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Process Improvement Essentials by James R. Persse PhD

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Identifying Improvement Opportunities

If you're new to process improvement, or if you're creating a new program for your organization, remember that the discipline of process improvement promotes the idea of starting small and growing over time. You don't have to tackle every opportunity at once. There's wisdom in carefully targeting your first improvement steps, shaping a program around those, implementing them, and then, as they take hold in the company, adding to them over time.

Naturally, the scope and push of your initiative will depend on multiple factors: management expectations, your current process position, and the resources made available to you.

But as you begin to identify improvement opportunities, keep these three considerations in mind:

  1. Capitalize on your strengths.

  2. Understand what you want to do better.

  3. Target improvement opportunities with promise.

Capitalize on Your Strengths

People are often tempted to move into process improvement with an eraser in one hand and a new pen in the other. They feel an obligation to start everyone off on a clean slate, with a fresh start. That's not usually the best approach, at least not for an organization that's been around for a while. A better place to start is to look at what your organization does well. Process initiatives can easily focus solely on the problems that trouble an IT shop. But it's important to remember that what the shop does well is really the best place to start on a program.

There are three reasons for this:

  • First, ...

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