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Archive of posts tagged KAIZEN

Survey on Process Management: People and Expertise

In a process-oriented firm, people who execute the processes need to have appropriate skills and knowledge. Furthermore, knowledge of certain process improvement, process redesign and change management techniques have to be present. This article discusses the results related to people and expertise of the process management survey. Survey details (research design, sample, etc.) can be found here.

Process performers must have appropriate knowledge of how to execute the process, otherwise they won’t be able to implement the process design (Hammer, 2007). Most of the surveyed firms state that their employees only have moderate knowledge about the design of the business process they work for. The item “Employees can describe the design of the business process they work for. They know how their work affects subsequent work, customers and process performance” was rated by the firms in the sample as follows:

  • 13,33%: Disagree
  • 51,33%: Neither agree nor disagree
  • 35,33%: Agree

The item “Our organization’s employees are skilled in problem solving, process improvement and decision-making techniques” was rated by the firms in the sample as follows:

  • 20,67%: Disagree
  • 61,33%: Neither agree nor disagree
  • 18,00%: Agree

According to Hammer (2007), a process organization must have some people skilled in, and with knowledge of, process redesign. The item “An expert cadre is available in the organization including change management, process redesign and project management experts” was rated by the firms in the sample as follows:

  • 42,67%: Disagree
  • 33,33%: Neither agree nor disagree
  • 24,00%: Agree

Improving the performance of business processes requires knowledge about, and usage of, process improvement methodologies.The item “The organization makes use of methodologies for continuous process improvement, like KAIZEN, Six Sigma, etc.” was rated by the firms in the sample as follows:

  • 32,89%: Disagree
  • 29,53%: Neither agree nor disagree
  • 37,58%: Agree
The organization makes use of methodologies for continuous process improvement, like KAIZEN, Six Sigma, etc.

The organization makes use of methodologies for continuous process improvement, like KAIZEN, Six Sigma, etc.

Continuous Process Improvement, Business Process Orientation and Innovation

This article is a brief summary of the paper “Dynamic Capabilities through Continuous Improvement, Organizational Process Alignment and Innovation” by M. Kohlbacher and M. Ringhofer, which will be presented next week at the 30th Annual International Conference of the Strategic Management Society in Rome (http://rome.strategicmanagement.net). The paper examines the interaction effect of continuous improvement initiatives (e.g. Six Sigma or KAIZEN) and business process orientation on innovation. The empirical study uses a sample of 67 Austrian manufacturing companies.

 The empirical evidence shows that firms which apply continuous improvement methods and at the same time

  • have a culture in line with the process approach (i.e. a culture based on teamwork and customer orientation; and where  process workers have detailed knowledge of how their process is executed, etc.) or
  • a strong top management commitment towards the process approach (i.e. where management does not perceive the process program as a single project, but as a way of managing the business; and where management is actively engaged in the process program)

can develop their products to the market more quickly. The paper will be presented in Track I, Session 203.

The Characteristics of Process Orientation. Part 8: People and Skills

In a process-oriented firm, people who execute the processes need to have appropriate skills and knowledge. Furthermore, knowledge of certain process improvement, process redesign and change management techniques have to be present.

  • Do process workers have detailed knowledge of how their process is executed? Process performers must have appropriate knowledge of how to execute the process, otherwise they won’t be able to implement the process design. The organization’s employees must be able to describe their business process’ overall flow. Furthermore the employees have to know how their work affects subsequent work, customers and process performance.
  • Are process workers skilled in decision-making, process improvement and problem solving techniques? Hammer (2007) states that process performers need to have appropriate skills in order to be able to deliver high process performance. The organization’s employees should be skilled in problem solving, process improvement and decision-making techniques.
  • Existence of a process redesign, project management and change management experts cadre. According to Hammer (2007), a process organization must have some people skilled in, and with knowledge of, process redesign. In a process-oriented organization, an expert cadre is available including change management, process redesign and project management experts.
  • Use of process improvement methodologies. Improving the performance of business processes requires knowledge about, and usage of, process improvement methodologies (such as KAIZEN, Six Sigma, etc.)