Your Guide to Effectiveness: 5 Top Process Improvement Books
Regardless of where you are in your career, which function you hold, and what your day-to-day responsibilities are, being a process-oriented individual is critical for optimal success.
Processes create efficiencies, improve communication, and give an organization a sense of structure.
Processes can guide companies through the toughest of times and the best of times, preventing chaos from erupting in all types of scenarios.
When a key employee leaves, a company is scaling or downsizing quickly, or if a new client is brought on board — all of these are scenarios in which having clear processes in place prior to the event will help transitions happen far more efficiently and smoothly, and keep business running as usual otherwise.
If you don’t have appropriate processes in place for events like these, chaos can ensue quickly.
There are some fabulous project management and process-oriented books that are well worth reading for the operations-driven individual.
Here, we cite several favorites…
From building good budgets and project plans to dealing with management issues, to how to apply lean principles to project management, this book is the 101 for project management.
Mycoskie takes us through the trials and tribulations of starting his business, what worked and what didn’t, and gives valuables tips on certain processes that worked wonders for him in building and scaling the formidable Tom’s Shoes.
Essential Tools for Operations Management: Tools, Models and Approaches for Managers and Consultants by Simon Burtonshaw-Gunn
The book specifically focuses on marketing, CRM, and product development and how to manage these functions effectively.
It also happens to be the third in a series of books on operations management, all of which are recommended.
There are 5 phases of Six Sigma, which include Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC), and this book is a how-to in implementing this approach in a business setting.
To close, regardless of which professional path you choose, being process-oriented will build others confidence in you, create efficiencies in the work you are doing and for those around you, and overall, will lend to an improved career trajectory.
Being process-driven can never have negative effects if the principles are applied properly and consistently.
What Are Your Thoughts??
Editor’s note: When I was consulting as a project lead and client executive sponsor, 2 of my pet peeves were updated documentation as well as defined and tested business processes. And it never failed — where either, or both ,were lacking it was like a boat without a rudder. Not everyone could get onto the same page — and if someone left, well… good luck! (disclaimer: sometimes I smiled inwardly as I knew it meant I would be extended for the lack of documentation alone.) When comparing the contracts I worked on in the 20+ years of consulting — based on the complexity of the project, without fail, every project that took the time to document (usually through a repository) as well as define business proceses ended below budget, was completed early, and had a higher level of customer satisfaction after the project was completed.
✔ Based on your own experiences, have you been able see a difference with good documentation as well as defined and documented business processes?
✔ In theory, well documented business processes would allow someone to be hired and take over a desk, providing they had the right skills — do you believe this may be a fear factor in keeping good documentation?
✔ What tools do you use to maintain well-documented business processes? What tools would you recommend?
Please share your thoughts with us and our audience in the comments section below! Or you can reach us directly from our contact page.
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