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Process Improvement Teams: Function & Purpose

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  • 0:00 What is a Process…
  • 0:48 Who is on One?
  • 1:33 Other Advantages
  • 3:13 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

External consultants can be expensive. Instead, consider relying on process improvement teams to find ways to increase productivity and other positive outcomes by using the talent in your office.

What is a Process Improvement Team?

Have you ever seen any of those old war movies, where the special team had an expert in weapons and one in demolitions and another one in mechanical equipment? Or maybe a crime movie, where a group of people each with very different area of expertise come together to rip off a corrupt casino? In working together, they were able to achieve something much larger than what they could have done just working alongside each other. I hope you get that distinction, together versus alongside, because it is absolutely crucial to what we're going to talk about in this lesson.

Here we are going to see how process improvement teams, or groups of individuals who are trained to come in and find ways to increase efficiency, are able to help companies increase efficiencies. We'll also see why it is beneficial to mix up who serves on a process improvement team.

Who is on One?

While it's pretty clear that the purpose of a process improvement team is to help your company improve its efficiencies, you've got to make sure that you've got the right mix of people on the team. After all, those old movies would have been impossible without the right group.

Importantly, you've got to have a leader. Don't think of a leader so much as a boss as a facilitator. He or she should know the talents that each person on the team possesses and make sure that they are used to great effect.

Speaking of the team, make sure you've got a good mix of skills there. If you have people with only one background, they'll tend to see everything very similarly.

Finally, one thing you don't want on this team is ego. Even one egotistical person, who thinks that he or she is always right, will destroy much of the efficiency of the team.

How to Keep Them Doing Well

Now that you've got this team in place, you can just let them loose, right? Wrong. While you want your team to bring as much originality of thought to the processes that they examine as possible, you still want to make sure that they are in the right mindset to communicate with each other. After all, you've probably got a diverse group of talents at play here. To that end, training should be given to the team to make sure that they can express their thoughts in a way that everyone else on the team, as well as stakeholders outside of the team, can understand. For example, making sure that the team is comfortable plotting processes with flow charts is very important.

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