Process Improvement: Creating and Sustaining Flow is Essential

Posted by on Dec 9, 2010 in Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Process Improvement | 0 comments

 The work related tasks your company does everyday should be as efficient as possible.  For example, an accounting department should have all the information available to conduct their processes and not have to wait for material receipts, correction of pricing errors, etc.  Files should be consolidated so all information is in one spot and a person doesn’t have to waste time looking for it.  Data-bases should be accurate and up to date so the latest information is correct and available.
It all starts by analyzing your processes and determining the work flow.  This is usually aided by developing a process map or value stream map.  During the mapping process, the team can identify the various wastes at each step, the cycle time of each step, and if any bottle necks occur.  Once this is complete, projects can be identified that will improve flow, eliminate waste, or determine the source of errors.  The projects can be simple Kaizen projects that can make improvements in a matter of a few days or a more in-depth Lean Six Sigma project that may take a few weeks to several months.
Processes don’t generally get better on their own and require an understanding of work flow and lean techniques.  These techniques are not difficult and can have a tremendous benefit to your administrative operations.  Employees must understand that creating and sustaining flow is essential along with their ability to identify and eliminate waste.

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