Strategic Process Management


Good Strategy, Bad Execution: Common Causes for Poor Results

Numerous studies are now showing that 65% to 85% of attempts to use process improvement or reengineering have yielded “mediocre, marginal, or failed results”!! There are many reasons for failure. We find these are the most common causes:

  • An internal rather than a customer focus
  • Senior executives aren’t providing active leadership
  • Teams narrowly improve micro processes that have little strategic value
  • Teams make changes that (often unknowingly) create problems elsewhere
  • Improvement activities aren’t linked to key organization objectives
  • Specialists/consultants don’t involve the people who implement the changes
  • A culture of distrust and fear creates resistance to change
  • Teams and their leaders aren’t well trained and supported
  • Organization structure and systems aren’t aligned with process changes
  • Core macro processes and their many micro processes aren’t well mapped

Key Steps Along the Pathway to Strategic Process Management

The CLEMMER Group’s team of experts and specialists have worked with hundreds of organizations during the last few decades to transform their performance. Building on that extensive experience and Jim Clemmer’s third book, Pathways to Performance: A Guide to Transforming Yourself, Your Team, and Your Organization, our approach to process management follows these steps:

  1. Focus and Context begins with connecting process management to the organization’s vision, values, purpose, and strategic imperatives (key organizational objectives). The purpose, beginning, ending, and vision of the ideal process are then set. This is followed by clarification of the process management team’s roles and responsibilities.
  2. Customers/Partners Process mapping identifies the key players and activities. This is done with Macro and Relationship Maps. A Macro Map is a diagram which identifies the process’ beginning and end, major activities, and the departments (functional areas) involved. A Relationship Map is a detailed diagram showing all the tasks required to complete activities, who performs the tasks for whom, input/outputs, and decision points. The map also pinpoints which hand-off points in the process are the biggest cause of delays, information breakdowns, and rework.
  3. Prioritize Expectations Talking with, and collecting data from key customers of the process to clarify and define their expectations of its outputs and requirements. The same is done with suppliers and other partners. This information and understanding is passed on to managers and everyone working in the process. They are then involved in making the operation of the process fit the customer/partner definition of what it should do.
  4. Gap Analysis “Hot spots” in the process are now identified. These include areas of variability, time delays, unmet customer/partner requirements, errors, rework, unnecessary or unrelated work, wasted time or resources, added costs, or missed revenue. To prepare for redesigning the process, the team asks such questions as: Does structure help or hinder the process? Do we have accidental bureaucracy? Does every step add value? Are we duplicating work? Can we simplify? Can we standardize? Can we better utilize tools, equipment, technology, or other resources?
  5. Goals and Priorities The three to five highest priority “hot spots” are selected for improvement based on criteria such as urgency, improvement potential, customer/partner visibility, or chances of success. Broad process improvement goals are supported by important goals for each “hot spot”. Examples of these specific and measurable goals are reducing cycle time by 50%, defects by 100%, rework by 80%, costs by 20%, or increasing accuracy by 45%.
  6. Improvement Planning Teams are trained in a seven-step problem solving method to deal with the “hot spots” and reach their process improvement goals. They learn how to start with divergent thinking, explore, converge their thinking, and select solution(s). Within these steps improvement tools such as Brainstorming, Cause-and-Effect Diagrams, Pareto Analysis, Force Field Analysis, Rating, Histogram, and Run Charts are taught and used.
  7. Review, Assess, Celebrate, and Refocus The effects of process changes are monitored and adjustments made. The team keeps key customers/partners, management, and process participants informed of progress and watches for shifting requirements. Breakthroughs and successes are celebrated and reinforced to energize everyone for refocusing on the next stage of continuous improvement or transformation.

Strategic Process Management: Optimizing Cross-Functional Performance

View an abbreviated summary of The CLEMMER Group’s highly popular presentation:
Strategic Process Management: Optimizing Cross-Functional Performance

How We Work With Your Organization

Executive Introduction
The agenda for this senior management session includes:

  • What is Strategic Process Management?
  • Why Strategic Process Management?
  • Strategic Process Management Steps
  • Identifying Your Strategic Processes
  • Selection of Processes to Improve
  • Define Scope of Selected Processes
  • Strategic Process Management Team Structure and Leadership
  • Strategic Process Management Team Charter
  • Strategic Process Management Team Training
  • Strategic Process Management Team Support

Strategic Process Management Team Workshop
The agenda for this two-day intensive workshop takes the team through the seven steps described above. The objectives for this session are:

  • Understanding Strategic Process Management
  • Identifying work processes
  • Developing process improvement action plans
  • Understanding the dynamics of effective team problem solving
  • Learning to apply a disciplined and creative approach to problem solving
  • Using primary tools of problem solving

Project Specific Teams
Customized workshops drawing from the same topic and skill areas as the Strategic Process Management Team. Consulting support as needed.

Consulting Support
Our experts and specialists are available to for further training, to train your own trainers, consultation, and coaching as required.

What Sets Our Strategic Process Management Apart

Research shows that most process improvement and reengineering approaches don’t work. The CLEMMER Group’s approach is highly effective because it is:

  • Broad and comprehensive
  • Designed, delivered, and supported by very experienced senior managers
  • Based upon the research and writing of Pathways to Performance
  • A multi-tiered and cascading process that starts with senior management
  • Linked to the organization’s vision, values, purpose and key objectives
  • Highly flexible and adaptable
  • Built to maximize involvement and ownership of everyone in the process
  • Customer/partner focused
  • A balance of macro or strategic and micro or tactical process management

Contact us to discuss how we can help your organization.