May 7

Why Business Process Improvement Efforts Fail


Improving your business is a critical factor in keeping up with emerging technology and your competitors. Using a proven business process improvement strategy is an effective way of establishing continuous improvement efforts.

Business Process Improvement (BPI) is a methodology that identifies operations and employee skills where improvements will streamline procedures, make workflow more efficient and result in overall growth and increased profitability.

However, even with the numerous benefits that can be derived from BPI, they are not always successful. Here are five reasons why BPI efforts fail

1.    Lack of Support for BPI

Lack of support for the BPI effort, especially from those in the upper echelon of the company, can doom the process. The BPI process is a significant undertaking, which needs clear and total support from the top. Without that support, the results will be less than expected or fail completely.

If the “C” level managers don’t support the improvement effort, their staff will perceive it as not important enough to deserve the effort they need to expend for its success.

Before beginning this challenging but very rewarding mission, it’s advisable to convince the top managers of its value. The leadership must be committed 100% to the activities involved so that they don’t back down when the going gets tough.

2.    Organization Culture

Implementing Business Process Improvement is a difficult and sometimes frustrating process. The effort can uncover some weaknesses, both in individual employees, teams and workflows. Because of those possibilities, there may be some anxiety among the ranks that will occur and place them in a bad light. If there is any leeway allowed for people to ignore or refuse to do, the BPI effort will be compromised.

Again, leadership must be totally behind the effort and ensure that they relay the importance of it to their staff. They may want to reward cooperation and participation in the program. Getting commitments in writing from all required participants may also help convince them that it’s part of their job and that success is dependent on their cooperation.

3.    Forgetting it’s a Process

BPI is not a one-time event. Rather, it is a process of changing your operations to a better, more improved way of doing things. Keep in mind that most people are resistant to change, so you’ll need to consider and expect delays due to that mindset. You may need to try some steps more than once to be successful.

4.    Assuming BPI is All about Technology

Even though BPI is backed by a wide industry of software products, the process is not really about technology, per se.

The people involved, and the processes surrounding the effort, are crucial to BPI. Technology is important, of course, in support the process, but it’s not the actual reason for the changes being implemented.

Just because certain technologies or software have worked in other organizations doesn’t mean it will work for yours. A thorough analysis of your unique business problems and flow is necessary to determine which tools or products will best represent their implementation.

5.    Not Knowing Where to Start

Business processes are unique, based on several factors; for example, the industry, management style, automation in place, etc. It can be overwhelming and difficult to determine where to begin the improvement process.

That’s why thorough analysis is crucial before deciding the best method. Don’t make the mistake of taking the easiest path; this could do more harm than good. If you’re undertaking a business process improvement effort, your goal should be to accomplish the best results.

Identifying the best opportunities based on a clear understanding on how the potential changes will benefit the organization will help you make the best use of resources. It will also help you recognize and overcome pitfalls that occur along the way.

E3 Consulting Can Make Your Business Process Improvement a Success!

Business Process Improvement is a considerable undertaking for any organization. Most business owners and managers are not experts in implementing the process.

E3 Consulting has the experience, tools and resources to help you get the results you deserve in your BPI efforts. Contact us today to learn how we can be your partner in helping your business succeed!



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