Interaction Process Analysis and
Process Improvement

How many times have you sat in a meeting where the team discussed serious business process improvements? How many times have those meetings lacked any real substance? Improving a process cannot be done on a whim, it needs to be done with facts and figures; information drives good process improvement. Interaction Process Analysis helps provide the required information.

One company that I used to work for, constantly changed their business processes. Something wasn't working, so it got changed. A few weeks later the same issue would arise and the company instigated another change. The cycle repeated. Each ill-informed change took time and effort. But the change did not truly address the challenges faced by the business.

The company didn't make the small investment in effort to gather the information required to make an informed decision. Yet the company tolerated the countless inefficiencies down the line. Thankfully I was eventually able to get involved with this process and lead by example; basing decisions on data, information and insight.

StreamLiner is Project Management software that drives your Lean and Continuous Improvement activities.


Interaction Process Analysis

One of the most effective process improvement methods is the 'Interaction Process Analysis" tool

This is a veteran of the process improvement world, but a tool that seems to be largely ignored outside of the process improvement community. This tool looks at the process and the interaction of the elements about the process.

The core elements of the Interaction Process Analysis include:

  • Recording each step of the process.
  • Capturing the associated distances traveled and time taken.
  • Determining the type of activity being recorded (operation, travel, delay, inspection or storage).

The art of a good process flow analysis exercise involves capturing every single step in a process.

To put this into its proper perspective, one business' member of staff stated "I get the order out of my email, print it out and put it in my colleagues in-tray. He then takes it and processes it. Thirty seconds. That's it. I don't know why we need to do this analysis!"

After some clarification the real picture was:

  1. Process emails for order: 1 minute.
  2. Collects printed order from printer and leaves in colleagues in tray: 2 minutes.
  3. Delay waiting for colleague to process previous day's orders: 4.5 hours.

StreamLiner is Project Management software that drives your Lean and Continuous Improvement activities.


Yes, you read that right. Initially the staff member perceived that this part of the process took around 30 seconds. However, in reality, if you follow the order, the process took over four and half hours.

Interaction Process Analysis helps you

  • examine the process thoroughly
  • document and describe the detail level
  • find opportunities waiting for you in your business.

StreamLiner Software

StreamLiner software includes the Interaction Process Analysis tool to help you identify improvements within your business. We include templates to help your staff quickly undertake this kind of analysis.

We modified the process flow analysis format slightly. This modification enables the person undertaking the analysis to discover the interaction of the process. This improves the overall flow of the process and better utilizing any 'dead' time held within the process.

StreamLiner is Project Management software that drives your Lean and Continuous Improvement activities.


Not only will StreamLiner help you capture and manage the process flow analysis information, it allows you to swiftly convert key opportunities into improvement actions. This functionality means that you can review a business process from a variety of perspectives. Then you can gather all of the improvement actions together. Our built-in prioritization system means that you can manage the improvement activities in the most effective manner for your business.

Good process improvement methods means collecting good information. This lets you identify the right improvements, and make effective changes. StreamLiner is a great tool for doing this.

Continuous Improvement Managers and Operations Managers who use StreamLiner continually provide positive feedback. One key repeating point, the software centralizes the management of improvement opportunities. It takes away the need for having numerous project plans and getting lost in the details. StreamLiner takes care of the organization part, so you can take care of the making it happen part.

Download an Interaction Process Analysis Template


Article written by Giles Johnston of Smartspeed Consulting Limited for Quality Assurance Solutions. Article edited and posted by Quality Assurance Solutions

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