Streamlining critical organizational processes to make them more effective and efficient is a necessity in today’s turbulent environment.
One application of the Complexity Space focuses on process improvement. It complements the traditional, linear process improvement tools of Lean Enterprise and Six Sigma by focusing on their implementation in the complex adaptive systems we call organizations.
All of the key elements of the Complexity Space apply. For example, focusing on a sample of the dimensions of the “process improvement ecosystem”:
- What is the history of process improvement in the organization? Have prior attempts been successful?
- What is the context in which the process improvement strategy is being implemented? Does it “fit” with the organization’s view of itself? Is it another “program of the month?”
- What is the culture of the organization relative to process improvement? What values matter most when engaging in process improvement? Is process improvement an individual or team sport? How “transparent” are the process improvement efforts, especially if staffing might be impacted?
Larry Solow and co-author, Brenda Fake, have written a book that speaks to this topic. What Works for GE May Not Work for You: Using Human Systems Dynamics to Build a Culture of Process Improvement (CRC Press, 2010) is available at www.crcpress.com. Type in code 157BA to save 25% on the purchase price and receive free shipping.