How Do You Write A Process Improvement Plan
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Writing a process improvement plan (PIP) is an excellent way to improve your job performance as well as earn additional rewards such as pay raises and promotion. It’s also a great way to boost employee morale and motivation, particularly in hard times.
By writing a PIP, you will be creating an action plan for improving one of your departments' processes or systems. This could be changing how you organize files, develop new policies, launch promotional campaigns, manage your workload, etc.
You may want to write up a PIP when someone higher ups tell you that there are problems with an existing system, or when something doesn’t seem right about the work flow. Or maybe a colleague or manager comes to you with questions about the same thing.
It's very difficult to solve big problems if you don't know what they are, so addressing these issues is a good starting place.
Establish a plan that is challenging but doable
A process improvement plan (PIP) should be an action item that your team can actually implement, not just something to aim for when things are going well.
It’s easy to give up when you’re trying to fix an already working system, but systems that work have changed over time. Systems that keep getting better rely on people who know how to use them effectively dropping their ideas and investing energy in the new approach.
So, while it may feel like there aren’t very many changes you can make, there are! And you don’t need permission to make them – you only need to convince yourself that they will work.
Develop a plan that is very detailed
Now, this doesn’t mean your project needs to be The Great Gatsby! It can’t have too many pages or contain very complicated concepts.
It should however, contain enough information so that people can refer back to it frequently. If there are only two steps in your improvement, what happens if one of those steps gets canceled or postponed?
You lose out on some valuable time, but you also risk creating chaos when things get pushed aside. More importantly, you run the risk of dropping the ball because you didn’t prepare for something that could happen.
Plan hard with the understanding that anything can happen and you need to be ready. Don’t worry about being perfect, just make sure everything you put into the plan makes sense and seems logical.
If nothing else, yourself and others will know how to navigate the process better because of it.
Outline the process of improvement
A process improvement plan (PIP) is an important document that can help your organization achieve its goals. Typically, these are goal-focused and include things like improving customer service, increasing production, and reducing costs.
A PIP is usually outlined in three parts: what, why, and how. The what part describes the process you will implement to improve the performance of the organizational unit being targeted. For example, if your company’s mission is to make sure customers have a pleasant shopping experience, then the what of your PIP should be about changing some behaviors around money among shoppers.
The why explains why this particular process is needed to succeed. It may be because of a strategic initiative or goal, something internal such as budget constraints, or both.
And lastly, the how outlines everything step by step from implementation to evaluation. This includes creating milestones, gathering input, rolling out the changes, tracking progress, and determining success or failure at the end.
Measure your process to determine where improvements can be made
A process improvement plan (PIP) is an internal or external document that outlines what steps need to be taken to improve one or more processes.
Processes are usually described as functions or activities that make up a particular job or activity. For example, when you go for a walk, this is a process called walking. Walking can be done outside or inside, alone or with others, at any speed.
By breaking down the function of “walking” into its components, we see that stepping is a key part of the process. Stepping includes getting out of bed, putting on shoes, carrying water bottle, checking watch, etc.
When someone who does not exercise goes for a short stroll, they may notice how their body is breathing slightly faster than normal. This is due to muscles being used. When people start exercising, it often takes them a few days to feel comfortable working out because they have to learn how to manage their fitness routine properly.
Take small steps to implement your plan
A process improvement plan is not something you should dive into all at once. Rather, start with one aspect of the business that needs improving and work on it slowly and consistently.
Many times, people will want to do an overall overhaul or project launch but this is not the right time. This is like jumping off a bridge onto solid ground because you feel there’s no hope for change.
You have to spend time investing in things before they can show their true potential. Just because you decide one day that everything needs changing doesn’t mean the rest of the world agrees.
There are always going to be people around you who don’t agree and sometimes this takes a while to realize. Sometimes, even when everyone seems onboard, nothing really changes until someone outside the company witnesses the effect it has.
Get feedback to determine how to improve
As mentioned earlier, your organization does not exist for it make money alone, so why would you want to put in all of this effort into changing something if no one knows about it?
That’s what makes process improvement hard – there is no clear indicator as to whether or not it works.
If people are aware that changes need to be made, then they will at least try them out, but if nobody is telling people that things can be improved, then nothing gets changed and someone has to pay the price later.
It is important to gauge how well your current processes work before making any drastic changes, such as creating new ones. By gathering input and testing out different options, you can find the best solution for your business!
Getting feedback comes from both internal and external sources. Both give very valuable information.
Hold people accountable
The second element of writing a process improvement plan is holding people accountable. This can be done in many ways, but typically it’s through meeting commitments or timeframes that have been set.
If you’re ever going to get anything accomplished, you need to know when someone will do their job and how they will perform once that job has been assigned to them.
This doesn’t just apply to those at work, but also to individuals outside of work. For example, if you told your friend they could spend Sunday night at home because they gave up their vacation for this month, then they should expect to keep their word. It’s similar with people who are dependent on you – if you promise to do something, then you must actually do it.
In both cases, there needs to be consequences for breaking his/her word. If there aren’t, people won’t take promises seriously and we all lose out as losers.
Celebrate small wins
It is important to recognize all of the little achievements your organization has made in the past week, even if you did not make any major changes to your process or system.
It may be making its monthly report to key members more thoroughly, changing how you organize files or notes, adding an extra step to an internal procedure, or updating your company’s online presence.
Any one of these can add up to big things over time, so celebrate them!
You might want to give yourself a pat on the back during your next meeting. Or maybe share what you have done with your colleagues, since this kind action can inspire others in the organization.
By celebrating these small milestones, you will also notice that your mood lifts slightly, which helps you perform your job better.