Continuous process improvement is a total quality management (TQM) process that seeks to eliminate problems affecting business operations. This is done by introducing change in small steps to the processes of product development to achieve a huge improvement. The continuous process improvement strategy is applied in TQM to identify the various problems existing within the business process and find their solutions.
Continuous process improvement is meant to make the business model work better towards meeting an organization’s goals. Realizing results requires focusing less on blaming those responsible for the problems but rather finding solutions, setting goals for their implementation, and reviewing the results of implementation by engaging the continuous process improvement function of TQM.
The total quality management (TQM) function of continuous process improvement is useful in reducing business process variations and eliminating valueless activities, while enhancing customer satisfaction with the entire business process.
Stages of the Continuous Process Improvement Phase in TQM
Several stepwise stages are involved in the implemention of continuous process improvement.
The first step of continuous process improvement is the analysis phase. This is where problems within the business process are identified. Similarly, possible solutions or improvement opportunities are identified and set to target specific problems.
The second step of continuous process improvement is the design phase that involves brain storming on the best methods of generating suitable solutions for the identified problems.
The third step of continuous process improvement is the development phase. This is crucial in formulating a feasible procedure that is to be adopted when implementing solutions to the highlighted problems.
The fourth step of continuous process improvement is the implementation phase. This is where the solution is implemented.
The final step of continuous process improvement is the evaluation phase. The evaluation stage helps managers to collect and analyze feedback on the efficacy of the solutions. Additionally, it allows them to monitor the effectiveness of how the process is implemented.
The European Foundation Model of Business Excellence and Change Management
Every organization aims at achieving excellence throughout its various business operations. The aim of striving for excellence is to ensure that the business maintains good relationships with its customers by providing good services. The desire for business excellence driven by the need to satisfy customer demands using the available resources and to win them back from the competition.
The total quality management models of continuous process improvement, including other business excellence models, are designed to help businesses rise above their competitors and achieve the best performance results by introducing transformative change throughout their operations. Changing business operations requires the use of proven change management models in order to realize success.
In that regard, there are several tools, resources, and models of business excellence that a business organization can adopt to effect change. The European Foundation for total quality management (TQM) is the most comprehensive business excellence model for change management.
Founded in 1988, the European Foundation TQM model of business excellence through change management in the continuous process improvement phase involves influencing the management of human resources and changing the workplace environment for better employee performance.
This is useful in increasing the efficiency of running the organization to increase profitability. It also helps an organization to reach new global markets for growth and prosperity. Lastly, it forsters an accelerated change by improving the manner in which business resources are planned and organized.
The European Foundation model of business excellence focuses on achieving results through five classifications that are called enablers. One of those enablers is creating change through organizational development.
Organization development creates a systemic change that is important for increasing the effectiveness of various business processes that require to be improved in a given organization. Organizational development is meant to cover the entire business functions of management, from the top level managers to junior employees.
The Process of Organizational Development and Change Management
The organizational development process follows a defined procedure based on various stages that must be accomplished throughout the change implementation process. Despite the many benefits of organizational development, there are several factors that should be considered before an organization is considered ready for change.
First of those is to overcome the internal resistance that is common with every aspect of introducing change in an organization. In that case, the initial stage of organizational change development involves marketing the needs for the desired change in a given organization. This is meant to create awareness of the need for change among employees. It is also known as the entry step.
Next is step is the startup and contracting step whose aim is identifying the crucial success factors that an organization culture finds necessary for effecting the change.
The third step of organization change is is the needs assessment, planning of the change action, and determing the change interventions to be used.
This is followed by the implementation stage using a suitable procedure of change management. The change intervention is finally adopted and the separation of employee roles done commensurate to the new changes.
Finally, an evaluation of the change intervention is done and improvements made where necessary. Every organizations continuously introduce changes to better their performance. However, not all the desired results are achievable and hence the necessary procedures ought to be followed to evaluate the effectiveness of the change implementation. This is done to determine whether the desired results are achieved.