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How to Set up Business Process Improvement in Your Organization

To get results through process improvement, you must coordinate people and resources — budgets, time, equipment, and staff.

In simple terms, business process improvement is a project, and you must approach it like one. You need to set a scope, define a budget, and organize a project team.

To help you start on the right foot, here’s a quick 4-step approach:

1. Make a case for the change and get the support of those in charge: remember that business process improvement can be expensive and time-consuming — you’ll need leadership support.

2. Make it official: once you have leadership support, build a dedicated place to host your process improvement meetings - a subtle yet powerful message this is serious.

3. Communicate the change: process improvement will change how your team operates, so explain why change is cruicial to those directly affected by it.

4. Start small and celebrate progress: instead of making big, significant changes in your organization, start with small ones and celebrate progress.

The scrum retrospective meeting is a good example of how a small team can engage in continuous process improvement practices with low overhead. Schedule a 30 minute meeting at the end of each sprint solely focused on:

1. What went well?

2. What didn’t go well?

3. What can we improve?

4. What are we going to try next sprint?

The retrospective is very important to help people feel they’re a valuable part of a bigger whole. Remember, their input and support is necessary to implement improvements.

Great results don’t just happen. Great teams get results. Part of getting results is adjusting your approach based on new information.

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