Business Process Improvement (Lean/Six Sigma)

Service Overview
Business processes are fundamental to every company’s performance and ability to successfully execute on business strategy. Technology can help, the right people are important and proper supporting structures are necessary. However, processes are the key mechanism by which businesses deliver value to the marketplace. But how do companies establish high-performing processes? The key is understanding the current maturity and performance of a process, identifying the level of performance required and establishing a path for achieving the desired maturity and performance.
Assessing the maturity of a process requires a multi-dimensional perspective, which involves breaking down the key elements of high-performance process and asking questions such as:
  • Are desired outcomes clearly defined, understood and aligned with company objectives?
  • Does the process have clear ownership and performance accountability?
  • Is the process streamlined, optimized, consistent and standard?
  • Is effectiveness measured with enabling technologies in place to achieve excellence?
Business Performance Improvement (BPI) is a means to answering these questions, evolving processes along the maturity curve and migrating a client’s business towards a process-focused organization.
Our approach to BPI is value based, enabling our clients to maximize benefits by assessing, identifying and targeting processes core to value delivery, organizational priorities and strategic imperatives. We carefully consider current process maturity and desired future needs in order to apply the right level of investment for the benefit received. Our approach to BPI is also unique in that we deploy a parallel approach of benefit delivery via focused improvement efforts coupled with building internal process improvement capabilities.
The people we bring to bear on any BPI initiative are experienced with various improvement techniques including DMAIC, Six Sigma, and Lean principles. Many of our leaders come from large consulting companies where they began focusing on process improvement early in their careers and are well versed in bringing consulting services and technology solutions together to deliver process improvements.
Service Capabilities
Centric’s Business Process Improvement offering includes the following services:
  • Process Definition and Documentation
  • Process Assessment and Value Targeting
  • Lean / Six Sigma Process Improvement
  • Process Improvement Enablement
Process Definition & Documentation
Within many organizations, there is a basic lack of understanding regarding current processes beyond those directly performing the work. As people come and go, herculean efforts are often needed to get work done and can pose significant risks to business operations. Understanding how end-to-end processes work, the inter-relationships between them and how they contribute value to producing products or delivering services is fundamental to process improvement and operational effectiveness.
Centric works with our clients to define a process hierarchy, developing an inventory of processes and sub-processes within the organization and showing how various processes interrelate. Essentially, this hierarchy can be thought of as a skeletal roadmap for defining how work is done end-to-end. Centric then works with our clients to document core processes utilizing our proven documentation methodology and toolsets. Fully documented core processes provide clients with a clear understanding of the step-by-step tasks in a process, supporting applications, resources, control points, pain points and improvement opportunities. It also provides an overall understanding of how each part of the business or function contributes to the delivery of products and/or services.
Process Assessment and Value Targeting
Although process improvement can typically drive value in all parts of the business, it is important to focus initial efforts on areas that provide the largest performance impact (e.g., cost, quality, service). This helps drive early financial benefits as well as builds momentum for change.
Centric has developed a comprehensive approach to methodically and logically assess, prioritize and target process improvements based upon overall value, organization priorities and strategic imperatives. Centric’s approach starts with understanding the “voice of the customer” around performance expectations, needs and perceived issues. We then leverage both qualitative and quantitative analytics to determine how well processes are working against performance expectations and identify issues and opportunities. Process Improvement opportunities are then quantified and prioritized based on benefit potential and level of effort to address.
Lean / Six Sigma Process Improvement
Frequently, organizations treat the symptoms of a process performance issue without truly understanding the root cause or impact of the issue. Dissecting and truly understanding root cause for process performance is critical to effective process improvement.
Many proven techniques exist for process improvement including Lean, Six Sigma, TQM, etc. Centric’s point of view is that no single approach works in all situations. Centric’s skilled practitioners leverage the best tools and analytics from various disciplines as required based on what is most appropriate within a client’s environment. We combine these tools with industry- and process-related knowledge to identify and implement value-added improvement opportunities.
Process Improvement Enablement
It is not enough for organizations to treat process improvement as one-time or periodic events. A sustaining focus on process management and continuous improvement is the key. For organizations looking to adopt a process focus of the business, establishing and growing it from within can be a huge challenge. Even trying to hire in such a capability can be a daunting task when the expertise doesn’t already exist. The process mindset is not something that just happens. Nor can it be purchased or hired. It is something that has to be formally cultivated and harvested over time.
Centric has the methods, tools and experience to successfully help our client’s establish a core capability around process improvement, management and continuous improvement. To do this, Centric often works with clients to develop a process ‘Center of Excellence’ (COE). The purpose of the COE is to enable process improvement from within the organization via education and training, standardized toolsets and methodologies, recruiting and developing resources, implementing enabling technologies such as BPM and Business Process Monitoring / Measurement and organizing, prioritizing and governing process improvement projects via a PMO function.