Chapter 9. Supporting Process Improvements with Effective Tools

Supporting Process Improvements with Effective Tools

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

 --Abraham Maslow

Process improvement initiatives in your organization should be designed with specific business goals in mind. You might decide to improve a process to increase the productivity of your staff by decreasing the time devoted to activities that add little value and increasing the time for value-added work. You might further decide in specific terms, as one group of information developers did, that too much time is taken up by meetings. Their process improvement was to restrict meeting time and redesign the way they managed meetings. Their goal was to increase the amount of time that people devoted to “content work.” Process improvements to achieve business goals can obviously take many forms, including improvements that help foster collaboration among team members and cooperation among process stakeholders.

None of the process improvements mentioned thus far require changes in tools. It’s important to keep in mind that many improvements you might pursue have nothing to do with tools. It’s too easy for technically oriented people to disassociate improving processes from acquiring new technology toys.

Tools are rarely the only answer, or even the best answer, to process improvement questions. However, despite all the many opportunities ...

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