On Process Innovation (PI)

Why do we always talk about Innovation in vain?  Do CEOs have the will to change the organizations in charge? There is No Luck for them in implementing Innovation? If not, can we have some kind of verified methodology and rational tools for approaching Innovation?

We emphasize ‘Innovation’ as a pronoun of Change because we need to improve continuously to have competitiveness in these turbulent times of change. We know we have to change desperately in some ways for survival, for continuous management, or prosperity. This article shows and ensures the fast track to successfully implement Innovation in the organization you are involved in.

The process is the value-added activity organization members do. They get Input from the Supplier, Process it and deliver the Output to the Customer. The process is so defined as SIPOC (Supplier - Input – Process - Output - Customer. We might see this definition by Michael Hammer, the former MIT professor and the Creator of BPR in 1980s). That is why we can focus on Process they normally do in business to start Innovation. Only if we regard ‘management’ as an activity for managing processes they routinely do in an organization, then we could dare to declare that Management Innovation is Process Innovation, the continuous effort to improve the workflow of an organization. Then insight to look upon the Innovation or Management Innovation as Process Innovation is correct. Now we are to focus on the Process to innovate the Management to have competitiveness. 

How can we innovate Processes, then? We can imagine that we could find the improvement areas in processes when we could see them because we understand the interoperability between process activities. So, the first thing we have to do for finding issues is to visualize the processes. Process Map is the one way of Process Visualization. For example, VSM, Value Stream Map, the main tool of LEAN Concept, is to visualize the processes in the respect of the flow of information and materials by utilizing time factor to have Process Proficiency in Production Process. 

Processes, however, do not exist for themselves or by themselves. They should have 4 supporting parameters, such as Measures, IT Systems, R&R (Role & Responsibility) and R&P (Rule & Policy). When we capture the problem areas or issues in Processes, we have to design or re-design 5 parameters, the Process itself, Measures, IT systems, R&R and R&P. They say that we must do 5 DPA (Design Parameter Analysis) for Process Innovation. Then, I ask, how do we recognize the Improvement areas after finding issue areas of the Processes? Is there a Stethoscope for identifying Issue areas in apparently good-looking Processes organization members do every day without big trouble?

We call the Highly Standardized Processes as Best Practices (BP) and we could use this BP, the Process Maturity Level 5, as a rule, or stethoscope for searching for Process Issues. To our fortune, APQC (American Productivity and Quality Center) and Arthur Anderson co-developed PCF in 1992 as an absolute BP. PCF (Process Classification Framework) is the best Process Taxonomy for Diagnosis Reference Models. This cross-industry model has universality and transferability properties over Industries. Moreover, APQC now has developed industry-specific PCF as well. Furthermore, APQC has figured out for us the Measures, OSBC. 

This way, we could approach Management Innovation by Process Innovation.
Looking forward to your achieving Innovation.  

Writer: Wang Yong Kim, ICMCMI CMC- Korea
Former IBM and SAMSUNG SDS Head Consultant, Now the Representative Consultant of Samul Net Co., LTD. 
Seoul National University and Its Graduate School (Major: OBHR).
Tulane University, A.B. Freeman School of Business, MBA (Major: Finance)