting process improvement as a goal?

The reason could be that management is often not educated as to what process is about. Or they may have been exposed to only poor examples of the discipline in the past. They may have preconceived notions of what process demands or what process requires, and these may not match up well with what it's really all about. Dealing with this, I've noticed six myths that are pretty common to the field of process improvement. They are often identified as reasons why people don't want to bother with process.

Let's take a brief look at the six.

Myth 1: Everything's Fine

There's a company in South Carolina that is one of the nation's largest processors of Medicare health claims. I'll call them MetaCare. Annually, they pay out about $20 billion. They have an impressive corporate campus, a solid service reputation, and—for these days—an amazingly low staff turnover rate.

They also serve a very mature and stabilized industry. The management and processing of ...

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