A final consideration to think through for your process program is institutionalization. Institutionalization is a word you'll encounter a lot in the field of process improvement. The word implies a way of conduct that becomes firmly ingrained in the culture of the organization. Institutionalization is the hallmark of organizational commitment. It is the ultimate goal of any quality management program.
Naturally, institutionalization takes time. It is not an automatic process. And it can be a temptation, sometimes after a series of initial successes, to announce "mission accomplished." A quality program, however, needs the continued and ongoing focus of management. It should be seen as one of the foundations on which the company operates.
Institutionalization may be the hardest implementation step to accomplish, simply because it does take time and there's no checkered flag to let you know when you've gotten there. But once you've achieved this mark, your program will be integrated within the whole organization, able to function at peak efficiency.
It's your people who will accomplish the work of institutionalization. And in the next chapter, we'll look at some techniques and tips you can use to support your process program and to help it take hold in your organization. But the focus shouldn't veer too far from your people.
In fact, you might want to take a look at who you'll be turning the program over to once you have it designed, in place, and ready to use. More ...