42nd Street Company (#42stc)

Why some managers don’t care about process improvement

By on October 21, 2013

I once argued with the CTO of my company if process improvement could ‘save our business’. My claim was – and still is – no! There is even a very pragmatic reason why some managers do not care about process improvement.

As there is no upper limit on your business opportunity, there is no limit to how much money you can make.

Process improvement is about internal efficiency. There is a definite floor for how much more efficient you can become. You can never do better than making your next product in zero time, at zero cost and with zero defects.

So, no matter how much money you can save on process improvements, you can always make more to compensate for this limited, perceived opportunity cost.

If you see this as a choice, for most the choice is easy.

The savings opportunities are limited

The savings opportunities are limited

Therefore, as a process improvement professional, never sell process improvement as a business saver.

The game of any company must be to have an invincible business strategy.

Process improvement can support a business strategy by reducing risks, providing more options in execution and tactical planning.

The more mature your processes, the more options you have as a company to explore the opportunities and overcome the challenges you are facing. The mature company can focus on growing and expanding it’s business.

The immature company is often is tangled up in challenges caused by itself (aka a survival game).