This ‘Measuring Process Improvement Effectiveness’ Real Life Work podcast comes from one of my most popular Great Systems website posts.

Measuring Process Improvement Effectiveness Podcast

This ‘measuring process improvement effectiveness’ Real Life Work podcast comes from one of the most popular posts on my Great Systems website. It began as an Industrial and Systems Engineer magazine  article I wrote a few years ago.

Back then, I had just completed another national Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program site visit. On that particular site visit, my role was to evaluate the organization’s processes for information capture, analysis, and use.

Idea, Best Practice, or Innovation?

As I prepared questions for the visit in this area, some new questions arose. How should an organization measure organizational progress in idea, best practice, and innovation generation? Unfortunately, few organizations do little more in this area than count the number of ideas they capture and implement over time.

For starters, what is the difference between an idea, a best practice, and an innovation? Also, does it make sense to track the frequencies at which we generate, evaluate, and implement each of these items?

Such questions help me generate a variety of possible process improvement measures in my mind. As a set, these metrics represent an ‘effectiveness snapshot’ of an organization’s process improvement system.

What Improvement Rates Do You Expect?

Like most high performing companies, this organization tracked the number of ideas submitted and implemented. However, they could not factually demonstrate or describe how best practices and innovations came from this core set of ideas.

Also, it was a challenge to look at how improvement status shifts occurred over time. How well did they manage idea backlogs or droughts? What percentage of submitted ideas became best practices or innovations?

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