What Challenges Do You Face in Business Process Improvement?

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Anytime you introduce change in an organization, challenges can arise. Business Process Improvement (BPI) is no different. Whenever a process changes, you can expect push back from someone! So, what are the different challenges you might face and how can you overcome them?

1. Prioritizing the work: When multiple opportunities exist, you may find it hard to identify the biggest opportunity. On NBC’s The Biggest Loser, you can easily see who has the biggest problem! You can accomplish the same thing with business processes by building a Process Prioritization Matrix.

Merge your list, or inventory, of processes and prioritization criteria into a single spreadsheet, using the rows to list the business processes and using the columns to list the criteria. If you do not have criteria established to help you prioritize, identify some by thinking about the impact, current state, and value of the existing processes as a starting point. Begin your improvement efforts with the highest scoring process.

2. Avoiding scope creep: Once you begin working on a single business process, you can easily veer away from the original focus of the work. Have you ever started a project at home and then you find that one thing leads to another? This happens all the time in BPI work because new ideas, demands, and needs surface as you get into the work, and the temptation is to continually expand the scope of a BPI effort.

Before you begin working on improving a business process, establish a foundation for your work. Similar to building a house, where the foundation carries the weight of the entire structure, the process “blueprint” will help you to avoid scope creep. While you can do this in various ways, I find it helpful to create a one-page document that includes, at a minimum:

  • a description of the process that anyone can understand
  • the process boundaries (where the process begins and ends)
  • the customer and their needs
  • a list of the measurements of success

3. Getting people engaged: In the perfect world, you have sponsorship for BPI, but this does not always exist. Colleagues may not see “what’s in it for me,” or you may not have a culture of improvement in your organization.

Employees have to “own” process improvement to achieve sustained success because that is where the POWER of business process improvement lies! Until everyone in an organization sees BPI as part of their normal day-to-day responsibilities, process improvement will always come and go.

While managers clearly have a role (they are employees too), their responsibility lies in creating the right environment for process improvement. The problem with this idea though is that many managers got to where they are today because of their ability to deliver results as individual contributors.

All managers should list BPI on their annual performance plan and have part of their year-end review focused on their achievements in this area. They cannot view BPI as an “event” that they can check off though – it … Read More

Bringing a Tesla Model S to a Home Improvement Store

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I can’t overstate how this is our workhorse, our every day car!

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Winter: a Renovation Project

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Winter: a Renovation Project

Winter’s a renovation project? About this time of year (early March), we in the upper Midwest wish it finished already. The contractor is taking too long. Yet, perhaps we see the wisdom of Thomson’s words: winter isn’t ruin, but, rather, a force for renewal. To which there’s a degree of truth (but only a degree). I feel so sorry for those of you living in the subtropics. Do you see what you’re missing? Shall we send you some renovation via a north wind?

By the way, two to four more inches of snow predicted for tonight and tomorrow in Northeast Wisconsin (March when this photo was posted). Next week? Predicted temperatures in the 50s F. I think I’m sensing the completion of the project.

Where sits the soul, intense, collected, cool,
Bright as the skies, and as the season keen.
All nature feels the renovating force
Of Winter, only to the thoughtless eye
In ruin seen . . . .

—from "The Seasons: Winter," by James Thomson

(for Poetography, Theme 164—Bright; Literary Reference in Pictures)

Posted by mseyb on 2016-03-04 17:41:15

Tagged: , Poetography, Theme 164–Bright , Literary Reference in Pictures , bright , winter , renovation , soul , keen … Read More

Interior Log Walls – The Causes and Repair of Water Stains on an Interior Log Wall

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Causes of Interior Water Stains

Water stains are the result of water contacting unprotected log surfaces. Before you begin to remove the stains on your interior log wall, you need to determine where the water originated. This may have occurred during the building process, gaps between the log courses due to settling or broken gaskets/caulking that have failed. Water stains can also be the result of a previous plumbing problem or just windows left open repeatedly allowing water to enter. Once you are certain the situation has been corrected, you can begin to repair the water marks.

Repairing Water Stains on Interior Log Walls

There are several methods used to remove water stains from an interior log wall. The best method may depend on the depth and severity of the staining. If they were caused during the building process and the staining is severe, you may want to consider hiring a log home professional to have the walls media blasted with corn cob, glass or walnut shells. Although this can be messy and will involve removing all objects from inside the room, it is very effective. Most log professionals will do their best to seal the area and help minimize dust from traveling into other areas of the home.

Usually water stains are in a more confined area and not too severe. If you decide to tackle the project yourself, start by using regular sand paper (fine to medium grit, depending on the log species) and a traditional palm sander. Begin sanding at the edge of the water mark. If they can not be easily removed it may be necessary to use an orbital sander or belt sander. Concentrate on blending the darker edges. It takes patience and care to remove the water stained area without removing too much of the log fibers. You can easily damage your log wall creating an uneven and undesirable look. You may be able to achieve good results by sanding the water stained area only and applying a pigmented stain. However for best results, once the water mark has been removed, lightly sand the entire log wall to allow for even absorption of stain and avoid color variations.

Staining Interior Log Walls

Interior log walls are exposed to areas of indirect or direct UV rays through skylights, windows and doors. Even if your interior log wall was not previous stained, chances are that over time the characteristic of the log wall will appear different.

Most log home coatings companies have developed products designed specifically for interior log walls. These products are typically water based and available in different finishes. Depending on your personal preference, you can choose a clear (non-yellowing) finish in a gloss or satin. If you prefer a pigmented stain, most offer different shades. Whether you are trying to match an existing log wall or deciding what color would best blend with your existing finish, most manufacturers are happy to mail color samples of their products. Applying a finish to interior walls … Read More

Gilrose Finance DIY Loans

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Gilrose Finance – Helping you, Help Yourself. 30 Second DIY / Home Improvement Personal Loan Advert.

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