Lean Management. Six Sigma. Kaizen. Just-in-time production. These concepts are an indispensable cornerstone in the world of process management. But what are processes in general and why are they so important for companies that they even have to be actively "managed"?
Basically, the term "process" is synonymous with procedure and represents a sequence of activities or operations. In principle, of course, all processes are important as they form the basis of a systemic approach. Therefore, it is important to categorize processes for a functioning and transparent process management: There are leadership processes, production processes, core processes and support processes. That’s enough theory. The interesting questions are: Why are processes so important for a company and why do they have to be managed?
As Albert Einstein already knew: "Recognizing the problem is more important than recognizing the solution, because the exact representation of the problem leads to the solution.". Process management follows clear procedures and includes the design, implementation and optimization of processes. These facilitate the daily work within the company immensely. Everything is clearly defined. Every process is documented and responsibilities are assigned. In short, processes give the company a clear structure and avoid uncertainties. However, developing processes is not at all easy. The full array of options has to be considered, all possibilities must be included and above all, it has to be known what the specific process is designed to achieve. What is the corresponding goal and how will this be measured? This is hard detail-oriented work and requires focussed daily management!
This is the realm of process optimization. Here the terms mentioned at the beginning come into play. At first, the way the process is developed is irrelevant. What is important is that it is done and the process is defined. This is because lean and efficient processes save time, money and above all nerves. And that pleases not only management and employees, but also customers, who benefit from transparent, efficient processes. The goals of process optimization are of course adapted to the individual company. While they differ from company to company, core elements are central to all in certain points. Potential goals can be found, for example, in the area of production. Regardless of department or process, there is always a need for optimization in terms of costs, process, times, quality and resources. The same applies to the productivity of a company, in terms of office space or capacity utilization. Naturally processes can be adapted at any time if a bottleneck is identified. Processes provide a basis from which to work so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time.
Since process optimization is always strongly linked to quality and quality improvement, the DIN ISO 9001 quality management standard provides precise guidelines on how company processes must be documented, kept and monitored. We at SCIO are working hard to introduce this quality management standard today, at an early stage of the company’s development. We aim to achieve the certification by the end of January 2021!