Process planning

The first stage in process management is process planning, and the first step in process planning is to identify the goal of the process.

Ask your self  "What is my process goal(s)"? "Why we do what we do"?

You derive process goals from top level strategic goals. You then interpret these goals into process objectives for use at the operational level. Let’s look at how process goals and process objectives are related:

Process Goals

  • Process goals are aims, intents, targets, or ends.
  • Process goals are supported by measurable process objectives.
  • Process goals are linked to the strategic plan of the organization.

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Process Objectives

  • Process objectives represent the intended actions to achieve the process goals.
  • Process objectives are measurable.
  • Process objectives may be supported by product or service specifications, work orders, and so on.
  • Process objectives may reflect the gains in a stable process
  • Process objectives may support the resolution of a previous performance problem or deficiency.

Setting Process Goals

During process planning consider these general topical areas when creating the process goals:

  • Meeting or exceeding customer requirements for the product/ service.
  • Ensuring that the process makes a contribution to the organization’s profits (or cost containment).
  • Ensuring that the product or service design and execution follows good practices.
  • Ensure user’s safety, including unintended use.
  • Ensuring that the product or service doesn’t present a hazard to users or to the environment during the life of the product or service.
  • Ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of employees.
  • Meeting or exceeding industry-accepted practices for a good working environment.
  • Continually improving the process through elimination of non-value-added product / service features, process steps, and materials.
  • Continuing the quest to reduce cycle time.

Defining the process goal depends on the strategic direction of the organization and the level of the process being addressed (for example, from order entry through design, production, and shipping; or the sub process of accepting and entering a customer’s order).

Example of Process Planning Management:

Family Cleaners wanted to achieve a process improvement. They start by the first stage of planning by determining a process goal. The goal states "We will ensure that all customers receive high-quality cleaning services".

Family Cleaners then translates this process goal into a process objective: "We will decrease disputes and rework due to receiving errors from 12 per week to one per week within six month."

The process objective is supported by a procedure, which outlines the receiving clerk’s responsibilities:

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1. Before accepting customer items, examine each with the customer and determine the type of cleaning service required, level of warranty (standard or premium), price, and delivery date.

2. Determine whether any questionable item can be properly cleaned by Family Cleaners. If not, provide the customer with an explanation and return the item to the customer. Should the customer opt to waive the information provided, prepare a waiver form and obtain the customer’s signature.

3. Prepare and present a customer claim check (yellow copy of cleaning order) to the customer identifying the items received for cleaning, warranty level , the price for each, and the agreed date available for pickup.

4. Bundle the item received with the cleaning order (white original) in a receiving basket and place basket on conveyor.

Process planning is the first stage of process management.

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