Process improvement is all about slow adoption of the tiny opportunities that arrive, by any number of means, that together enable adaption of the system to the environment around it to improve performance.
My favorite metaphors usually come from the natural environment, where natural selection enables minute differences over time to become different species.
In organisations we do not have the time, so the process needs to be encouraged, speeded up a bit. Experience suggests there are a few pre-conditions for success:
- There is a willingness to make change, and that willingness is shared through all levels of an organization.
- There is a willingness, indeed pleasure in embracing mistakes, as it is by making mistakes and understanding why the mistake occurred, that we learn.
There is a coherent plan, strategy, budget, whatever you choose to call it, that provides a framework for decision making, performance measurement, and allocation of responsibilities in a transparent, ordered and consistent manner.