- October 22, 2022
- Posted by: andreag
By Erin Bellotte (Note: this is the 1st of two posts on PA tools and theory)
“There has got to be a better way.” Anyone who utters this phrase, knowingly or unknowingly, is on their way to becoming a Process Improvement aficionado. While there are multiple theories to choose from, including Lean, Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, or Process Advantage, the critical characteristic across all theories is that the implementation of one will start an organization or individual on a journey to find a better way. The beautiful thing about these methodologies is that finding a better way in business often leads to measurable results: higher quality product, safer work environments, increased customer satisfaction, improved employee morale, and of course the bottom line – improved ROI.
Professional Growth Systems Founder, Bill Dann and partner, Doug Johnson, set out on a Continuous Improvement journey in the 1990s. It started with an in-depth course study with Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a true leader of the Continuous Improvement movement, known for his work in transforming post-World War II Japan. His Plan-Do-Study-Act theory is still today touted amongst leadership levels as a way to constantly iterate the next level of innovation.
Professional Growth Systems, took Deming’s methodology and began utilizing it at organizations from New York to Honolulu. While the methodology was proving results, they thought, “how can this theoretical toolbox become more workable for American organizations?” They were finding that the initial set up required for organizational training on Deming’s statistical analysis extended the project time, and the patience required for success was limited at American organizations.
After reading Michael Hammer’s “Reengineering the Corporation” Bill and Doug adjusted how they lead teams through the redesign and acknowledged how advances in technology could incite change quickly. One of the main takeaways from Hammer’s work was that employees would not work toward their self-destruction. As technology continues to rapidly advance with automated-everything, there is still concern amongst employees that the improvements they make will lead to job loss. PGS realized that in taking teams through the redesign, it needed to be clear that the benefit of the process improvement would allow the employee to focus on the value-added work, not on the delays in the process. Adapting and codifying this value-add/employee driven mindset into Process Advantage, they continued to see more success with their clients.
The next iteration of Process Advantage come with additional research on how to guide teams and individuals through the change management of a project. Despite reassurance, employees were nervous about changes. Their insecurity compounded whenever leadership failed to support the project with resources necessary to complete the improvements and/or when the overall culture of the organization was not ripe for success. Looking to solve these more delicate, personal intricacies of change lead Bill and Doug to William Bridges’ “Managing Transitions.” The insights gained from this study were embedded into the Process Advantage system and have become one of the keys to unlocking the greatest team potential.
By understanding three different core ideologies and applying the successful traits of each into one unique system, Process Advantage provides a more comprehensive view of making quick, impactful changes at any organization. Want to learn more about what that unique system looks like? Check out our post on the 3 key phases of process improvement.
Not sure if Process Advantage will help the challenges in your organization? Contact us to set up free Discovery. We can help you pinpoint both the cause and the solution for the struggles your organization is working through – and it costs nothing to complete!