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Process Improvement: One Click At A Time

Written by Kelly Goeller, Senior Business/ IT Analyst

It starts with a click. One simple click…It just takes a second. Take a moment and click your mouse 50 times in a row.

Done?

How long did it take you? Going at a normal pace it took me 25 seconds.

Now pretend you run an operations team that processes 6,000 transactions per month. If your team can eliminate one unnecessary click from any process, they save 6,000 clicks per month…72,000 clicks per year! Imagine sitting there clicking 72,000 times!

Using my average time and this example, 50 minutes per month or 10 hours per year, are saved. Imagine if your team processed more or you could reduce by 2 clicks or more! You get the idea.

Process improvement doesn’t have to be some huge project that has complex success metrics and takes months to complete. Process improvement can start with one click.

So often businesses only focus on large strategic projects that take months or even years to complete, but fail to focus on the small, quick wins. Overlooked by many because they “just take a second.”  It’s the quick wins that get employees excited about change and encourage them to start asking “why?” They begin to question if their next click is really adding value for the customer or the process. They begin to ask “what if?”

From there the possibilities for process improvement are endless. There are so many ways to approach process improvement… so many tools… so many ideas… you can’t limit yourself to one approach or one click! You must understand your customer, your team, your business and the problem at hand to choose the right combination of methods to maximize the outcome. You must be creative, flexible and excited for the possibilities.

So, the next time someone questions the value of a click or a step in a process, don’t respond “It’s just one click” or “It just takes a second.” Remember that one click could be the start of something great!

Instead, start asking yourself ‘What value does this bring my customer?’, ‘Is there a better way?’, ‘Why can’t we change?’ (Hint – if your answer is because you’ve always done it that way, it’s the wrong answer).

Start small. Start with a click.

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