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Process Engineering

Mapping your critical jobs and processes to accurately evaluate the steps needed to complete any workflow while understanding exactly how each process interacts with others to contribute to overall effectiveness of your operations vs strategic goals.

Algorithms, Checklists, Protocols, Procedures, Workflows, Jobs to be Done.

Context

Goals

Constantly upgrade tools and improve processes to optimise the efficiency, effectiveness, and agility of your operations, ultimately resulting in:

  1. Improved Quality
  2. Minimized Waste
  3. Shortened Cycle Times
  4. Maximized Returns
  5. Elevate Teamwork

Link strategic goals with process maps to improve:

  • Communication
  • Motivation
  • Accountability

Team collaboration is essential to:

  • Encourage adoption
  • Identify problems
  • Improve process flow
  • Maximize Cpportunities

Benefits

See the big picture and the little pictures at the same time.

  • Co-workers have confidence and trust in each other
  • Open communication between employees and managers
  • Managers share vision and information with employees
  • Respond to changes in markets quickly
  • Efficient communication channels for transferring information
  • Clarity of people responsible for processes
  • Transparancy and support for process changes
  • No-code process automation is easier and more effective.

Disciplines

Evolution

Evolve by taking unstructured exploratory workflows to standardised protocols that scale with automation.

  1. Solve a problem
  2. Do it consistently
  3. Align incentives
  4. Improve quality
  5. Make it scale
  6. Iterate faster
  7. Automate everything

Unstructured Workflows

Solve valuable problems: Explore adhoc/custom workflows that emerge in response to solving problems. These processes also cover gaps between systems, apps, departments, or workflows. Inputs, outputs, and workflow steps are often not clearly defined and have inconsistent approaches which makes these processes difficult to monitor and impossible to ensure compliance or drive continuous improvement. Characteristics of unstructured workflows:

  • Addresses a gap between workflows, systems, or apps
  • Enables a core or support process currently managed with existing ERP or SaaS
  • Requires a high degree of manual work
  • Crosses boundaries with regard to departments and/or systems
  • Managed with a combination of spreadsheets, email, and collaboration tools
  • Falls low on the list of IT priorities
  • Possesses a dynamic quality and adapts to business team needs
  • Features a human-in-the-loop model
  • Managed with a shadow IT solution

AI enables business domain experts to plug the holes in these operational gaps.

Process Mapping

Map Reality: Process Maps provide clarity of the big picture and are the most efficient way to educate others how to contribute value rapidly by avoiding replicating earlier mistakes.

Focus on simplicity: People will not consistently follow complex processes and will be very hard to successfully onboard new people, limiting ability to scale.

Improve Quality

Quality control and quality assurance are both important processes in ensuring the quality of products or services.

Quality control is a reactive part of quality management focused on detecting problems after they have occurred. It involves activities such as testing, measuring, and inspecting to ensure specified quality standards are met. Quality assurance is a proactive process that focuses on preventing defects from occurring in the first place.

Dr. Deming's 14 Point checklist to incorporate quality control principles into the manufacturing process. With a focus on creating systems that got manufacturing right the first time.

  1. Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy.
  3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.
  4. End the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier.
  5. Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service.
  6. Institute training on the job.
  7. Adopt and institute leadership.
  8. Drive out fear.
  9. Break down barriers between staff areas.
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce.
  11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management.
  12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system.
  13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.
  14. Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation.

Model Improvement

Process Models extend Process Maps.

Aim to make step improvements that provide a significant improvement in value creation. Then repeat the review - design - execute process.

You can't aim for perfection in one hit and you can't improve what you:

  1. have not documented
  2. are not measuring

Strategic techniques for process improvement include:

Kaizen Culture

Kaizen is a Japanese term that means "continuous improvement." Kaizen has a strong focus on promoting a culture that empowers all employeesto identify and implement improvements in their daily work.

Scale operations while maintaining standards through continous reinvestment in evolving system processes.

Drive continuous improvement/growth through a million micro steps to towards growth that compound every success and safeguard against failure.

  1. Improve communication protocols
  2. Eliminate firefighting
  3. Maximise opportunities

Good decisions come from the edges at the point of engagement, not from the top.

  1. Must have consistency approach to make efforts analysing results valuable
  2. Standards are essential for accurate pricing and ability to scale
  3. Can't be expert at everything, but need to be able to get the most from experts
  4. Never waste an opportunity to learn
  5. Must have discipline to write lessons learned
  6. A job is not finished until the process has been improved for the next person (even if that person is you)
  7. Nobody is above following process, but processes must be continually questioned and experiemented with

BPR vs JBTD

BPR is a methodology for fundamentally rethinking and redesigning business processes to achieve significant improvements in efficiency, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction. The primary focus of BPR is on the organisation's internal processes and how they can be optimized to deliver better results.

JTBD is a framework that focuses on understanding customers' needs, motivations, and desired outcomes. The main idea behind JTBD is that customers hire products or services to accomplish specific jobs or tasks. By identifying and understanding these jobs, businesses can develop more effective solutions that better address customers' needs and direct more effective marketing campaigns.

When using JTBD to improve internal processes, elected leaders from an organisation serve as the customer voice. Here it is essential to understand the business drivers that indicate the path to success or failure. By identifying and optimising the jobs to be done for each department, the redesigned processes can better serve the needs of these internal customers and improve the system and improve the capability to steer the ship towards greater value realisation.

DDPI

  • Observation
  • Collation
  • Translation
  • Standardisation
  • Integration
  • Validation
  • Automation
  • Optimisation

Observation: This step involves closely monitoring and documenting the existing business processes, noting the tasks, decision points, dependencies, and interactions among different functional areas. It is crucial to understand the current state of the processes and identify areas for improvement or potential bottlenecks.

Collation: In this step, all relevant data and information collected during the observation phase are organized and consolidated. This data may include process maps, performance metrics, stakeholder feedback, and any other relevant documentation.

Translation: This step involves interpreting the collected data and identifying patterns, trends, or insights that can inform process improvements. It's essential to transform the raw data into actionable insights to guide the redesign of processes.

Standardization: This step aims to create consistent, repeatable processes across the organization, reducing variability and ensuring adherence to best practices. Standardizing processes can improve efficiency, reduce errors, and simplify training for employees.

Integration: In this step, processes are interconnected and streamlined to ensure seamless flow across functional areas. Integration can involve connecting systems, data, and people to enable better collaboration, communication, and decision-making.

Validation: This step involves testing and verifying the redesigned processes to ensure they meet the desired objectives and performance targets. Validation may include pilot programs, simulations, or other testing methods to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the new processes.

Automation: This step focuses on implementing technology solutions, such as robotic process automation (RPA), to automate manual, repetitive tasks. Automation can improve process efficiency, reduce human error, and enable employees to focus on higher-value tasks.

Optimization: In this final step, the redesigned processes are continually monitored, evaluated, and fine-tuned to ensure ongoing improvement and alignment with organizational goals. Optimization involves identifying and addressing any new bottlenecks or inefficiencies that may arise and embracing a culture of continuous improvement.

Six Sigma Analysis

DMADV methodology's five phases are (Also known as DFSS "Design For Six Sigma"):

  • Define design goals that are consistent with customer demands and the enterprise strategy.
  • Measure and identify CTQs (characteristics that are Critical To Quality), measure product capabilities, production process capability, and measure risks.
  • Analyze to develop and design alternatives
  • Design an improved alternative, best suited per analysis in the previous step
  • Verify the design, set up pilot runs, implement the production process and hand it over to the process owner(s).

Processes that are not documented and owned, will cause bottlenecks that stifle growth, and at worst, force a company to close.

Automation

Pen and paper is the easiest and yet effective way to start, but switch to digital process mapping tools to share knowledge and grow improvement. Investment in BPM software if you want process mapping efforts to have optimal impact on performance.

Explore opportunities to automate processes to improve efficiency and reduce human error with AI Agents.

  1. Improve Quality
  2. Reduce Cost
  3. Improve Flow of Decisions

Artificial Intelligence

How can use the latest technology to automate control?

AGI closes the control loop. Configure triggers to instigate actions.

Governance

AI guided DAOs could enable decentralised control, moving from existing top down, command & control approach to goverance to a more humanist sense & respond approach with shared leaderhship with fairer distribution of gains in return for positive contributions.

Software Tools

Refresh

The map is not the territory Must have disciplined routine for continuous improvement so maps don't go stale. Constant focus take process maps from doucumentation into dynamic assets that actively contribute to growing an organisation at optimally rate and efficiency.

Mantra

Exploration is pointless if you don't create maps for others to follow.

Scalability

Evolve processes into standardised protocols to build systems that scale.

  • Technical expertise: recruit skilled engineers with a deep understanding of systems for production
  • Innovation: constantly look for ways to improve production processes and find new efficiencies.
  • Single purpose: break algorithms down into atomic value units that can assembled into multiple more complex solutions.
  • Collaboration: work closely with others of complimentary talents to achieve common goals.
  • Partnerships: cultivate a healthy ecosystem of strong relationships of mutual benefit.
  • Adaptability: react quickly to changing circumstances.
  • Selfless: encourage and develop competition to better your own ideas without ego.

Leaders must be able to inspire and motivate teams with a strong work ethic and an ability to get things done.

Failures

Fail loud fail early

  • Signal failure immediately
  • Make failure obvious
  • Build warnings into algorithms

Composibility and scalability require a bedrock of stardardised procedures to judge predictability of quality and performance vs cost of delivery.

Evolution

How do standards evolve?

What process do you need to improve the most?

  • Are you using the best possible tools?
  • Do you have standard process for evaluatingnew tools?
  • What processes are broken?
  • What steps in the process are creating problems?
  • What steps require the most time to complete?
  • What steps cause the most delays?
  • Do specific steps utilize the most resource or result in the highest cost?
  • Do specific steps result in quality issues