Mr. Monteleone, you article is certainly helpful to those approaching business process improvement initiatives. Taking a holistic view of process improvements, certainly will improve the overall quality of the analysis.
One thing I would appreciate seeing is a way to prioritize potential improvements on the rib bones. Perhaps a color-coding of rib bones with hot-spots that need to be addressed, assuming some ribs are performing optimally and others need more analysis and optimization.
I agree, useful article. I'm happy to see performance measurement included in your model. I just finished reading "Measuring the performance of business analysts" by Adriana Beal, and more than ever I'm convinced of the importance of adopting performance measures, including for measuring the results of any adopted improvement initiative.
You bring up a good point about "measuring the results of any adopted improvement initiative". I wonder if that means that you are first establishing a performance baseline for the current project, and then quantifying how new process improvements will improve from that baseline? I wonder what the best ways are to quantify and communicate those improvements?
It's always good to see an article that gives structure to an area like this, giving focus to a lot of expert thought. I have just one comment - the references in the article are over 20 years old (1985, 1988) ... I do find it a little disconcerting in the year 2010 when an article uses such dated references.
On the past couple of weeks I have heard people reference practices from Peter Drucker from the 70's, Einstein from the 30's, and Dave Packard from the 80's. Sometimes, it is completely relevant to reference best practices from the past. I like you, enjoyed the article for what it was worth.
I really can’t get my mind wrapped this fishbone diagram thing. I am somewhat familiar with the works of Deming and Ishikawa. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to help.
To me an iterative process is one that changes over time. Process improvement typically is not instantaneous. I don’t see any time in figure one or the diagram above it.
I’m not sure which way figure one flows, I suspect it is from left to right. If this is true, I would expect the process to be improved to be on the left and the result of all the fish boning, namely the improved process on the right. Moreover, to actually find out if the process was in fact improved it has to be implemented. Then we have to wait some period of time to find out if the improved process is actually improved.
I don’t understand how Ishikawa’s technique works for a dynamic system. For example how does it work in the situation where an exogenous variable(s) caused an enterprises year to date profits swing from profit to a loss in the fourth quarter.
What am I missing?????
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