Breaking the traditional approach to process improvement

Two years ago I started a journey with my new job and with my boss as his strategic business advisor. Recently I’ve been reading Start With Why; it’s one of my resolutions to read one business book a month, and I had already started this one in December. The book talks about how you need a Why and a How person to be really effective.

Well, I’ve been the How guy to his Why for the past two years. See, he was looking for organizational effectiveness and he was used to the normal approach to hire someone to provide it through process improvement. The thing is there never is enough of one person to go around, so you end up prioritizing your process prove kent to a point where it’s not effective.

Breaking that approach, we instead focused on building process improvement skills in the employees starting with his leadership. Now we’re driving those skills deeper to the employees.

We’ve done many things like reorganize to match the process, create the key process on how we do work, focus on employee engagement daily, work on constant development, and reinforce the culture.

In two years, the effort has been very successful and I think the model is exactly what organizations need over large process improvement teams “doing process improvement” and prioritizing projects.


About johnrknotts
John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional leader, manager, and supervisor with experience from the military, small business, several nonprofits, and is currently a management consultant. Working out of the San Antonio, Texas, he retired from the Air Force in July 2008 and worked with Booz Allen Hamilton from the end of October 2008 to December 2011. Now he is a Strategic Business Adviser with USAA. John leads large and small strategic transformations and has extensive experience in the areas of change management, strategic planning, process improvement, strategic communication and marketing, strategic human capital and resource management, education and training, facilitation, organizational design and development, modeling and simulation, financial and budget analysis, activity based costing and management, quality management, competitive sourcing and privatization, leadership development, and business development.

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