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Key Metrics for Evaluating and Improving Sales Force Performance

Sales force management is a critical aspect of any successful business. It involves the planning, organizing, and controlling of a company’s sales team to achieve desired sales goals and objectives. To effectively manage your sales force, it is essential to have key metrics in place that can help evaluate performance and identify areas for improvement. In this article, we will explore some of the key metrics that can be used to evaluate and improve the performance of your sales force.

Sales Revenue

One of the most important metrics for evaluating sales force performance is sales revenue. This metric measures the total amount of revenue generated by your sales team within a given period. By tracking sales revenue, you can assess the effectiveness of your team in driving revenue growth and achieving sales targets.

To improve sales revenue, it is crucial to set realistic yet challenging goals for your sales team. Regularly monitor their progress towards these goals and provide them with the necessary training and resources to succeed. Additionally, analyzing the sources of revenue can help identify which products or services are performing well and which ones need improvement.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is another vital metric that measures how effectively your sales team converts leads into customers or closes deals. This metric helps assess the efficiency and effectiveness of your team’s selling process.

To improve conversion rates, consider analyzing each stage of your sales process to identify potential bottlenecks or areas where leads are being lost. Providing proper training on objection handling, negotiation skills, and product knowledge can help enhance conversion rates. Additionally, continuously monitoring customer feedback can provide insights into areas where improvements need to be made.

Sales Cycle Length

The length of the sales cycle refers to the time it takes for a lead to move through each stage of the buying process until they become a customer. Monitoring this metric helps identify inefficiencies in your sales process that may be causing delays or preventing deals from closing.

To improve sales cycle length, evaluate each stage of your sales process and identify areas where leads tend to get stuck or delayed. Streamlining and automating certain steps in the process can help accelerate the sales cycle. Additionally, providing your sales team with the necessary tools and resources to effectively manage leads can significantly reduce the time it takes to close deals.

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is a metric that measures the total revenue generated by a customer over their entire relationship with your company. This metric helps assess the long-term value of acquiring and retaining customers.

To improve CLTV, focus on building strong customer relationships and providing exceptional customer service. By delivering value beyond the initial sale, you can increase customer loyalty and encourage repeat purchases. Additionally, implementing strategies such as upselling or cross-selling can help maximize the revenue generated from each customer.

In conclusion, evaluating and improving sales force performance is crucial for business success. By tracking key metrics such as sales revenue, conversion rate, sales cycle length, and customer lifetime value, you can gain valuable insights into your team’s performance and make informed decisions to drive growth. Remember to set realistic goals, provide proper training and resources, and continuously monitor performance to ensure a high-performing sales force that consistently exceeds targets.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


how to make business improvement plan

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How to Create a Process Improvement Plan in 7 Steps

What is a process improvement plan .

A process improvement plan is a document that outlines the steps required to optimize process performance. Having a detailed plan is important for a successful process improvement project as it ensures that all team members are aware of the goals of the project, their responsibilities, and project timelines. Following the steps outlined below will enable you to fix inefficient business processes and increase employee engagement and customer satisfaction. 

How to create a process improvement plan 

Step 1 - Map the current process 

In order to improve a process, you need to have a clear understanding of how it works in its current form. Mapping each step in a process from end to end provides you with a clear view of the inputs and outputs throughout.  

Step 2 - Analyze the current process 

Once you have defined each step in the process, you can review each one to understand what is and what isn’t working. Process Simulation allows you to run different scenarios with the current situation and easily identify where problems are coming from. Consult with team members that are directly involved with the process to answer the following questions: 

  • What causes delays in the process? 
  • Are there any bottlenecks in the process? 
  • Where are more resources required? 
  • Where are costs an issue? 
  • Where are errors likely to occur? 
  • What could be automated? 

Step 3 - Redesign the process 

Now you know what the issues are, you can address them. Again, work with those that will use the process in their day-to-day work to determine what the process running optimally looks like and how each of the current issues can be eliminated. 

Step 4 – Test the process  

Prior to implementing your new process, it is good practice to test it to ensure that the changes have a positive impact. Process simulation allows you to test the process in a real-world scenario and demonstrate the return on investment of the improvements. This provides you with an opportunity to make further adjustments based on the results. You can also use “what-if” analysis to compare your “as is” process with the “to be” process in terms of execution time, resource utilization, and costs. The results from this will highlight the need for process improvement and the benefits it will bring to stakeholders.  

Start optimizing your business processes.

Step 5 - Communicate the change  

It’s not uncommon for people to fear change. Therefore it is imperative that you communicate the changes the project will bring to the way of working across the organization. Align departments, educate employees about how the new process will work and the benefits it will bring and get buy-in from senior management to increase the likelihood of adoption. 

Step 6 – Implement the new process  

Now you’ve designed the perfect process and communicated all the positive things the new process will bring to your organization it’s time to put it into action. The key to a successful implementation cycle  is to create a specific plan that includes regular demonstrations and feedback from those who use the process on a daily basis to assure your implementation is aligned with their expectations and can deliver real value to the business.  

Step 7 - Monitor results and optimize  

Once you have completed the rollout of the new process you should measure adoption among stakeholders and gather feedback from them on how well it is working. Ask them to report any issues that may have arisen and any further improvement opportunities they have spotted. You can also track the performance of the new process by benchmarking the results against the results delivered by the old process and any goals you set at the beginning of the project.  

Process improvement is not a one-off project. It is a continuous practice that every organization should adopt to create and maintain a competitive advantage. Efficient processes boost productivity and profitability by increasing employee satisfaction and delivering the best possible value to customers.  

Take the first step to improving your business processes.

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Process Improvement Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide

Gain an understanding of the essential steps and strategies necessary to create and execute successful process improvement plans.

Last Updated

April 20 2023

Looking to streamline your workflows, remove inefficiencies, and supercharge your business operations? It all starts with a process improvement plan. In this article, we’ll explain what a process improvement plan is, why they’re important, and what goes into creating an effective plan that guarantees a positive outcome for your business.

What is a Process Improvement Plan?

A process improvement plan (PIP) is a strategic document detailing everything you’ll need to know and do as you make foundational changes to your workflows and processes.

how to make business improvement plan

Process improvement plans provide key background information and data regarding the processes that are currently in place. Along with the team’s current performance metrics, the document will also explain why a procedural change is necessary at the present moment.

From there, the document will define the goals of the initiative and the solution to be implemented — followed by an in-depth plan for said implementation. The plan can also include a schedule for implementation and a method for monitoring progress, as well as any supporting documentation to help further your team’s efforts.

Process improvement plans are integral parts of both business process improvement and business process re-engineering . No matter the process in focus, your process improvement plan should act as a roadmap guiding you toward your goals — and bringing you one step closer to procedural optimization.

Why a Formal Process Improvement Plan is Crucial

While some organizations may take an ad-hoc approach to improving processes at times, taking the time to create a formal process improvement plan will always be better for your business. For one, it allows you to gain a more comprehensive and cohesive understanding of the issue at hand. This will help you identify the root cause of the issue, instead of focusing on just one of many symptoms of the problem. (Without taking this step back, you’ll likely end up making mere surface-level changes that don’t actually address the full extent of the issue — which will inevitably lead to even more problems somewhere down the line.) Creating formal process improvement plans also allows you to better prioritize your efforts by focusing on the processes that have the most impact on your business. That way, you don’t end up investing too much time and money making changes that don’t really move the needle for the company. On that same token, creating a strategic plan for improving a given process ensures you’ll be as efficient and cost-effective as possible when doing so. In contrast, a haphazard approach to process improvement will likely require at least some guesswork, trial-and-error, and other rather inefficient approaches. Finally, a formal process improvement plan helps to establish accountability for improvement initiatives. By clearly defining the objectives, responsibilities, and timelines for improvement, a formal plan ensures that everyone in the organization is on the same page and working towards a common goal. (This is crucial not just for immediate, practical purposes, but also to continue fostering a culture of ongoing learning, growth, and engagement throughout your organization.) No matter how simple a procedural change may seem, there’s just too much at stake to not take a formal approach to improving it. Take the time to make a plan of attack; it will always be worth it.

Process Improvement Plan Methodologies

There are a number of methodologies you might choose to follow when developing your process improvement plans. Some key examples include:

  • Lean Methodology aims to identify and eliminate wasteful tasks and use of resources throughout a given process. The goal is to make processes as streamlined as possible, while using the absolute minimum amount of resources necessary.
  • Six Sigma Methodology focuses on improving quality and reducing defects by eliminating sources of variation throughout a process. The steps involved in Six Sigma methodology are Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control.
  • Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Methodology is a cyclical model of continuous improvement that can be implemented in most operational contexts. As the name suggests, it’s a four-step process of planning, making iterative changes, reflecting on results, and codifying the change within your workflow documentation .

For a more in-depth look at these and other PIP methodologies, check out our article on  improving internal business processes .

Effective Process Improvement Plans: Best Practices

Before getting into the step-by-step process of creating an improvement plan, let’s go over some key best practices to follow at all times when creating them.

Align with Your Business Goals

Above all else, you need to be certain that the changes you make align with your business goals — and that they have a substantial and positive impact on your company as a whole. Put another way, you don’t want to make any changes to your processes that will pull your company off-track in any way. While the importance of financial growth is obvious enough, you also need to consider how a change may impact your company culture, employee engagement, or customer loyalty. Keeping this alignment top-of-mind will actually help you maintain a strategic approach to process improvement (as opposed to making a “quick fix” in the heat of the moment — which typically won’t work out for the best). Essentially, you should always be thinking of the “bigger picture”. Before making any systemic changes to your processes, make sure the change you make is the move that will bring you closer to your goals than ever before.

Be Specific

Specificity is vital when planning to make procedural improvements — and when documenting said plan in writing. Firstly, you must be as specific as possible when identifying the process to be improved. This will help you pinpoint the exact thing that needs to change, and will guarantee that you’re focused on the root cause of the problem. (In contrast, being too broad here may cause you to make sweeping changes that are ineffective, superfluous, or both.) You’ll also need to be specific when defining how you’ll make the planned improvement. This is key to remaining lean while also investing the manpower and resources needed to succeed. Finally, you’ll need to define your intended goals and outcomes — and the rationale behind them — clearly and specifically. As we’ll discuss, this will keep you focused on the right tasks throughout the initiative, and also help you assess your efforts once the new process is in place.

Be Data-Driven, Objective, & Critical

The most effective process improvement plans are those that are backed by hard data, allowing teams to take a more objective and critical approach to the initiative. With the right data in hand, there will be very little question as to what process needs to be improved — and how so. Moreover, analyzing comprehensive data sets can help you uncover hidden problems your team may not have been aware of. Becoming more data-driven is key to removing biases during the planning stage and minimizing resistance to change once the plan is in place. Without clear evidence that a given change will improve operations, teams can easily backslide into the “old way of doing things” — in spite of all the frustration the old way may cause.

Involve All Stakeholders

Making even the slightest changes to your processes can impact a number of individuals, both within your organization and outside of it. Involving these stakeholders in process improvement planning, then, is essential. You’ll of course want to involve those who are directly impacted by the change — that is, those responsible for carrying out the process in question. These individuals will have hands-on knowledge of what needs to improve, and will likely have a number of practical solutions in mind for the team to consider. Managers and team leads will have a clear understanding of the team’s capacity for making a change, along with the impact said change will have on the team’s overall operations. When needed, executives can step in to ensure a process improvement plan aligns with the company’s business goals and overall vision for the future. Finally, consult any third-party entity that will be impacted by the change, such as your suppliers, your vendors, or your customers. This will at least help you stay transparent and maintain open lines of communication — and it can potentially lead to major breakthroughs that wouldn’t have happened had you kept everything in-house.

Steps to Creating an Effective Process Improvement Plan

As we’ve said, developing an effective process improvement plan can be a rather involved initiative. Involved — but very much worthwhile. So, without further ado: The eight steps to creating an effective process improvement plan.

1. Define the Process to Improve

Your first order of business is to identify the specific process or workflow to be improved upon.

how to make business improvement plan

Some key examples:

  • Customer service request intake
  • Marketing-to-sales lead handoffs
  • New hire form submission

Be sure to include any documentation that will help map the parameters of the process . In some cases, it may be necessary to define what the process doesn’t involve to avoid making unnecessary changes. While you’ll eventually provide more details regarding the initiative, you can set the stage here by giving an overview of what’s to be improved, why doing so is important, and what your intended goals are. With a clear vision of success in place, your team can focus on making the specific changes needed to make it a reality.

2. Identify Stakeholders (and Their Roles)

As we said, all stakeholders should be involved in the improvement process to at least a certain degree. For each initiative, you’ll need to define who these entities are, and the role they’ll play in improving the process in question. Again, the main roles to consider include:

  • The ground-level employees who will be directly impacted by the change
  • Managers and team leads who will spearhead the initiative and facilitate procedural change
  • Executives who will oversee the business end of the initiative
  • Third-party entities who will be impacted by the shift in procedure

Once you identify these entities, you might consider forming a committee with representatives from each group to help move the initiative forward. This will lead to more and better insights and idea generation during the planning phase — and will allow you to stay transparent as you implement improvements to your processes.

3. Analyze the Current Process

At this point, you can start taking a closer look at the actual process to be improved. As things stand, you want to be clear on what’s working well within the process — and what isn’t. Consider:

  • Where do bottlenecks tend to occur?
  • Where is resource usage and waste highest?
  • Where are members of your team typically left idle or waiting?

Once you identify these troublesome spots, go a step further by looking both up- and downstream. In looking upstream, you may potentially uncover a more systemic issue that is the true cause of the problem you’re facing (and many others!). Looking downstream will allow you to see what other processes will be impacted by a given change — and may open the door for more improvements to be made in the future. When conducting this analysis, remember to use both your collected data and your stakeholders’ collective "know-how" knowledge to form an accurate picture of what the process looks like at the present moment — and how you can improve it moving forward.

4. Create a SMART Goal

Based on your analysis of the process and your current situation, you can create a goal for your initiative that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound . Going back to the examples mentioned earlier, you might set the following goals for each respective initiative:

  • Reduce customer service intake time by 25% within six months
  • Improve MQL conversions by 10% this month
  • Reduce hands-on touchpoints during employee form submission by 50% this year

This step is crucial to ensure the improvement you make actually impacts your operations in a positive way — and to give your team a clear idea of what successful implementation of the improvement will look like.

5. Brainstorm and Define Optimal Solution(s)

The next step is to brainstorm solutions to the problem as you begin developing the new process. As you brainstorm these ideas, you’ll want to pay attention to the following three factors:

  • Feasibility and Practicality : Do you have the manpower to implement the change? Does your team possess the skills and knowledge needed to make the new process work?
  • Impact : How will the change impact your stakeholders and your business operations? Will additional changes be necessary once the proposed solution is in place?
  • Cost : What will it cost (in money, time, and other resources) to implement the new workflow? When will your organization begin reaping the benefits?

6. Create an Action Plan

Once you define the process to be improved, you can start planning how you’ll actually go about implementing the change within your operations. This can involve a wide variety of steps based on the change to be made. If automating and optimizing the customer service intake process, for example, you’d need to:

  • Install and integrate your helpdesk software of choice — and phase out the old solution
  • Onboard and train your customer service representatives
  • Introduce your new automated solution to your customers

…and much more. Detail is important here, as you want to introduce the change as seamlessly as possible — and ensure that it’s the best decision to make from a business standpoint. To this end, you might choose to create a fleshed out business requirements document to go along with your process improvement plan.

7. Implement, Monitor, & Adjust

As you introduce the new process and it starts to become the “new normal”, you’ll want to keep a close eye on how everything’s going. This should be a team effort involving all stakeholders. While performance metrics and other quantitative data will be a huge piece of the puzzle, you also want to collect more qualitative feedback from those most impacted by the change. (This is especially true when it directly impacts your customers.) From there, you can make adjustments to the process as needed over time — as you should always be doing within all areas of your operations in the first place! In all seriousness, you likely won’t need to create an entirely new process improvement plan as you make these slight adjustments. But, if the “new way” doesn’t pan out the way you’d hoped, there’s no shame in going back to the drawing board.

8. Document, Document, Document

At this point, you’ll have likely documented the new process in text and graphic formats. Now, you’ll want to start creating additional knowledge documentation that:

  • Explains procedural steps in full detail
  • Demonstrates the process in action (via video content)
  • Provides expert tips and best practices to optimize the process

Zooming out a bit, be sure to adjust any documentation regarding your overarching approach to process improvement planning. On top of making the new process “official”, documenting it also makes the information more accessible. Marco Armineta, Director of Customer Experience at Valant , explains that documenting new processes with Helpjuice enabled his team “to quickly rollout initiatives that proved difficult with our previous solution, including the ability for customers to rate content and provide free-text feedback.”

Use Helpjuice to Empower Your Process Improvement Plans

Helpjuice’s knowledge base software can supercharge your efforts to improve internal operations at every step of the process. Brainstorm solutions and create plans for improving processes in real-time with collaborative documentation Document and share new workflows with employees and other stakeholders in seconds Make continuous improvements to process and workflow documentation over time Ready to get started? Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Helpjuice today!  

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Blog Human Resources

How to Create a Process Improvement Plan [20+ Templates Included]

By Jennifer Gaskin , Jun 12, 2023

process improvement plan

A process improvement plan is a comprehensive and actionable document that outlines the necessary steps to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and overall performance of processes and procedures within your company. It serves as a roadmap to identify areas of improvement, address bottlenecks, streamline workflows, and optimize resource utilization.

A well-crafted process improvement plan should provide specific and practical recommendations that are applicable across various functions and departments within your organization, allowing for widespread implementation and consistent benefits across the business. By adopting a process improvement plan, companies can proactively drive positive change, foster continuous improvement, and achieve higher levels of operational excellence.

Many aspects of process improvement can benefit from visual communication tools like infographics, presentations, mind maps and more. Venngage for Learning and Development teams makes it easy to create your own visual assets to help implement and manage your process improvement plans.

Click to jump ahead:

  • Process improvement plan case study

What are the most common types of process improvement plans?

What is an example of process improvement, types of process improvement plan & examples, what are the benefits of establishing a process improvement plan, process improvement plan faq, how do you create a process improvement plan.

Change isn’t easy, and it can be a challenge for companies to figure out what they’re doing wrong and how to fix it. But that’s why establishing a process improvement plan framework can help you make fact-based decisions about how to improve your organization.

A well-designed process improvement plan can streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and drive organizational growth. To help you navigate this crucial endeavor, here are ten essential steps to create a process improvement plan that yields measurable results:

  • Identify the Goals: Define the specific objectives you aim to achieve through process improvement. For example, reducing customer wait times by 20% or decreasing production errors by 15%.
  • Analyze Current Processes: Thoroughly evaluate existing workflows to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas of improvement. For instance, examine how information flows between departments or how inventory is managed.
  • Gather Stakeholder Input: Engage employees, managers, and other relevant stakeholders to gather insights and perspectives on process challenges. Example: Conduct interviews or surveys, or integrate a cloud contact center solution to collect feedback on pain points and potential solutions.
  • Prioritize Improvement Areas: Based on the analysis and stakeholder input, prioritize the areas that require immediate attention. This might involve identifying high-impact processes that, when improved, will have a significant positive effect on the organization.
  • Set Measurable Objectives: Establish specific and measurable objectives that align with the identified improvement areas. These objectives should be quantifiable and time-bound. For example, reduce customer complaints by 25% within six months.
  • Develop Action Plans: Create detailed action plans for each improvement area, outlining the steps, responsibilities, and timelines for implementing changes. For instance, assign a cross-functional team to streamline the order fulfillment process and develop a timeline for completing the necessary changes. Consider having  action plan templates  in place so there you team has a framework for how to accomplish processes.
  • Implement Changes: Execute the action plans while closely monitoring progress and ensuring adherence to the established timelines. Example: Introduce new software to automate manual data entry tasks and track key performance indicators.
  • Measure Results: Regularly measure and evaluate the impact of the implemented changes against the set objectives. This may involve tracking metrics like cost savings, productivity improvements, or customer satisfaction ratings.
  • Adjust and Refine: Based on the results, identify any gaps or areas that need further improvement. Adjust the action plans accordingly, making iterative refinements to continuously optimize processes.
  • Communicate & Engage : Keep all stakeholders informed about the progress of the process improvement initiatives and encourage their ongoing involvement. Share success stories and celebrate achievements to sustain motivation and engagement.

By adhering to these useful guidelines, you will forge a formidable process enhancement blueprint that propels transformative growth within your organization. Keep in mind that process improvement is an ever-evolving odyssey, and constant scrutiny and fine-tuning will safeguard perpetual triumph in fine-tuning your operations.

Process Improvement Plan Case Study

Following the steps we outlined earlier, let’s explore a hypothetical process improvement plan for a doctor’s office that constantly gets complaints from patients about how many forms they have to fill out.

Process Improvement Plan: Reducing Patient Form Burden in a Doctor’s Office

  • Identify the Goals: The goal is to streamline the patient intake process and reduce the number of forms patients have to fill out, resulting in improved patient satisfaction and reduced administrative burden.
  • Analyze Current Processes: Evaluate the existing patient intake process to identify the number and types of forms patients are required to complete, as well as any redundancies or inefficiencies in the process.
  • Gather Stakeholder Input: Engage with patients, front desk staff, and healthcare providers to understand their perspectives on form-related challenges and potential solutions. Conduct surveys or hold focus group discussions to gather feedback.
  • Prioritize Improvement Areas: Identify key areas where form reduction can have the most significant impact on patient experience and administrative efficiency. For example, focus on eliminating redundant information across forms or consolidating multiple forms into a single comprehensive document.
  • Set Measurable Objectives: Establish specific objectives, such as reducing the number of forms by 50% within three months, minimizing the time patients spend filling out forms by 25% or achieving a patient satisfaction rating of 80% regarding the form intake process.
  • Develop Action Plans: Create action plans to streamline the patient intake process and minimize form requirements. Examples of actions may include:
  • Conduct a thorough review of existing forms and identify areas of overlap or duplication.
  • Consult with legal and compliance teams to ensure necessary information is captured while minimizing redundancies.
  • Explore the possibility of implementing electronic forms or online pre-registration to expedite the process.
  • Train front desk staff on the new streamlined process and educate them on assisting patients in completing forms efficiently.
  • Implement Changes: Execute the action plans by implementing the agreed-upon improvements. This could involve revising and consolidating forms, implementing electronic forms or online pre-registration systems, and providing staff training on the revised process.
  • Measure Results: Regularly measure and evaluate the impact of the implemented changes against the set objectives. Track metrics such as the number of forms eliminated, time saved for patients, and patient satisfaction ratings related to the revised intake process.
  • Adjust and Refine: Based on the results and ongoing feedback, identify any areas that require further improvement. Refine the process by addressing any remaining pain points or bottlenecks to ensure a seamless and efficient patient intake experience.
  • Communicate and Engage: Maintain open communication with patients, staff, and healthcare providers throughout the process improvement journey. Inform patients about the changes and improvements made to the form intake process, and encourage their feedback and suggestions for further enhancements.

By implementing this process improvement plan, the doctor’s office can minimize the burden on patients by reducing the number of forms they need to fill out, resulting in improved patient satisfaction and streamlined administrative processes. Remember that continuous evaluation and refinement are essential to adapt to evolving patient needs and ensure ongoing improvements in the patient intake experience.

You can customize this process improvement plan template to reflect the example above:

process improvement plan

Return to Table of Contents

There are found major methods of process improvement that you may consider integrating into your process improvement plans. Some of these methods are used in the largest companies in the world.

process improvement plan lean six sigma

A quality control method developed by a Motorola engineer, Six Sigma has become a global phenomenon, and Six Sigma certification is highly sought-after in many industries. Six Sigma outlines five steps for improving existing business practices, abbreviated to DMAIC:

Here’s how a process improvement plan should be when using the Six Sigma method:

process improvement lean six sigma flowchart

Lean & Lean Six Sigma

Lean traditionally is used by manufacturing companies, but the principles are useful across all industries, and as its name suggests, Lean process improvement plans focus on reducing waste. In particular, Lean aims to eliminate any activities that do not add value to the end user of the good or service. The steps are:

  • Identify value
  • Map value stream
  • Create flow
  • Establish pull
  • Seek perfection

Lean Six Sigma is the hybrid of the two methods, helping organizations improve processes through DMAIC while also eliminating waste.

Total quality management (TQM)

process improvement plan

Total quality management (TQM) had its heyday in the 1980s and early 1990s before the advent of Lean and Six Sigma, but its main objectives are still valid today. TQM process development plans focus primarily on quality control, ensuring that the company’s output is of the highest possible quality and determining ways to make output even better.

TQM doesn’t have steps as most other process improvement methods do. Rather, it focuses on principles that should guide an organization with a TQM mindset:

  • Customer-focused
  • Total employee involvement
  • Process-centric
  • Full team integration
  • Strategic and systemic
  • Data-driven decisions
  • Constant communication

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)

process improvement plan pdca

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is a continuous change management cycle that was first established by engineer and management consultant W. Edwards Deming in the 1950s. Back then it was called a Deming Wheel , which was later modified by Japanese engineers to arrive at its current definition.

The steps involved in PDCA are obvious:

As the name suggests, process improvement refers to the task of identifying, analyzing and improving existing business processes that are often outdated or no longer efficient enough.

While the term is most often used in a business context, it can refer to any decision or actions that aim to improve a process, be it as simple as finding a shorter route on your drive to work or as complex as improving the whole customer service process of a corporation.

Back to its business context, process improvement could target wasteful spending, poor office design, IT system downtime, employee disengagement and many other issues that can doom an organization.

Process improvement can’t be effective without proper process documentation policies in place. If you haven’t documented your company’s processes yet, we can help with that. Check out these process documentation templates to get you started.

There’s more than one type of process improvement plan, which we’ll explore more in detail . In addition to the example we shared above, a process improvement plan can also consist of 6 steps:

process improvement plan

Or 4 steps, like this one which is developed using the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model:

process improvement plan pdca

These steps are, of course, quite simplified, and some process improvement plans will require months or years of changes to procedures, hiring practices, training, systems, software and more.

For example, a process improvement plan for a company lacking a specific skill set in its employees can mean hiring new staff and training the existing one. In cases like this, other tools like individual development plans can be useful.

process improvement plan

This individual development plan designed for healthcare workers is a good example of how process improvement plans can branch off into other areas.

And once the new process is in place, it’s important to communicate it to the team effectively. That could be through a  process infographic , timeline , mind map or other types of visual communication .

Customize this project communication plan to help streamline communication channels between teams working on the same project:

project communication plan

Another example of a process improvement plan, this nursing care plan is used in a healthcare setting only. It could be used to illustrate a new plan aimed at addressing gaps in communication and patient care. But you can use the process suggested in this plan and apply it to any industry.

process improvement plan nursing teaching plan

This creative design process infographic would be an ideal way to share with a creative team a proposed new method of taking clients through the design process. Consider color-coding new or revised steps if creating a piece like this to share a revised company process.

process improvement plan

Customize this action plan mind map once you’ve settled on a new process so that team members see steps involved in their tasks but also keep the main objectives in mind.

process improvement company action mind map

Process improvement plans are useful for organizations of all types, and their output can include simple verbal instructions. But most companies benefit from creating charts, presentations and infographics to communicate a variety of aspects surrounding the plan.

Check out these process improvement plan templates that may help your organization.

Process improvement plan development examples

Developing a process improvement plan is complicated, but visual tools like infographics can make it easier for your team to grasp the steps involved.

process improvement plan

Help your management team and employees understand the steps involved in the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle with this infographic. Customize it for your needs by outlining specific actions they need to take in the bottom section.

process improvement plan

This PDCA cycle infographic is ideal for companies that are implementing improvement plans across their organization.

Revised process examples

Once you’ve settled on a new way of doing things, explaining the new process clearly to employees (and sometimes customers) is critical. Process and timeline infographics are helpful, as they allow people to visualize the new steps.

Here’s an example of a process improvement plan to revise customer support process, built based on the PDCA concept:

process improvement plan

Customize this project management process infographic for the new process you and your teammates are creating. Quickly change out icons for ones that apply to your business, and use My Brand Kit to ensure the design aligns with your corporate identity.

process improvement plan

Use this colorful process infographic for a new process that has several steps. Lengthen or shorten as needed to cover all the steps in your revised process. Or use a template like this to create a process improvement action plan as you begin your work.

process improvement plan

Revised policy examples

Process development plans can easily spill over into a variety of business areas, and it’s often necessary to craft new policies and procedures on the way to your new process. Infographics and other tools can help you spread the word and document these new policies.

If your new process will require added documentation that needs to be signed by an employee or their supervisor, customize this procedure infographic that explores how to submit expense claims. Change the title, content and illustrations for your needs.

process improvement plan

Perhaps your process improvement plan revealed that nobody in your organization is prepared for a disaster or emergency. The output of your process improvement team could be a business continuity plan like this one.

process improvement plan

Employee development examples

The success of your new process will depend entirely on your team’s ability to execute it, and many organizations find that a major reason why their current processes aren’t working is that team members lack certain skills. So, employee development is often involved in executing a revised plan.

Help team members visualize the skills they need to develop by working with them to create a mind map like this one.

process improvement career plan mind map

Customize this career planning infographic for team members as you work with them to help them build the necessary skills. While this example is about career planning in general, it’s easy to customize with specifics for your employees.

process improvement plan

Change management examples

Humans by nature are resistant to change, and your organization may find it challenging to implement a new process. These change management plans may help you communicate and motivate your team.

Follow the steps in this change management process infographic to break through your team’s stubborn adherence to old, inefficient processes.

process improvement plan

Update this planning process infographic to help get your team on the side of change. Employees who feel they are involved in steering the company in the right direction will feel a strong sense of ownership in the entire process improvement operation.

process improvement plan

There are many benefits of diving into a process improvement plan in your organization, and the most obvious and important is to improve your company’s overall efficiency. Doing so can make the business more profitable in the long run. But that’s not where the benefits end.

The biggest benefits of a process improvement plan include:

  • Employee satisfaction : More productive workers make a company more money over time, but they also gain a sense of accomplishment and self-improvement.
  • Customer satisfaction : Many process improvement plans target tasks that are customer- or client-facing, and making sure your customers are satisfied is crucial for any organization.
  • Agility : The business landscape is constantly changing, so putting a process improvement strategy into place will equip your organization to handle future disruption.
  • Safety : Efficient processes are helpful to reducing workplace accidents and repetitive stress injuries, and examining the physical activities employees are doing as part of their jobs can help make them safer overall.
  • Modernization : Organizations that resist technology are likely not long for the world, and process improvement plans are ideal for adapting new technologies to your company’s workflows.
  • Innovation : In any company, there are things you do because that’s the way you’ve always done them. But breaking those processes down to see how they function is one of the best ways to spark a new idea and create innovation in your organization.

Do you have more questions about creating a process improvement plan for your organization? We’ve got answers.

How do you propose a process improvement plan?

Communication is a critical part of process improvement. If people don’t know or understand why change is needed, it’s unlikely they’ll embrace any new processes. Proposing a process improvement plan requires an individual or small group who will own the plan’s development from start to finish and can be evangelists for the plan across the organization.

What are the contents of a process improvement plan?

In general, process improvement plans must include a definition of the process, an explanation of its steps, an identification of the ways in which it falls short, a proposed new process and a mechanism for monitoring the revised steps.

How do you find areas of process improvement?

If you knew exactly why your organization wasn’t as successful, you’d fix it right away. But finding areas of process improvement means keeping your ear to the ground and observing the organization in an objective way. Common areas of process improvement include authority overlap, constantly missed deadlines, poor quality control, physical safety issues, fixing errors rather than preventing them, employee and customer dissatisfaction and excess spending.

In summary: Process improvement plans can help your company be more productive and eliminate organizational frustration

Identifying where your company is failing in the processes used across the organization is not an easy task, as it requires dispassionate examination of how you may be falling short. But visual communication tools like infographics, mind maps and process illustrations can help communicate issues to your team and get everyone moving in the right direction.

Interested in visualizing your process improvement plans and gaining buy-in from stakeholders? Start by registering for a FREE Venngage account and choose a suitable process improvement plan to customize. Our templates are professional-looking, fully customizable and really easy to edit, even if you don’t have design experience.

Process Improvement Plan – Achieve an End-to-End Process Improvement with 6 Simple Steps

Process Improvement Plan

A process is a systematic and well-defined course of action that describes how a set of tasks, communication, and data work together to achieve fixed organizational goals. These processes need to be optimized regularly to bring out an organization’s maximum efficiency and productivity. But this optimization is not often a simple step to take. Medium and large organizations will undergo a laborious task in detecting the flaw, making the necessary changes, and then finally reorganizing and coordinating a large workforce. This also demands several rounds of approvals. Hence, a continuous process improvement model is an essential strategy to always ensure the best result. We are going to explore what process improvement plans entail and look into strategies for developing process improvement plans.

What is a Process Improvement Plan?

A process improvement plan is a set of strategic approaches devised by an organization. This written strategy is to improve the quality of the organizational processes and extract maximum productivity using minimal resources. Having such a plan will help manage these processes more profoundly. Summing up, a process improvement plan is an official document that defines the improvement strategies of the organizational processes. This includes steps like analyzing and identifying limitations and adopting steps to rectify and improve them.

Benefits of a Process Improvement Plan

The ultimate goal of any organization is to bring out the efficiency in the work that they do. With the rising standards within the industry, organizations will have to constantly meet the expectations of factors like customers, clients, stakeholders, etc. Therefore, consistent improvement has to be achieved to meet the expectations and reach the goals. For this, a business process improvement plan is always crucial. This strategic plan will act as a framework for your workforce, and make the necessary enhancements to the lacking tasks or areas. The benefits that are acquired with the implementation of a business process improvement plan are as follows:

Improved Engagement and Satisfaction for the Workforce: With the implementation of a plan, your employees are empowered to work in a healthy environment. If the inefficient processes continue to exist, the workforce’s working proficiency will be disrupted. The tasks have to be optimized so that your employees do not feel like they are performing a mundane activity. When a well-defined plan is put together, the roles and duties of the employees are specified, and they will be able to plan accordingly. They can effectively work without wasting much time or energy. With increased productivity, the employees will acquire a sense of improvement and accomplishment.

Enhanced Operations: Undoubtedly, a process improvement plan exists to enhance the organizational processes. When this is achieved, a lot of negatives like wastage of resources, and repetitive and delaying tasks are removed from process workflows. This plan will cleanse your processes making it highly streamlined and beneficial.

Developed Communication: With a curated plan, the communication system is improved. Communication becomes faster with a system in place and a high level of clarity will be present in the movement of information and other required data. Coordination is automatically established, which further expands the involvement of all the employees who are part of each process. 

Increased Innovation: Establishing a process management plan not only eliminates drawbacks within the processes but simultaneously detects areas of innovation and other additional developmental opportunities. 

Heightened Customer Service: As the overall quality of the processes increases, the output generated is maximized. This will develop the strength of customer service, increasing their satisfaction and creating more probability of customer retention. 

Apart from these essential benefits, the following are also achieved that elevate the performance of the business –

  • More safety
  • Improved productivity
  • Streamlined processes
  • Increased regulatory compliance standards
  • Better customer relationship
  • Scope to install feedback systems for employees, customers, and other stakeholders.

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Steps in Creating a Process Improvement Plan

Developing process improvement plans for the processes must be performed precisely as they affect the working of your organization. The right strategy must be able to guarantee the most effective results according to your work ethic and culture. Building strategies should have inputs from expert insights and research. For this, an efficient team should be employed. Let us look at the common steps involved in creating a process improvement plan.

Employ a Process Improvement Team: The first step is to create an improvement team to devise the process improvement plan. Having a team will fix the priority of building the right plan for your organization. The team will be responsible for studying the existing processes using a visualization tool like a workflow diagram. They have to analyze each task that goes into different processes and make note of the lacking areas to improvise. Finally, they have to come up with a process improvement proposal document, which has to be reviewed and approved by the higher officials. On receiving the approval, this business improvement plan will achieve an overall enhancement of the whole process.

Choose the Processes to Improve: Once the team is set up, list down the processes that the team thinks are dragging down the efficiency of the entire process. Identifying the specific factors of the tasks is necessary. For example, it could be the delay that is caused in getting a receipt approved, or in a different case, it could be the case of data handling that has to be manually maintained in a spreadsheet. Such areas need to be pulled out from the process by the team. The team can reach out to employees and stakeholders for feedback that will help them create an optimization plan.

Reflect and Identify Issues with the Shortlisted Process: Once the processes are chosen. A proper study has to be conducted on each of the processes to decide the areas that need optimization. The process has to be studied and analyzed with the existing data.

Devise a Strategy for Improving the Process: When the areas of issues are identified, it is time to develop strategies that could tackle the problems. The improvement team must determine solutions to the issues that come in. These solutions can be anything like eliminating certain activities or shifting to machinery, adopting software tools like automation, artificial intelligence, etc.

Test the Strategy: Before officially launching the strategy on a wider scale, it must be implemented on a smaller scale like a test run, to avoid major losses. During the test running, the performance of the strategy should be noted and measured. This will let you know whether the strategy was a success or not. This will also create opportunities for corrective actions and more improvement. Taking this step will assure your team of success. 

Implement the Strategy and Optimize: Once the testing stage has been over, the implementation can be done. The multiple rounds of change and updates to your strategy are ready to accomplish the set objectives. When the plan is in action, it is necessary to communicate the objectives and goals to all the involved parties.  

What Goes Inside a Business Process Improvement Plan?

Your business process improvement plan must be devised according to your business and its respective goals. The structure of the improvement plan will differ from organization to organization, but there are a few common things that will go into it. Some of these are:

The Process that You Intend to Improve: The process that you want to improvise will be the primary part of your improvement plan. The plan will contain a description of the organizational process in it.

List of Team Members: The plan can also list the team members who are working on the optimization of the tasks. Their roles, duties, and responsibilities will be specified clearly to avoid confusion and miscommunication.

Resource Estimation: The resources can also be listed in a process improvement plan. These resources may include budget, total number of employees, raw materials, etc . Resource planning will guide your planning team to effectively design the process accordingly.

Key Performance Indicators: Mentioning the KPIs in the improvement strategy is advisable as the employees and stakeholders will be aware of the scale that they are working on. This will help them in monitoring the performance with the KPIs as the criteria. An important point to note here is that different organizations will have their own set of KPIs to achieve.

Recommendations to Consider When Creating the Plan

A change in a system can often be a drastic shift that could alter even the functional structure of any organization. Similarly, when a change is brought into the existing processes, it is essential to consider the following points.

Consistency in Improvement: Betterment in anything always depends on consistency. Similarly, your improvement plan must be consistent. In a complex process, multiple areas could be lacking without improvement. Therefore, a regular implementation of the process improvement plan is important. To maintain consistency, feedback loops can be placed to get data and information at fixed intervals. Eventually, this revival of your processes will be a part of the business process itself.

Go For the Right Software: During the plan devising stage, it is convenient if the software is adopted as a channelling platform. This software could help the team members communicate accurately and plan the changes. You can create workflows that would drive coordination among the members. The tool will also document the newly developed process and also improve flexibility. 

Cflow is one such software solution that will automate most of the repetitive and time-consuming tasks. As a cloud-based tool, documents can be scanned and stored, and will also be accessible anytime.

Tips For Using a Process Improvement Plan

While working with the improvement plan, rapport must be brought between all the entities that are working within the system. Therefore, here are some tips to heighten the experience while using the process improvement plan. 

Communicate with Your Team Members: In the new system, communication is a crucial element. With proper communication, the efficiency of the work is improved and all the employees can be on the same page till the completion of the process. Collecting feedback is the key. Feedback from multiple ends maintains a level of communication between different entities of your organization. With communication, the plan is also rightly disseminated among all employees.

Monitor Results Regularly: The results of the plan implementation must be monitored at regular intervals. This step will help in constantly detecting issues within the tasks in the processes. Most often, good results may not be achieved right away. You have to be patient with several factors that have to come in line to perform. A key point to note is that it is ideal to have a regular schedule monitoring to check on the progress and suggest corrections when needed. 

Install Process Management Software: There are many process management software available in the market. These tools will help you create processes digitally. This software can guide you in having a standardized system where processes and other activities are all optimized and made systematic. 

Most Common Types of Process Improvement Plans

There are officially found and established process improvement plan types that most organizations adopt. These different types of plans can be integrated into your organizational process improvement planning. The common types include:

Lean & Lean Six Sigma

Total quality management (tqm), plan-do-check-act (pdca).

This process planning method is specific to the quality control developed by a Motorola engineer. The process in the Six Sigma method mainly focuses on five stages, which are, DMAIC- define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. The tasks that go under each stage are as follows:

  • Define – Project Charter, Customer Input, Value Stream Map
  • Measure – Process Map, Capability Analysis, Pareto Chart
  • Analyze –  Root Cause Analysis, Multi-vari Chart, Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
  • Improve – Design of Experiments, Kaizen Event
  • Control – Quality Control Plan, 5S Method, Statistical Process Control, Mistake Proofing

This is how a Six Sigma process improvement will take place:


Lean is a method of process improvement that is generally used by manufacturing industries. However, it is essential to note that the principles that this method uses can be adopted across other industries as well. This particular method is adopted to focus on the reduction of wastage of resources. This method will help you eradicate tasks or stages within your processes that do not add value to the customers, end users, or the service in general. Five steps are identified in this method. The steps include:

  • Identify Value
  • Map Value Stream
  • Create Flow
  • Establish Pull
  • Seek Perfection

The Lean & Lean Six Sigma process is a hybrid version of two different methods, Lean and Six Sigma DMAIC, which will guide your organization to achieve the two goals of quality control and waste reduction simultaneously. 

Before the introduction of Lean and Six Sigma approaches, Total Quality Management was one of the most successful methods adopted in the 1980s and the early 1990s. Still, this approach is beneficial and used even today. Similar to the other two methods, TQM focuses on the quality of the output that is being delivered to the customers. It aims to bring the maximum quality to the process and even higher quality to the final output. TQM holds a set of principles rather than steps. These principles will be taken as a framework that will guide the employees to perform the process improvement plan. These principles include the following:

  • Total workforce involvement
  • Process-oriented
  • Strategic and systematic approach and deliverance
  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Consistent communication
  • Customer-focused
  • Complete team integration

As a continuous change management, Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) was first introduced in the 1950s by W. Edwards Deming, an engineer and management consultant. Initially, it was popularly known as the Deming Wheel. It was later modified and upgraded to the current version by Japanese engineers. The following are the steps involved in a PDCA method.

  • Establish the objectives
  • Determine the processes that need to be improvised
  • Carry out the set tasks and objectives
  • Gather the required data
  • Evaluate the results obtained
  • Evaluate the testing process
  • Implement the improvised process
  • Repeat the PDCA cycle regularly to improve performance further
  • Standardize instructions and the processes

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Build fully-customizable, no code process workflows in a jiffy., examples of process improvement template.

After looking at the different types of process improvement methods and types, it is evident that not all organizations have to follow a fixed path for process improvement. Depending on the process type and the organization’s size, affordability, etc. the structure of the plan changes. Each type of improvement plan structure can be taken as a process improvement plan template for you to get started. 

These process improvement plan templates can be of different methods as follows:

Method Detailing: This is a visually appealing template where infographics are used to give the details regarding the improvement method. This template may include details like the method are they adopting, how the method works in a management improvement process, and followed by an explanation of all the steps. These can be customized according to the needs of the team or organization.

For example, if an organization has decided to use the PDCA Cycle method to optimize its organizational processes, the following information will be given on the template.

  • About PDCA Cycle
  • Examples of where the PDCA Cycle works well
  • How the PDCA Cycle works for change management
  • Explanation of the steps in PDCA

Problem-Plan Template: In this template, the problem/issue within the process, and the plan of action will be described in detail. This also uses infographics and can be used in cases where the issues are not more than one or two. In this template, the problem will be stated at the beginning, followed by the plan devised by the process improvement team. The plan will entail the corrective measures that have to be taken by the employees. 

How does the Process Improvement Plan Apply to your Organization?

No organization is an exception to the problems that arise with inefficient business processes. Take any instance like a marketing manager trying to enhance their team’s sales techniques to improve customer conversion rates, or the accounts manager trying to bridge the gap in the transaction process, all of these areas can be optimized using a process improvement plan. Adopting this strategy will result in fewer resources, more results, and less time. 

Cflow – An Expert in Process Improvement and Management

Cflow is a no-code workflow automation platform that will take your organization’s work experience par excellence. Our tool easily transforms and streamlines business processes with cloud BPM and workflow automation. This will guarantee you the maximum efficiency of the processes like never before. Every type of organizational needs can be met with Cflow. Some important features that we offer are:

  • Complete automation of business processes
  • Easy workflow creation with zero code involved
  • Automated and customized reminders and notifications
  • Instant Reports and Analytics
  • The approval process made easy and simple
  • Encourages integration with third-party applications

Explore more features on Cflow .

Achieving stability and efficiency is not an easy task. With the increasing targets and breakthroughs in the industry, organizations are under constant pressure. To detangle from this scenario, it is essential to optimize your business processes through a process improvement plan. Shifting to this approach will give an end-to-end process improvement, which will enhance the overall performance of your organization. Achieve this success with an expert solution like Cflow. Sign up for a free trial today!

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Process Improvement Plan – A Step-by-Step Guide for 2024

You are Here : Process Software >> Process Improvement Plan

Every enterprise depends on numerous business processes to run its operations successfully. But if these processes don’t run as expected, generate inconsistent results, or take too long to complete, then it can eventually lead to process breakdowns and inefficiencies.  By implementing a process improvement plan, CIOs can identify existing business processes with bottlenecks or areas of improvement and improve those processes to increase operational efficiency.

What is a process improvement plan?

If process improvement is the what, a process improvement plan is the how.

As the name implies, a  process improvement  plan is a blueprint that details:

  • How the project management team intends to measure the performance of their internal processes
  • What factors exactly which are holding back the efficiency of their processes
  • Where improvements can be made and to which processes, in order to drive better results

A process improvement plan is essentially a 360-degree outline that details what’s working with a team’s processes, what’s not working, and how they intend to fix them—keeping in mind the results they want to derive.

While process improvement is important for any organization seeking to achieve more with less resources, a process improvement plan serves as the strategy that guides it and makes it easy to succeed.

“Well-designed BPM systems play a key role in minimizing growing pains by helping employees navigate complex processes, increasing visibility into work queues, preserving as well as organizing institutional knowledge, and reducing reliance on email-based processes.” - John Stretton, Associate Director, Process Automation at EDP Renewables

Process improvement example: Improving customer service in an e-commerce company 

When an e-commerce company routinely receives a very high volume of customer inquiries, it can be challenging for the customer service team to keep track of every request coming their way and respond to inquiries promptly. 

Process improvement strategy can involve streamlining the customer service process so that the most common customer inquiries get automatically answered by chatbots and the complex inquiries are redirected to the customer service team, leading to better response time and enhanced customer satisfaction. 

What are the major steps involved in process improvements?

Just like a process is a collection of repeatable tasks and human interactions needed to achieve certain outcomes in an organization, process improvement is a process in itself.

It involves several steps which when carried out, help a team to identify which part of their processes are performing below par so they can update or eliminate them entirely.

Below are the 6 Business Improvement Plan Steps:

1. mapping the process.

Ideally, a process is a visual breakdown of how repeatable tasks and human interactions work together for achieving business targets.

As a result, when looking to improve existing processes, it always helps to visualize how they currently work, coexist, or cooperate to deliver outcomes.

Only when a process has been clearly broken down into its constituent tasks and sub-tasks can it be efficiently improved since now, the team can begin to look at each minute item with detail.

2. Analyzing the process

With the process broken into its constituent parts, the project team proceeds to analyze each part to uncover where exactly things are going wrong.

Here, the project management team can cut to the chase faster if they ask questions like:

  • Where does work stagnate?
  • At what point does resource waste increase above average?
  • Where do we witness communications disconnect?
  • What stage of this process fails to contribute to the outcome overall?

The  process analysis  stage offers the project management team an avenue to pinpoint problem areas in the process and as a result, it’s easier narrowing down and solving these problems faster.

3. Redesign the process

With a detailed outlook into the places where a process runs into hitches, the project management team can now begin adjusting their strategy and tweaking the process to adjust or eliminate those friction points in the process.

In order to achieve this end successfully, the project team should ask questions such as:

  • What parts of this process can we trim down and still meet our goals?
  • What can we add to this process to improve speed or output?
  • What existing tasks in this process can we tweak to improve output, speed, or resource efficiency?

With these due diligence questions answered, the project management team moves on to tweaking the steps and action items in their process outline, eliminating what’s not working, and including steps that help to boost output.

This stage is carried out on the drawing board and helps the project management team visualize what their updated process will look like in operation so they can make any necessary changes before testing.

4. Acquire resources

With the process redesign on the drawing board, the project management team now has a new, improved outline for getting the process’s end goals achieved.

The next step is to acquire the resources necessary to implement the changes outlined in the updated process plan. These include:

  • Personnel input from across the organization
  • Technical support
  • Increased budget
  • Executive buy-in

The aim is to equip the project management team with the tools and resources necessary for moving their updated process outline off the drawing board into reality.

5. Implement changes and communicate changes

At this point, the project management team swings into action executing their improved process in a real-life scenario.

The aim here is to take advantage of the changes made to the team’s process, as well as to make notes of any issues that may come up during this execution/testing phase.

Further, the team updates other departments or members of their organization whose work ties in with theirs so they can take note of the changes and adjust to the new strategy.

6. Review the process

With the changes to the process fully implemented and communicated to relevant stakeholders across the organization, the team can now get down to a retrospective level, asking questions such as:

  • How much have the changes we implemented improved our process?
  • Have the changes we implemented made any adverse effects on our outcomes overall?
  • Are there any tweaks we can make before we get this process all set up for day-to-day operations?

With these questions, the project management team can point out and resolve any attendant issues that came up with their process update.

This leads to gradual improvement that helps the team achieve the ultimate aim of utilizing systems and processes—achieving targets on time and under budget.

All in all, the process improvement plan offers every forward-thinking organization a coherent, trustworthy blueprint for upgrading their processes so they can stay on the bleeding edge without sacrificing time or resource efficiency.

Benefits of process improvement planning

A process improvement plan offers the groundwork for updating business processes so they can stay on the cutting edge, delivering goals easier and faster. Some of the other benefits of process improvement include:

1. Increased resource efficiency

One of the key functions of a process improvement plan is to identify parts of a process that require significantly more resources than it appears it should. With such insights at hand, the team can begin making efforts to implement necessary changes that enable them to achieve more with the resources they have available.

2. Productivity gains

When members of an organization who previously spent significant time working with inefficient processes get their work simplified, that extra time can be invested into doing work faster.

3. Process improvement coherence

One of the biggest issues with  business process management  is that there’s always a lot to do. And trial and error tends to make things progressively worse.

A process improvement plan, on the other hand, offers a dependable blueprint for reworking how the organization knows to deliver results so they can make necessary changes without jumping through several hoops.

How exactly does process improvement apply to your organization?

Business process improvement  is everywhere.

Whether it’s the content manager trying to create a better blueprint for optimizing blog posts, or the accounts department working on an improved solution for handling invoices, process improvement applies anywhere there’s a need to use fewer resources, drive more results, or get work done in less time.

As a result, if your organization must stay on the cutting edge, you must embrace process improvement as an integral part of your  BPM  strategy.

Kissflow is a powerful low-code platform that can identify bottlenecks in your existing business processes and help you modify processes to improve efficiency. With Kissflow’s drag-and-drop form builder, you can quickly modify processes and review the changes before taking them live. Since Kissflow requires little to no coding to build complex processes, even business users can build processes from scratch on their own. 

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Process Improvement Plan: What is it & How to Create It? (Steps Included)

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Improving your business and its functioning isn’t always a piece of cake. In fact, it’s a lot like driving- Highly strategic!

You start with the idea of reaching from one place to another, turn on the engine, and begin the journey. At first, everything seems fine, you are halfway down the road, you feel pretty good. Then the inevitable happens: you miss a turn, stop, and remap the way to your destination!

Similarly, striving to improve your business follows the same pattern: you introduce a great idea that will improve your business and its processes . You communicate the plan to your manager, get approval, and then implement it.

However, fast-forward a few weeks, and you find that things have gone back to the old ways! Thus, no matter how good an idea is, without a solid improvement plan in place, the idea won’t last!

“A rule of thumb is that a lousy process will consume ten times as many hours as the work itself requires.”- Bill Gates

This is where a process improvement plan comes in! A process improvement plan identifies, analyzes, and improves existing business processes to meet new standards and goals!

Let’s quickly get started with learning everything about a process improvement plan, why it’s important, and how to create one!

Read on…

What is the Process Improvement Plan? (Definition)

Everything we do in our professional or personal lives involves some kind of a process. These processes require constant development every step of the way, which is why businesses create a process improvement plan for better management of processes!

In other words, a process improvement plan is a document defining how to improve your processes after analyzing and identifying them to help you get better at what you do!

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”- Edwards Deming

This plan is part of a broader, overall project management plan. It guides the project manager and team on how to examine the project processes and outlines the areas for measurable improvements. Creating a process improvement plan is itself a process that occurs throughout the project’s life cycle.

A girl creating a process improvement plan

A process improvement plan aims to eliminate bottlenecks or weak points in business operations. By identifying these bottlenecks, you help your business:

  • Minimize process completion time
  • Improve process efficiency and quality
  • Eliminate wasted efforts
  • Minimize friction in business processes
  • Meet regulatory compliance

Read more:  The Ultimate Guide To Process Documentation (Template Included)

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Why is a Process Improvement Plan Important?

Businesses need to remain constantly agile to respond to a changing dynamic externally and internally such as technology changes and demand shifts along with competitors entering the market.

Therefore, they must look for ways to improve, these improvements will result in higher-quality products & services that can be distributed and developed in increasingly cost-efficient ways. Process improvement plans can help businesses identify areas for potential improvement , plans for implementation, and measures of success!

Anyone who’s been in the business world has heard of process improvement plans. They not only add workplace efficiency but naturally results in reduced time to complete a given task. Furthermore, these are many of the benefits of having a continuous improvement plan, such as:

1. Engaged employees

Inefficient processes can be highly disruptive for employees. Weak business processes can lead to frustration and cause the morale of employees to decline if they feel that their efforts are being overwhelmed by a broken system. A well-crafted process improvement plan changes the employee’s role and responsibilities from being a passive actor to being an active participant in the business processes.

2. More Efficient Operations

The most obvious benefit of a process improvement plan is to have more efficient operations. When you remove wasted motion, time-consuming components, and unnecessary tasks, your processes become more effective and efficient.

3. Communication and involvement

Functional process improvement plans involve a team effort. Even those not involved in the project management team need to be informed of the plan and the intended results. The more clearly and thoroughly employees can be informed of process improvement goals and their roles, the greater the likelihood of successful implementation.

4. Increased Innovation

Improving processes is not only about removing waste. Often, you’ll be finding a better way to do something.

An improvement plan execution strategy

5. Better Customer Service

Effective process improvement plans take an inside as well as an outside perspective, with a clear focus on specific customer needs. These plans consider the aspects of a process that are most valued by end-user customers and then take steps to increase that value.

Read more:  Top 5 Business Process Management (BPM) Tools

How to Create a Process Improvement Plan? Follow these Steps!

In case you have a new way to improve any business process, you should work on it. To ensure that your idea becomes a reality, you need a well-defined process improvement plan. Here are the steps to create one:

Step 1. Map the process

The first step is to identify and select the process that needs to be improved. Then visually map out the existing steps to see the process as a whole. This will help you find areas that have scope for improvement.

Step 2. Analyze the process

Once you’ve mapped out the process, take a closer look at different aspects in each step. Note areas where problems occur, delay happens, or where you spend a lot of money.

One of the most crucial aspects in this section is tracking down a problem to its origin. You must find out exactly what part of the process causes issues, to figure out how to fix them!

Try and investigate the problems within the process and as part of the evaluations, consider the following factors:

  • What difficulties are getting team members or customers frustrated?
  • Which steps are building bottlenecks?
  • What is causing quality to decline or costs to rise?
  • Which steps need the most time to complete or cause the most delays?

Step 3. Redesign the process

Now is the time to redesign the process and eliminate the problems you’ve identified . It’s best to finish this step with your team. They will ensure that you hold an in-depth understanding of the old process and effectively work on the new one!

Collaborative working will help you come up with potential solutions and keep track of them. You must think about how the team would carry out each idea, identify potential risks, and estimate how long it would take for implementation.

Step 4. Draft your plan

When a solution is chosen and resources are assigned, it’s time to create an implementation plan. List all the specific tasks that each of your team members will be working on and allocate other resources accordingly. Creating a detailed process implementation plan ensures that your plan is being carried out until the end.

Step 5. Communicate and execute

Before you move into the execution stage of the process, communicate the plan with your team. Even if you have previously discussed the new steps, communicate your plan for a transparent workflow.

Employees communicating with each other regarding improvement plan

Step 6. Monitor and optimize

Process improvement is a continuous effort!

Even after you’ve made improvements to a process, you need to make sure that employees follow the new process by closely monitoring the results. Regularly improving your business process ensures that the changes you made last long!

Read more:  Risk Management Plan: What, Why, and How to Write?

Important Recommendations Before You Start Creating Your Plan!

1. continue to improve.

You should remember that process improvement plans are supposed to themselves improve on a regular basis. There is always room for a process to be more effective and efficient.

Create feedback loops for your business to gather further actionable data. Your work to improve will not stop with a single loop of a process improvement plan, it is bound to be repeated as a part of your business processes. Define metrics to get a real picture of your process improvement plan.

2. Choose the right software!

From process analysis to communicating changes, using software for planning out process improvement and its levels is an excellent way to make sure that everything is flowing in the right direction.

This software will not only help you document a well-defined process improvement plan but will encourage collaboration, usage, and flexibility while improving your business processes! One such software, designed for the modern-day workplace is Bit.ai .

Bit.ai: Tool for creating process improvement plan

Bit is the dream tool to help organizations transform the planning process, by making it highly interactive using 100+ integrations .

Bit features infographic

  • Bit allows employees to create unlimited documents and interlink them to create wikis that expand the knowledge base. Simply highlight the words and you have the option to create a new document.
  • Get management feedback in real-time using @mentions and highlight features as every document comes with its separate comment stream.
  • Create, share, and store documents related to the product in one place without going back and forth to your cloud storage services.
  • Bit has a plethora of amazing templates to kickstart your work.
  • Content management capabilities allow you to store PDFs, videos, images, charts, and more inside one platform for easy access. Say goodbye to Google Drive and Dropbox!
  • Bit documents are nothing like you have ever seen. Create interactive docs and embed Airtable blocks, Google spreadsheets, PDFs, video tutorials, Typeform surveys- basically anything with a link inside your document.

Our team at  bit.ai  has created a few awesome business templates to make your business processes more efficient. Make sure to check them out before you go, y our team might need them!

  • SWOT Analysis Template
  • Business Proposal Template
  • Business Plan Template
  • Competitor Research Template
  • Project Proposal Template
  • Company Fact Sheet
  • Executive Summary Template
  • Operational Plan Template
  • Pitch Deck Template

Over to You!

That’s it, folks! Now, as you hold an advanced understanding of a process improvement plan along with the benefits it involves for your business, it’s time to create one using our robust documentation software- Bit.

A process improvement plan is a great way of implementing change in business processes, delivering quality work, improving communication, and much more. Remember, in order to create a successful process improvement plan, you’re going to need to constantly measure and report it.

We hope you find this article useful. If you have any questions or want to share your own experience, let us know in the comments below or tweet is @bit_docs

Further reads:

  • How to Create a Project Management Communication Plan?
  • Change Management Plan for Smooth Transition Process?
  • How to Write a Request for Proposal (RFP)?
  • Cost Management Plan: What, Why, and How?
  • How to Create a Procurement Management Plan: Step by Step Guide!
  • How to Create a Product Plan the Right Way?
  • How to Create an Effective Operational Plan for Your Business?
  • How to Create a Clear Transition Plan for your Business?
  • How To Create a Performance Improvement Plan?

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About Bit.ai

Bit.ai is the essential next-gen workplace and document collaboration platform. that helps teams share knowledge by connecting any type of digital content. With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, anyone can work visually and collaborate in real-time while creating internal notes, team projects, knowledge bases, client-facing content, and more.

The smartest online Google Docs and Word alternative, Bit.ai is used in over 100 countries by professionals everywhere, from IT teams creating internal documentation and knowledge bases, to sales and marketing teams sharing client materials and client portals.

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How to Create a Process Improvement Plan in 4 Simple Steps

Lari numminen, may 19, 2023.

As businesses become more digitalized and complex, the ability to streamline operations and improve efficiencies is a secret superpower. One effective way to achieve this is by creating and implementing a process improvement plan. This involves examining current business processes, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing changes to enhance efficiency.

We'll go through how to create a process improvement plan in 4 simple steps, but first let's cover some foundations of business process management.

how to make business improvement plan

Benefits of a Well-Implemented Process Improvement Plan

Process improvement plans can yield many benefits, including cost savings, improved productivity, better quality control, enhanced customer satisfaction, and increased profitability. They also allow businesses to remain competitive by facilitating innovation and continuous improvement.

Who should be on a process improvement team

Process improvement is a team sport. If you're looking to deliver long term results, you'll need to build an effective and collaborative team consisting of different roles:

  • a project management team lead by a process excellence or improvement Project Manager,
  • executive sponsors from the business unit leadership or company management,
  • subject matter experts and process owners who are the experts in the work being done.

Process improvement planning requires cross-functional communication and planning skills, so keep in mind also the right mix of skills and experience to coordinate and execute projects successfully across business operations.

What a process improvement plan should include

A well-rounded process improvement plan should encompass several key elements.

A SMART process challenge

Firstly, the process improvement objective is vital. This could be a range of goals, from reducing costs to increasing efficiency or improving customer satisfaction. A clear direction ensures all process improvement efforts have a defined purpose.

A good objective can be described in a process challenge statement. This is ideally described in the form of a smart goal, that is (s) specific,  (m) measurable, (a) attainable, (r) relevant and (t) time bound.  For example, it could be "To improve our customer NPS, we plan to reduce the throughput time of our new customer onboarding process by 30% before the end of next quarter."

how to make business improvement plan

Business Process discovery

Next comes process discovery . It's crucial to have a thorough understanding of the as-is state of current processes. By meticulously examining the existing operations, you can highlight inefficiencies, redundancies, or bottlenecks that should be rectified.

There are different ways you can diagnose and discover existing process health, whether it is through task mining or process mining software, or through a process discovery workshop or analysis. Whichever method you choose, keep in mind these process discovery best practices .

Process Map

The third key element of process improvement plans is process mapping . A process map is a visual representation of the process, created using flowcharts or similar diagrammatic tools, assists in identifying root causes of inefficiencies. It lays out the process step-by-step, making it easier to spot issues and devise solutions.

Process mapping allows you to document and communicate the health of existing processes and process performance. They can also be used to document inefficient processes and increased resource efficiency of re-designing current process flows.

Implementation and communication strategy

After this comes the implementation strategy and communication plan , where the necessary changes are defined and communicated to key stakeholders. Depending on the specific needs of the business, these can range from minor adjustments to complete overhauls.

An effective communication strategy is paramount to ensure that all stakeholders are in the loop. Everyone involved should be aware of the upcoming changes, understand why they're being implemented, and be prepared for their roles in the transition. If the improvements require employees to learn new skills or tools, training programs need to be planned and executed.

Process Measurement and Standardization

Finally, performance measurement should be set up to assess the success of the process improvements. Regular measurement of these key performance indicators (KPIs) helps determine the effectiveness of the changes and guide necessary adjustments. The process improvement journey doesn't end when the changes are implemented; the improved process should be reviewed periodically for further potential improvements.

With effective measurement in place you can ensure process standarization . This allows you to confirm that different teams and stakeholders are all conforming to the agreed process improvement plan and process maps.

Remember, the ultimate goal of a process improvement plan is to enhance business performance by refining crucial processes. It's not a one-time project but should foster a culture of continuous enhancement.

Step-by-step guide to creating a process improvement plan

With the right ingredients in place, you can execute your process improvement plan through a simple four "D" framework:

how to make business improvement plan

Step 1: Discover as-is through process discovery

Process discovery is the initial phase of creating a process improvement plan. This step involves identifying the existing business processes that need improvement. Some techniques to achieve this include observation, document analysis, interviews, and workshops. The goal is to fully understand the current state of the process and identify the areas for improvement.

Key Decision Points FOR Process Discovery

How you do your process discovery will have a major impact on the amount of insights and value you get out of this key step.

In the past, process discovery has been done through workshops, interviews of key stakeholders or through time and motion studies observing employees as they work. This proven method is the cornerstone of business process analysis, but it does have limitations supporting process improvement plans. Typically, the manual discovery takes time and resources to execute, and if done as a project basis, process discovery doesn't provide insights for maintaining a continuous improvement plan.

Today, automated process discovery solutions such as process mining and task mining make the proces discovery step much more detailed, efficient and scientific. Additionally, many tools offering automated process discovery functionality will provide improvement opportunities, conformance checking and process simulation.

Step 2: Define should-be through process mapping

After discovering the processes, the next step is process mapping. This involves creating visual representations of the processes identified in the discovery phase. Process maps can help visualize the sequence of events, identify bottlenecks, and uncover inefficiencies that may not be apparent at first glance.

Key Elements of Process Mapping

Process mapping is an integral part of process improvement and can be done in several ways. The simplest form is a Basic Flowchart , which represents a process linearly using different shapes for tasks, decisions, and the start/end points.

More complex processes may use a Swimlane Flowchart , where different lanes represent different stakeholders or departments, effectively visualizing not just the tasks but also who is responsible for them.

Value Stream Maps are particularly useful for manufacturing processes; they map not only the process steps but also the flow of materials and information, highlighting where value is added.

Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) is a standardized method for multi-tiered process mapping, providing a detailed visualization that includes the sequence, messages, events, and even the specific type of tasks.

Finally, Data Flow Diagrams (DFDs) focus on how data moves through a system, showing where it originates, where it goes, and how it's altered. By selecting the most suitable method, businesses can create a process map that provides a clear, visual understanding of their operations and paves the way for effective improvements.

Step 3: Develop improvements through collaborative process implementation

Once the process maps are created, the next step is process implementation. This involves making the necessary changes identified during the mapping phase. It's crucial to communicate these changes effectively to all stakeholders and provide the necessary training to ensure a smooth transition.

Effective Techniques for Process Implementation

To get meaningful impact, process improvement requires a comprehensive, strategic approach. Here are several key aspects that can contribute to successful implementation.

Engaging Stakeholders : To ensure a smooth transition, it's essential to engage all stakeholders early in the process. This includes not only those who will be directly involved in the changes but also anyone affected by them. Involving stakeholders helps garner support, encourage cooperation, and identify potential issues early on.

Effective Communication : Clear and consistent communication is vital throughout the implementation process. Everyone involved should understand what changes are being made, why they're important, and what their role is in the process. Regular updates should be provided to keep everyone informed of progress and any changes to the plan.

Providing Training : If the process changes require new skills or knowledge, providing training is crucial. This could involve one-on-one training, workshops, or online resources, depending on the complexity of the changes and the learning styles of the employees.

Step 4: Deliver Results through Process Standardization

The final step in creating a process improvement plan is process standardization. This ensures consistency and continuity in the way processes are carried out across the organization. Standardization also aids in reducing variations and errors, thus improving overall operational efficiency.

Process standardization, in simple terms, refers to the practice of establishing uniform procedures for different business operations. This ensures that tasks are performed consistently, regardless of who performs them or when they are carried out.

Why is Standardization Vital for Processes?

By establishing clear, repeatable processes, companies can eliminate variation, improve efficiency, and drive predictability in outcomes.

  • Consistency in Output . Process standardization ensures that outputs are consistent, no matter who is doing the work. This leads to improved product or service quality and customer satisfaction.
  • Reduced Errors and Increased Quality . By reducing variability in processes, standardization helps decrease errors, improving the quality of outputs.
  • Increased Efficiency. Standardized processes remove unnecessary steps, reduce redundancy, and streamline workflows, leading to increased operational efficiency.
  • Enhanced Compliance . Standardization simplifies compliance with regulatory requirements, as processes are clearly defined and easily auditable.

Best Practices to Optimize Your Process Improvement Plan

It's important to remember that process improvement is an ongoing activity. It’s crucial to consistently monitor and analyze the improved processes for potential enhancements. Involving team members in the process and establishing a culture of continuous improvement are other key strategies to optimize your process improvement plan.

Use the right process improvement KPIs

When developing a process improvement plan its important to use measurable goals and targets that define more efficient operations.

10 key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be used for measuring the success of process improvement:

  • Cycle Time : This measures the total time from the beginning to the end of your process. By reducing this time, you can improve productivity.
  • Cost Per Transaction : This KPI helps you determine the cost-effectiveness of a process by measuring how much each transaction costs in resources.
  • Process Efficiency : This KPI measures the ratio of output to input in your processes. A high efficiency indicates that a process is producing a high output with minimal waste.
  • Error Rate : Monitoring the number of errors or defects can help you evaluate the quality of a process and its improvement over time.
  • Customer Satisfaction : By conducting surveys or collecting feedback, you can measure how satisfied customers are with a particular process.
  • Employee Productivity : This KPI measures the amount of work each employee is able to complete. Improvements in this area could indicate successful process changes.
  • Compliance Rate : If your processes need to comply with specific regulations or standards, this KPI can track your success rate in meeting those requirements.
  • First-Time-Right Rate : This KPI assesses the effectiveness of a process by measuring how often tasks are completed correctly the first time.
  • On-time Completion Rate : This measures how often processes are completed within the expected timeframe.
  • Waste Reduction : In a manufacturing or production context, this KPI can be used to measure the amount of waste produced in a process and how this decreases over time with improvements.

Creating a process improvement plan may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach and techniques, it can significantly boost the efficiency and productivity of your business. Remember, the process improvement plan is a strategic tool that aids in continuous innovation and competitiveness in today's dynamic market. From process discovery, mapping, and implementation, to standardization, each step plays a vital role in refining and enhancing your business processes.

Related Research and Articles

Process improvement q&a.

Several process improvement methods have gained popularity over the years. These include:

  • Six Sigma: This method focuses on improving the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of errors and minimizing variability in business processes.
  • Lean: Originating from the Toyota Production System, Lean focuses on minimizing waste within a manufacturing system while simultaneously maximizing productivity.
  • Business Process Reengineering (BPR): This method involves a radical redesign of core business processes to achieve significant improvements in productivity, cycle times, and quality.
  • Kaizen: A Japanese philosophy meaning 'change for the better,' this method focuses on continuous improvement of all functions of an organization, involving all employees.

A process improvement plan typically involves several key elements. Firstly, it involves the identification of the processes that need improvement. This can be done through different methodologies such as process mapping, which provides a clear picture of the process flow. Secondly, a plan must include performance metrics. These metrics will provide a baseline against which the effectiveness of improvements can be measured. Thirdly, the plan should include a clear definition of what constitutes improvement. This could be reducing the time taken for a process, improving quality, or reducing costs. The fourth element is the implementation plan itself which should detail how the improvements will be made, who will be responsible for them, and the timeframe for their completion. Lastly, an effective process improvement plan should include a review mechanism to assess the success of the plan and make any necessary adjustments.

There are numerous tools used for process improvement. Some key ones include:

  • Process Mapping: This tool helps visualize the current process to understand the sequence of events, identify inefficiencies, and plan improvements.
  • Fishbone Diagram: Also known as Ishikawa or cause-and-effect diagrams, these help identify, explore, and display the possible causes of a certain problem or quality characteristic.
  • Flowcharts: These graphical representations of a process can be useful in identifying areas of redundancy or steps that may be rearranged to achieve efficiency.
  • Pareto Charts: Based on the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule), these charts can help identify the few key causes that are responsible for the majority of the problems.
  • Control Charts: As part of statistical process control, these charts help monitor variance in a process over time and identify outliers or trends that might suggest underlying issues.
  • Benchmarking: This is a process of comparing your business processes and performance metrics to industry bests or best practices from other industries.
  • 5 Whys: A simple but powerful tool for uncovering the root cause of a problem by asking "Why?" five times, or as many times as needed to reach the root cause.

Examples of process optimization include reducing manual data entry through automation, eliminating redundancies in a supply chain, streamlining customer support processes to improve response times, and optimizing production processes to minimize waste and reduce cycle times. These examples demonstrate how process optimization can lead to improved efficiency, cost savings, and better overall performance across various industries and departments within an organization.

how to make business improvement plan

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How to write a process improvement plan

  • Process Improvement

How to write a process improvement plan

On annual jotform plans.

Offer does not apply to Jotform Enterprise

Map out the existing process

Analyze where the issues lie, redesign the process, create a process improvement implementation team, implement the new process, monitor and adjust the process as needed.

A bad process results in workflow bottlenecks, missed deadlines, incomplete data, and, worst of all, wasted time and resources. If your organization is struggling with efficiency, and your employees are frustrated because they can’t reach their objectives, it’s time to make  improvements in the steps you take to reach your goals . 

Process improvement is a long-term initiative that improves the way an organization works. How do you create a plan to improve processes? This article explores the steps.

Improve your processes with powerful online forms . It’s free!

The first step in creating your plan is to analyze the existing process that’s giving your organization trouble. Write down each step in the process in as much detail as possible. Be sure to break up the steps visually in a flowchart so you can get an idea of the workflow. 

For example, a process that involves getting manager approval may require two or three separate steps: sending something for approval, making adjustments based on manager feedback, and receiving approval.

After you’ve outlined the process in detail, it’s time to scrutinize each step to see where the problems are. These issues can include bottlenecks, too many or too few resources allocated to a specific step, and excessive delays or miscommunication. 

Highlight the steps where problems occur on a regular basis. Be sure to get feedback from the employees who are directly involved in the specific process, as they may be able to shed light on issues you haven’t yet considered.

After you’ve specified the potential problem areas, it’s time to figure out the solution and redesign the process. What’s the best way to eliminate the hurdles you’ve identified? Can you automate certain steps or remove steps entirely? Do resources need to be reallocated? Is communication the overarching issue? 

Be sure to collaborate with the people involved in the process to get their feedback on the best redesign.

After you’ve determined the best redesign for the process, it’s time to select a team that will put it into action . This team should consist of the people who are most directly impacted by the process and its changes. 

However, you also need to include others within the organization who have the specific skills needed to implement the process. These may include people in IT or operations, for example. 

Be sure to go over the plan for the redesign so each team member understands the new process and their role within it.

Executing the new process is the most challenging part of process improvement planning. This is where you get to see whether the redesign is effective and helps the organization reach its goals — or whether it’s still problematic and wastes time and resources. 

Ensure there’s a detailed task list for each step of the process, including a timeline and assignments for each person involved. Outline how you will measure the success of the new process, such as the time it takes to complete or the cost of the resources allocated.

The last step of your plan — monitoring the performance of the new process — is a critical component. Is the new process more efficient than the old one? Look at the KPIs and focus on the data, but also get qualitative feedback from the people involved. 

For example, the new process may save time, but you may learn from talking with the team that it has more potential for risk in certain areas. Consider both qualitative and quantitative information when deciding whether the process needs to be adjusted further.

Now that you know how to create a process improvement plan, it’s time to get to work and make improvements in your organization. Be sure to involve those who are directly affected by any changes, and remember to factor in both quantitative and qualitative data when monitoring the performance of the new process.

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  • Business Process Improvement

Business Process Improvement Plan - Making a Beginning with BPI

Business Process Improvement has gained ground in all sectors of business as an on-going program that is implemented from time to time. Periodically business organizations embrace this program to reduce the barriers that create obstacles to the work flow as well as to remove redundant processes that are outdated and do not add value to the current business operations. Organizations benefit from BPI in qualitative terms as well as quantitative terms for it helps reduce costs, increase efficiencies as well as reduce wastage and more importantly enhance the customer orientation and interface with the entire Organization.

Business process improvement exercise involves the entire Organization, all its departments and processes across all geographical locations and business units . Launching a Business Process Improvement initiative would need the active support and sponsorship of the top management. Generally seen, BPI involves five distinct stages as under:

Preparing for BPI Program to be unveiled in the Organization calls for the following actions:

Program Initiation

As in the case of any strategic decision making by an Organization, the BPI program would first need to be discussed, adapted and initiated by the senior management of the Organization . Normally the Companies call for a meeting of the senior management directors and the Business Unit heads who will ultimately own the BPI process. The meeting called for would cover discussions on the following:

The meeting should be concluded with an approval of the program and the acceptance of sponsorship by the Business Heads. The meeting should also form and finalize a Task Force or an Executive Improvement Team and define the total responsibility of the team to initiate, implement, monitor and conclude the entire BIT program.

Appointing BPI Leader or BPI Team

Once the BPI program is underway, the entire implementation can take from a few weeks to more than a year to run its complete course depending upon the business processes involved. Though the Business Unit Heads own the BPI program, they would not be able to focus on the program and be engaged in designing and implementing the program.

Therefore it becomes necessary to have an experienced senior manager or an equivalent rank individual with the right background, qualification and skill sets to be appointed as the BPI Leader for the entire duration of the program. This BPI Leadership would be a full time job lasting the entire tenure of the program duration envisaged.

An ideal BPI leader should have the necessary technical as well as overall business operations exposure and experience in the Organization with the right soft skills and attitude to work with people across all levels and lead the teams.

It would not be practical to expect the BPI champion or leader to be able to initiate, design and implement the entire program on his own without the relevant training and orientation. This is where the management would need to engage external business process consultants and practitioners to work with the BPI leader on designing the program. It also helps to send the BPI champion to attend few BPI training sessions to equip him to manage the program.

Thus the stage needs to be set at the Management level to recognize the need for BPI program, to make a conscious decision to adapt the program and to initiate action to form a Management team and initiate the first action of appointing a BPI champion in the Organization.

Depending upon the size of the Organization and span of activity, the management may choose to appoint a team of two or three members as BPI Champions.

Needless to mention that once the BPI plan has been accepted by the senior management and the Business Unit heads, the consequent costs involved in the program would be provided for and earmarked for the said purpose .

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Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)

The article is Written By “Prachi Juneja” and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team . MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider . To Know more, click on About Us . The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.
  • Business Process Improvement (BPI)
  • Need for Business Process Improvement
  • Growth and Evolution of Organizations
  • Need for Business Process
  • Impact of BPR and BPI
  • Business Processes & Global Excellence
  • Business Process Improvement Plan
  • Business Cases & BPI Implementation
  • Situations Warranting BPI
  • Selecting Critical Business Process
  • Business Process Ownership
  • Setting BPI Objectives
  • BPI - Preparation Stage
  • Preparing for BPI Implementation
  • BPI Project Planning
  • BPI Project - Process Detailing Exercise
  • BPI - Project Implementation
  • Introduction to Process Measurement
  • Process Effectiveness Measurement
  • Process Efficiency Measurement
  • BPI - Training Requirements
  • Process Adaptability Improvement
  • Flow Chart as BPI Tool
  • Different Types of Flow Charts
  • Information Processing Flowcharts
  • Flow Charts and QC Tools
  • Working through BPI Project
  • Understanding People and Process
  • Process Walk through on the Floor
  • Process Walk Through & Analysis
  • Process Measurement Analysis
  • An Introduction to Process Documentation


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