Unlike other books that promote a specific process and performance improvement discipline, this book shows organizations how to achieve success by fixing basic operational issues and problems using a broad and wide-sweeping process-based toolkit. In addition, it helps individuals who have worked in stale- or siloed-thinking enterprises make the transition to a process or improvement-oriented culture and teaches those who are unfamiliar with process tools to look at their work with a new lens and adopt a continuous improvement and analytical-thinking mindset.
The authors have successfully used the various methods, tools, and concepts found in this book to overcome practical, daily problems at various organizations. This book will surely help operators, managers, practitioners, and executives, who are charged with improving processes and workplace culture, produce better products and services.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Process Improvement
What Is a Process?
What Are the Characteristics of a Process?
What Are the Different Types of Processes?
What Is Process Improvement?
What Are the Benefits of Process Improvement?
What Are the Core Values of Process Improvement?
What Triggers Process Improvement?
What Is Waste?
What Is Standardization?
What Is Process Maturity?
What Are the Phases of Process Improvement?
Where Do I Start?
What Is Process Mapping?
What Are the Benefits of Process Mapping?
What Is the Difference between Process Mapping and Process Modeling?
What Are the Different Types of Process Maps?
What Do Process Maps Consist of?
What Are the Stages of Process Mapping?
Managing Process Improvements
What Is a Process Improvement Framework?
How Do Process Improvement and Strategy Align?
What Are the Phases of Process Improvement?
What Is Process Architecture?
What Are the Benefits of Process Architecture?
What Is the Difference between Process Architectures and Other Architectures?
What Is Process-Oriented Architecture?
What Is Process Modeling?
How Are Process Models Managed?
Where Do I Start?
Tools for Improving Processes
What Is Problem Solving?
Basic Tools for Process Improvement
Advanced Tools for Process Improvement
Process Improvement Culture
What Is Culture?
What Is a Process Improvement Culture?
What Are the Phases of Culture Change?
What Are the Components of a Great Culture?
How to Change the Behaviors of Others
How Does Leadership Play a Role in Process Improvement?
What Role Does HR Play in Process Improvement?
Each Case Is Different
Critical Success Factors
Just Start Doing It
To Learn More
Tristan Boutros is currently chief operating officer for product, technology and design with The New York Times, where he oversees several functions, including product and program management, process improvement, strategic sourcing and vendor management, and enterprise architecture. An award-winning author, speaker, and organizational innovator, he coauthored The Process Improvement Handbook: A Blueprint for Managing Change and Increasing Organizational Performance (McGraw- Hill Professional, 2014) and has been written about in several case studies with various outlets. He holds more than 12 professional designations, including his Master Black Belt (MBB), Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Professional (CSP), and Master Project Manager (MPM) certifications. A digital and process transformation expert, he specializes in delivering rapid business value using Lean, Agile, and numerous other techniques and methods.
Jennifer Cardella is vice president, strategic program and vendor management for one of the world’s largest media and entertainment firms located in New York City. She is a seasoned business leader with an extensive background in program management, process improvement, and business transformation, with key emphasis on product development, cloud computing, operational excellence, and portfolio governance. Jennifer holds more than 10 professional designations, including her Master Black Belt (MBB), Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and Master Project Manager (MPM) certifications. A transformation expert, Jennifer specializes in building high-performing teams and directing the delivery of global business and technology solutions using Lean and Agile methods.
"The difference between good and great is not quality or productivity, it is the way you run your processes. If you follow these suggestions about basic process improvement, you will maximize the value of your output to all stakeholders. This book embodies the fundamentals and reminds us all of the key techniques for success."
—H. James Harrington, prolific author of more than 35 process improvement books, CEO, Harrington Institute
"Every journey begins with a first step, and the path to better work process is no different. The Basics of Process Improvement gives the beginning practitioner all the tools needed to start their path towards a better way. Every step in your journey will be enhanced by the practical insights and proven approaches offered inside. Now get on your way!"
—Rich Sheridan, author of Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love; CEO, chief storyteller, Menlo Innovations
"Some people use the phrase "Keep it simple stupid" (KISS), but there’s nothing stupid about keeping things simple! Simplicity looks easy. It’s not. It’s much easier to complicate than simplify. Simplicity helps strip away the irrelevance in your work; it will have no waste, no weakness and no flaws—this is the beauty of simplicity. It could enable you to permanently and radically change the world, but starting with your own organization and its processes would be a good first step! That’s where this book comes into play, providing a message for managers to take responsibility for making their processes much simpler, both for their employees and the customers."
—John Morgan, author of The Lean Six Sigma Improvement Journey, Go Lean, Lean Six Sigma for Dummies, and Lean Six Sigma Business Transformation for Dummies
"Cardella and Boutros have captured the fundamentals of process improvement in an easy-to-read and relatable book. With deep roots in formal methodology, they refresh us with the simplicity of applied improvement principles for both novice and expert while keeping true to success with focus on pragmatic delivery and real-life application. An excellent reference book for all."
—Tim Purdie, coauthor of The Process Improvement Handbook
"Process improvement remains at the heart of business success in the best of economic times and has even greater importance in the face of economic uncertainty and the digital age. If you want to know the best way to do it, don’t forget the basics. The examples in this book will certainly start your creative juices flowing and help your organization transform and mature."
—Peter Fingar, author of The Insiders’ Guide to BPM: 7 Steps to Process Mastery and Business Process Management (BPM): The Next Wave
"Tristan and Jen’s new book, The Basics of Process Improvement, is a refreshing and long-overdue publication that is certainly going to be welcomed by many business readers. Business analysts and process analysts at all levels of an organization will find this book provides a single and concise repository for some of the world’s most well-known and effective process improvement tools. With so many methodologies to choose from, it can be hard for a process improvement practitioner to locate and apply the right methodology for their projects. My advice is to follow Tristan’s guidance and stick to the fundamentals. Tristan has taken great care to explain each methodology, why they’re effective and how to apply them in a project context. I have no doubt readers will find The Basics of Process Improvement will remain a relevant and highly effective source of knowledge for many years to come."
—Theodore Panagacos, author of The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Management
"In a world of competing confusions it is refreshing to get back to the foundations of process. This book does a fantastic job of reminding us of core principles that underpin all process thinking. In an easy-to-understand jargon-free walk-through, readers from all levels will enjoy the no-nonsense insights and the point techniques that produce practical immediate results. In this customer-centric world process, it has never been more important as a critical part of business success, so let Boutros and Cardella renew your love of process to help deliver personal, business, and customer success."
—Steve Towers, author of The Process Tactics Playbook and A Senior Executive’s Guide to Business Process Reengineering; CEO, BP Group
"Beginning our education in process improvement and operational excellence can feel like a daunting task. There are so many books one could read, outlining so many concepts and principles that we need to understand. Boutros and Cardella have done an amazing job compiling the essentials and fundamentals of process improvement, operational excellence, and creating a continuous improvement culture. This book provides a great overview for readers, as it outlines concepts and explains the toolkit required to begin with the fundamentals of process discipline."
—Robert Martichenko, author of Everything I Know about Lean I Learned in First Grade and Lean Six Sigma Logistics: Strategic Development to Operational Success
"Process improvement may be one of the most important concepts for all organizations. Tristan and Jennifer have put together a book which will help any individual or organization understand and implement this important approach. It brings together some of the key concepts and tools for process improvement while showing how these can be used in the real world. The range of tools will be invaluable for anyone who is tasked with ensuring process improvement exists in the organization and for those for whom process improvement is a part of their job. The breadth and depth of the discussion will allow those who are new to process improvement an introduction to the tools, while ensuring those who are experienced a chance to learn more."
—Mike Jacka, author of Business Process Mapping: Improving Customer Satisfaction
"Rather than evangelizing yet another methodology, The Basics of Process Improvement offers actionable ideas and step-stair approach that can be immediately applied. Concepts such as the ‘process-oriented architecture’ introduced and explained by the authors’ meaningful framework for scaling-up to enterprise-wide process improvement. It is a highly useful learning guide and road map appropriate for professional practitioners and internal consultants."
—Nathaniel Palmer, editor of BPM.com and author of Passports to Success in BPM
"It’s easy to fall into the trap of overcomplicating process management, but both authors stay true to the fundamentals, and there are two themes explored that stand out here: the application of commonsense approaches to managing complex processes and BPM project success, and the impact on workforce culture, a topic a lot of process improvement books miss out. These alone make this book worthy."
—Theo Priestley, technology evangelist, speaker, Forbes contributor, former chief technology evangelist at Software AG
"The authors take a refreshing and holistic approach to the subject of process improvement. For IT leaders who are jaded from the barrage of disconnected and oftentimes very sophisticated ‘shiny objects’ that don’t deliver on their promises, the book is a welcome relief in the way it covers simple yet effective tools. The authors take pains to relate the use of these tools to the wider requirements of success in implementing process improvement initiatives, such as process thinking as a cultural change, project methodology, new skills and competencies, and alignment with the business. I am confident this book will serve as a constant desk reference for the serious professional."
—Kiran Garimella, author of The Power of Process: Unleashing the Source of Competitive Advantage and BPM Basics
"Warning: Do not pick up this book if you don’t want to improve! Boutros and Cardella bring tried and true practices, as well as new, novel approaches to those wishing to improve processes within their organizations. Combined with common sense and a pragmatic approach, learn how you can incrementally improve processes every day!"
—Stacia Viscardi, author of The Professional Scrum Master’s Handbook
"Boutros and Cardella bring process improvement back! Today’s adaptive digital enterprise must aim to harmonize the interactions between people, process, and corresponding technologies. Revitalizing a culture of continuous process improvement, they brilliantly bring process back into focus with practical methods to consistently plan, grow, and innovate in a highly fluid environment."
–Shahan Khoshafian, technology thought leader and account executive, Pegasystems
"Business process improvement and management (BPM) activities have significantly evolved over the last 10-15 years. While there have been many books written on the topic, there are few that are detailed enough to inform you how to execute BPM projects, and yet pragmatic enough to take account of an organization’s differences. This book does not fall into this trap. It provides practical tools and techniques to enable successful projects to be completed; yet, it blends the practicalities of the ‘real’ world of business and organizational and project differences. Couple this book with my book on the 7FE BPM Framework and you will have all the information you will need to be successful in a process-led organizational business transformation program."
—John Jeston, author of Business Process Management and Management by Process
"The Basics of Process Improvement provides the much needed foundation for all levels in an organization to learn and apply critical skills to meet the increasing speed of change in today’s demanding business environments."
—Brent Drever, CEO, Acuity Institute
"Awareness of the process improvement concepts contained in this book is paramount to effective organizational leadership and management."
—Paul Keller, author of The Six Sigma Handbook: A Complete Guide for Green Belts, Black Belts, and Managers at All Levels
"In this seminal book, Tristan Boutros and Jennifer Cardella expand upon the foundations of process improvement, balancing well-tested transformation disciplines with Lean management trends."
—Setrag Khoshafian, author of Service Oriented Enterprises; chief evangelist and vice president of BPM technology, Pegasystems