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Is Process Management Right For Your Organization?

Jun 25, 2008
Process management involves the mapping of the processes from the beginning to the end, executing the process, managing the process and analyzing the process. Execution of the process requires the responsibilities to be assigned to process owners, and for them to be held accountable for it.

The processes are managed through information flow and related activities. Based on the metrics, process performance is analyzed for further improvements.

Traditional Functional Structure of Management

In the traditional functional structure of management the business will be organized into specific functions, for example, marketing, sales, operations, finance and so on. Though this structure will ensure results, it does not necessarily concentrate on customer satisfaction.

They will have their own set of requirements - input and output.

Six Sigma Process Management Structure

Six Sigma process management is a structured set of tools and techniques designed to address the needs and expectations of the customer. The strength of Six Sigma lies in its rigorous data collection and analysis. It helps identify event the smallest opportunity for process improvement.

The process management structure helps by providing tools to automate process improvements and ensure that they are implemented throughout the organization. Take, for example, a credit card company that deals with online customers. Let's see the Six Sigma process management structure can be used for better results:

1. The customer basically has to know about the product for any further sales process to begin. For this, you can identify the first macro process (i.e. publicity of the product). You can have metrics such as click-through rates and budgetary effectiveness. The process starts with the customer viewing the media and ends with the customer entering the site and then checking out.

2. Here, the customer is instructed on the in-depth details of the product and services. The success of the measurement lies in how understandable the content is and how quickly the product is sold. The macro-processes here are is conversion of the prospect to a customer.

3. Once the application is submitted, a detailed review of the application is done - such as performing credit check, reviewing application form details and so on. This macro process is processing and it involves further actions, such as printing the card and welcome letter, packaging and dispatching the card to the customer.

4. The metrics here would involve calculation of the total time taken to process the application to the card being received by the customer.

5. When the card is received and activated, the next process would be the various services to be provided - such as sending statements, reminder emails and other requests made by the customer. The measurement here is of the time taken to service the requests and the successful resolution of any problems. The processing or servicing process only ends with the termination of the account.

From the above example, you can see that the processes are built up around the experience of the customer. It is not the company view of measurement of the process, but the performance based on the customer's response or the satisfaction of the customers needs that counts.

Similarly, other organizations will have their own set of macro-processes. Other processes, such as human resources and legal and finance matters may be built into these processes and sub-processes.

The success of process management structure is dependent on employees, the business and most importantly, the customer. The process management structure, combined with Six Sigma metrics, can work wonders for any organization.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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