Process management is a series of techniques, skills, tools, and methods used to control and manage a business process within a large system or organization. The term is most commonly used in business analysis, productivity studies, and systems engineering. The purpose of process management is to clearly identify and document all the steps and actions taken to complete a process or work flow.
This type of work requires a great attention to detail, excellent written communication skills, analysis skills and the ability to objectively meet the requirements of the project. Process management involves documenting the current process, evaluating of time and level of effort, as well as analysis of efficiency, bottlenecks, and overall process costs. Exercises in re-engineering or business process management often start with process analysis.
These three items remain the same, regardless to the industry or sector. It is worth noting that a strict adherence to a formal process management process is an acknowledged cost containment method. By a complete and thoughtful review of all the steps of a business process, it is possible to save significant money and resources across the organization. In many cases, each individual unit ignores these inefficiencies, as they are small and inconsequential. However, across the entire organization, they can result in significant cost reduction and increased efficiency.
In the standard process management process, the first step is the review of the existing process. This usually includes reading the operations manual, speaking with staff, and observing activities. It is not uncommon for the actual process to vary from the written steps. This is often due to out of date manuals, or failure of the manual to truly capture all the steps and their implications.
Observing staff is one way to determine the time required for each step in a process. Another way is to simply measure the time required to complete an entire process and determine the average time for each step. The most effective way is to actually spend a short period of time in each role.
Working in a position, especially in a production or manufacturing environment, quickly highlights the issues, strengths and weaknesses of the current process. It also provides an opportunity for staff to see a commitment to really understand the process, and may generate more discussions. Talk to the staff and supervisors to really understand their ideas and see where improvements can be made.
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