Your Stagnant Processes May Be Costing You
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a mindset many organizations adopt. But when it comes to operational processes, assuming this approach can become a costly mistake.
Over time, processes need to naturally evolve to attain and maintain a functioning normal state; this is standard and necessary in an organization’s process improvement cycle. Importantly, the word “cycle” implies that the very nature of process improvement is neither linear nor one-time. Processes need to frequently be challenged, reevaluated, adjusted, and fine-tuned to ensure they are up to date and optimally executed.
Allowing processes to function “as they are” without continuously looking to improve them is equivalent to holding on to cash instead of investing it – you are losing on the time value of your asset, since a dollar today is worth more than it will be tomorrow. Likewise, a regular investment of time and money in process improvement is critical, as processes go through exponential decay if they are left neglected.
What Often Happens
Initial process design is based on reasoning, assumptions and constraints that are relevant at the time they are considered, but these variables naturally change and evolve. As the business landscape is affected by countless shifts in things like technology, policies, and consumer demands, the way organizations operate must adapt and improve in tandem.
Without these improvements, organizations run the risk of having their operational processes increasing become outdated, unwieldy, or superfluous, wasting both time and money. And because the decline of process effectiveness is exponential, the longer the necessary improvements are ignored, the greater the threat of losses to the business becomes.
One common consequence of allowing processes to stagnate, and one that Trindent often sees in our clients, is Knowledge loss, or “a failure to retain organizational knowledge”.
When process owners move on to different roles, they take their wealth of institutional knowledge with them. While it’s common for employees to change jobs, an organization that doesn’t focus on process improvements will feel this loss more keenly, as cross-training and knowledge transfer easily falls victim to process stagnation. Often, a vicious cycle is created where an already stagnant process will be more deeply affected by knowledge loss because the agility to deal with that loss was never implemented to begin with.
Insert Consultants Here
This is where Trindent comes in.
There are numerous benefits to having external resources assist a continuous improvement process, especially in organizations where knowledge loss has occurred.
- It frees up the capacity of an organization’s various process owners to focus on their own roles, especially if they are in production or training.
- It allows processes to be analyzed holistically. We look at the big picture and can observe process flows both within and between departments from inception to end, something that a process owner assigned to a specific department will not be able to do.
- It allows each process to be analyzed objectively by someone who is not attached to or invested in a given process other than to ensure it’s useful, necessary, and effective.
- We collaborate with leaders of the organization to train and empower their staff to conduct process change, driving accountability and paving the way to develop a new generation of process owner
- We create proper documentation of current and future state processes so that improvements can continue after our mandate is complete
The need for continuous improvement is necessary in any organization in order to remain lean and effective. With Trindent’s proven methodology, our consultants can become critical partners in ensuring your organization sees measurable and sustainable results so that it can remain competitive and operationally strong in today’s rapidly changing market.