Process Certification Helps Organizations Achieve the Results They Need

Category: Lee Kuntz

Process Certification Helps Organizations Achieve the Results They Need

March 12, 2021 | 7:37 am

Many consultants offer process improvement services alongside their other services, but a consultant who is certified in proven business process improvement methods can help your team reach ambitious goals most effectively. A certified process improvement consultant can help you achieve significant, measurable results such as recapturing capacity and realizing a faster return on new system investment.

What are the Proven Business Process Improvement Methodologies?

Business process improvement methodologies are all about transforming how work is done to improve outcomes. These approaches range from the latest techniques to traditional methods, some of which have been around for almost a hundred years.

  • Traditional business process improvement generates a process map and then identifies and solves pain points. It is a foundation for other methodologies.
  • Six Sigma is a quality management science that came to international prominence after World War II. World-renowned statistician and trainer Dr. Edwards Deming used Six Sigma concepts to help the Japanese manufacturing industry rise from the ashes after the war.
  • Lean operations came to prominence through Japan’s need to maximize their resources in order to compete on the world stage. It’s all about finding and eliminating waste, and it was a key principle in the 2001 best seller The Toyota Way.
  • Throughput management helps companies identify where processes get hung up, and it is delightfully illustrated in the 1984 best-selling novel The Goal.
  • Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving that starts with people you are designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs. It is quickly becoming the hot new process, software, and service-design methodology.
  • Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals. Are you surprised project management is listed here? Comingling project management with the methods listed above is key to delivering results on time and on budget.

Each of these methodologies produces desired results when used as designed. However, not all these industrial engineering techniques and tools work in every situation. For example, Six Sigma makes use of significant statistical tools that are great for challenges encountered at manufacturing companies, but they are of little value to service organizations. Yet the process control component of Six Sigma is valuable to any organization looking to deliver consistent results. The key is to identify and use the right methodology and tools for the challenges at hand.

What is a Business Process Management Certification?

Some professional certifications have a strict, common definition. For example, the AICPA governs the Certified Public Accountant designation, setting standards that are respected around the nation. Passing the CPA examination was a proud moment in my life, because the certifying exam was so difficult.

In contrast to public accounting, where the content is clearly defined by a single entity, becoming certified in business process management requires demonstration of competency in multiple disciplines. These disciplines overlap each other, as shown below.

Figure 1: Methodology Overlap

The training and certification exam for each methodology includes tools that are not taught or tested in the other disciplines. For example, the American Society for Quality includes only a handful of Lean operations tools in its Six Sigma Lean Operations Black Belt training and certification. The Lean Institute makes use of only a few Six Sigma tools in its program. For most of these methodologies, people seeking certification must prove their mastery through education, testing and, at times, the submission of completed projects that demonstrate their competency.

Why Certification Is Important

Business process management certification is important for several reasons. First, it represents independent verification of the applicant’s knowledge and skills. Certification serves as confirmation that the applicant has learned and mastered techniques.

Second, certification supports achieving significantly better outcomes, which is critical as process improvement success is judged on the results achieved. These significantly better outcomes could be fewer errors, higher quality, faster outcomes, a better experience for customers, or a new system installation that pays for itself in two years.

The chart below chart illustrates transformational results some of your colleagues in the philanthropic sector achieved when they used our certified process improvement services. Process steps were reduced and improved. Quality and speed were improved.

Figure 2: IPD Certified Process Improvement Impact

Innovation Process Design (IPD) can teach your team the business process management skills you will need to identify process improvement opportunities on an ongoing basis. By developing proficiency of your own, you will not be dependent upon a consultant to make continual progress.

The Innovation Process Design Approach

As IPD’s lead trainer and coach, I am certified, trained, and skilled in Lean operations, Six Sigma, human-centered design, project management, and public speaking. Our team’s depth and breadth of tools and experience enables us to select the tools and approaches that best address your specific challenges and goals. We have extensive experience helping philanthropic organization achieve significantly better outcomes. Our successful track record means you can complete process redesign faster, more efficiently, and with better results. Learn more about these results in these case studies.

Streamline Through Effective, Paperless, Electronic Payments

Maximize New Systems through Process and Practice Redesign

Conclusion

Business process management certification matters. Other organizations have experienced the advantages and results that certified process improvement brings. Your organization can too. Contact me, Lee Kuntz, to learn more.

This Year, Plan to Succeed!

February 17, 2021 | 1:17 pm

Use Process Improvement to Transform Outcomes.

Is your organization planning and budgeting for the next fiscal year? Are you tired of fighting the same pain points year after year, such as overwhelming workloads, demands for better or faster results, or challenges to maximize costly technology? During this year’s budgeting and planning season, consider investing in process transformation to recapture capacity and solve pain points.

Create a Plan that Succeeds

This is planning and budgeting season for about 30% of the organizations I know. Even with today’s unusual times, many are creating concrete plans and budgets to solve their pain points in 2021. If they do not, organizations will experience the same old pain and frustration in 2021.

Organizations that help and serve others are recapturing hundreds—even thousands—of hours of capacity. They are serving their customers, community, board, funders, and donors in half the time. They are retaining employees. Their secret? Investing to transform processes and results.

Most of us have done process improvement. We have tweaked processes and resolved breaks. Some organizations are taking their improvement work to a transformational level. They are cutting their work steps in half and delivering to their key partners in fraction the time. They are freeing up thousands of staff hours that can be used for other purposes

These organizations budget for an investment in process transformation training and coaching during in their annual plan. Here are the results they are achieving.
•    Recapturing over 4,000 work hours.
•    Sharing services across functions.
•    Maximizing expensive technology.
•    Remaining error-free for 3 years.
•    Delivering to customers in half the time.

Does it work? In a survey of process redesign results, our customer cut their process work steps by 52%, improving quality and speed while recapturing time. Figure 1 illustrates the before and after steps of several organization’s redesigned processes.

Figure 1: Process Change with Process Transformation

In addition to achieving this enviable result, these leaders are committed to building a culture of ongoing improvement. They can easily fix and improve any process and result because they have learned the tools to see and solve transformation opportunities. Their employees are fully invested in the process transformation game because they have been involved as stakeholders since the inception of the training.

 Invest in Building Process Improvement Muscle

Leaders are bringing the story of process transformation to their organizations’ annual planning discussions. Yet a common question is: What does the initial investment consist of?

The initial investment in transformational process improvement includes two components: dedicated staff time for learning and implementing new approaches and out-of-pocket costs for training and coaching.

A typical employee will spend between 5 and 40 hours annually doing successful process transformation.

The out-of-pocket cost of the training and coaching depends upon the amount, level, and number of hours needed. Our training to help teams think and act differently includes our live online or onsite 4-hour Concepts and our 4-hour Tools think differently process transformation training. After the training, we coach your team either onsite or live online to use their new process skills to dramatically improve a key process. Contact me to learn more about training and coaching options.

Plan to Solve Pain Points in the Coming Year

Organizations that train their employees in process transformation find that work gets done faster and with fewer errors. The time saved leads to better service to the organizations’ customers and community, and greater job satisfaction among employees. You can, too! Contact me, Lee Kuntz, to learn more about how your organization can plan to solve pain points and thrive.

Webinar: Not Just Plug and Play – February 18, 2021; 2 – 3 pm CT; Free

February 4, 2021 | 8:50 am

Webinar back by popular demand: Upgrading software? Maximize your investment with process reimaging.

When a foundation updates its software system, the purchase typically requires years of research and a financial investment that can run well into six figures. So, it’s important to make the most of that purchase. The most effective way to do that is to use system upgrades as an opportunity to reexamine internal processes.

In this live no-cost webinar, learn the best practices for integrating the business processes into new system implementation. Attendee Feedback: “We learned a lot from this webinar.”

Register in advance for this webinar here:  Registration Link.

To learn about these best practices, check out these articles:  Address Our Humanity in New Software Installation  and  How to Reimage Business Processes for Software Implementation Success.  And contact  Lee Kuntz  to share your new software implementation challenges.

Hybrid Learning: Not Just for Kids Anymore!

January 14, 2021 | 8:57 am

Because of the pandemic, many of our children are living with hybrid learning models. This enables them to continue acquiring skills and knowledge instead of falling behind while schools are closed.

Now foundations and other nonprofit organizations can also stay ahead of the curve. Our process evaluation and transformation services are now available in hybrid format. This allows employees to join the sessions from wherever they are and participate fully in the process transformation training and process deep dive.

No employees want to be subjected to boring, online, recorded sessions where they just sit and listen to what someone has to say. Instead, we maximize various technologies to promote employee engagement in process transformation. We collaborate with those who actually execute various processes to find ways to increase efficiency and impact. Also, our joint creation tools enable attendees to both follow the conversation and review what was mapped already to ask questions and make good points in real time.

I really appreciated a recent client saying, “Lee works well in both in-person and virtual environments and is well equipped to ensure staff are involved, heard and feel valued.”

Learn more at: IPD Process Transformation Services Now Available in Virtual, in-Person, and Hybrid Formats.

Contact me to learn more about how our process evaluation and transformation hybrid events yield recaptured capacity, more equitable grant application evaluation, and better services to the community. Foundations and other nonprofits have achieved these results. You can too.

IPD Process Transformation Services Now Available in Virtual, in-Person, and Hybrid Formats

December 11, 2020 | 8:18 am

The pandemic has caused disruption to many organizations. The top priority for every organization has been finding ways to operate safely. Some also seek the capacity to do even more: more emergency assistance for their community; more internal and external social justice work; more services to donors. And they need to accomplish these goals in a safe, employee-friendly way.

To address these needs, we now deliver process transformation services virtually, in-person, or in a hybrid format.

What is Process Transformation?

Process transformation, unlike process improvement, goes beyond tweaking work steps. It entails a total overhaul to the way work is done. Some consultants  produce rudimentary improvement, but a certified process specialist identifies approaches and provides tools to recapture significant capacity. Innovation Process Design (IPD) is certified in proven operations improvement methodologies, including Lean Operations, Six Sigma, and Human Centered Design. We know how to tailor our approach to each organization’s unique mission and circumstances.

As a result, over the last twenty years, clients who have engaged our Think Differently Process Transformation™ services have achieved dramatic reductions in work steps in key areas, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Impact of Process Transformation

By reducing and improving work steps, nonprofits recaptured significant amounts of time, which they invested in new programs that have increased their community impact. Board meetings are more productive and require a fraction of the preparation time that had been invested before. Payments are made without delay, better supporting grantees’ needs. Donor gifts are confirmed in a faster and more efficient manner. Learn more about organizations’ process transformation results here: Process Improvement Case Studies.

Available Channels for Transforming Processes

In order for process transformation to be successful, staff members must be actively and safely engaged. IPD has had years of experience conducting transformation events in a variety of settings: in-person, virtual, and through a combination of the two. Our prior experience made it an easy transition to offer our clients three ways to engage in process transformation. The advantages of each option are detailed in Figure 2.

Figure 2: IPD Services Channels

Advantages of Different Channels

Engaging in an in-person deep dive to transform processes is a powerful experience. Yet this face-to-face experience requires committing staff to several full, consecutive days of in-person meetings. Since all-staff in-person meetings are highly unlikely for several months, waiting for in-person services will delay the time the team has to implement their newly designed processes and as a result, delay the benefits of process transformation.

Virtual meetings offer an alternative to full, consecutive day meetings, as three-hour transformation sessions can occur over several weeks. Spreading out this time works well for many organizations’ daily workflow. In addition, there is no travel time or travel cost for a virtual event, lowering the overall event cost compared to in-person meetings by around $2,000. Employees appreciate being able to continue to safely work at home, and the transformation initiative can start any time the organization is ready.

Our hybrid service channel provides the team options regarding who attends from which location. Our transformation trainer and coach, Lee Kuntz, can be at your site or at the IPD office. Your staff can attend in-person or from anywhere they have internet access.

Since work location is becoming more fluid, the hybrid model is likely here to stay. The benefits of the hybrid model, depending on how each organization configures it, include many from both the in-person and virtual channels.

Having these channels available to forward thinking foundations and other nonprofits means employees, whereever they are located, can safely and effectively transform their processes and results.

Taking the Next Step

Many leaders see that their community needs more help. Yet key to taking on this new work is increasing capacity. The good news is that leaders can begin their process transformation journey virtually, in-person, or in a hybrid fashion. Through a safe, flexible, and customized approach, organizations can start realizing the many benefits of process transformation without delay.

About Lee Kuntz

As founder and president of Innovation Process Design Inc., Lee has spent two decades using process improvement to solve the unique challenges facing leaders of complex service institutions. Through expert training and coaching, she helps teams look at their work with new eyes, transform how work gets done, and create real results. Learn more about Lee and how she helps organizations at improveprocess.net.

CAP Agencies Transform Operations to Deliver More to Families

December 3, 2020 | 11:37 am

Community action programs (CAP agencies) are the last local line of defense for families in need. They feed and heat our neighbors. They step in to ready young children, who would other wise be left behind, for school success.

Some CAP agencies want to do more. Therefore, they are building their team’s process muscles. Then they are taking a deep dive into their operations processes to better meet community needs. Their outcomes are recapturing and reinvesting work time and better meeting state mandates. Learn the innovation happening at one CAP agency from our presentation at the Minncap Annual Conference.

MinnCAP Presentation: Recapture Significant Time and Deliver More

Streamline Through Effective, Paperless, Electronic Payments

January 14, 2021 | 1:27 pm

Did the pandemic impact your grant payments? Are employees moving paper from location to location to get checks out? Are they working extra-long hours? Does it take more time to get checks out? What feedback is your organization getting from grantees and vendors about paper checks?

One organization looked into their busy season and decided to proactively take action to help employees and the community thrive. Here is their story:
Streamline Through Effective, Paperless, Electronic Payments Case Study.

Process Transformation Coaching and Training Create Capacity To Foster Racial Equity

October 22, 2020 | 12:52 pm

Many philanthropic organizations look to increase their focus on racial equity. Yet, how will they find the capacity to do this work?  Capacity to bring in more funds? Run another educational program? Take on added back office work to accommodate these efforts? Some are adding staff and expenses. Others are working to cut existing programs. Another set of grantmakers are finding their capacity by transforming their processes, recapturing hundreds—even thousands—of hours. A key driver of these impressive outcomes? Process transformation tool training and expert coaching.

Solving the Capacity Constraint

Process transformation is an advanced deep dive into processes to uncover and solve inefficiencies and ineffectiveness. For example, a nonprofit organization’s goal was to educate minority, non-English speaking minority home seekers on how to purchase a home. Before they received this education, home seekers were onboarded through a complex process that took 90 days. Since homes in their price range were being snapped up quickly, those stuck in the onboarding process did not get the help they needed in time to buy their desired home. Also, this long, complicated onboarding process consumed tons of nonprofit labor hours, which limited the number of community members the nonprofit could serve.

This nonprofit team solved their challenges by conducting a process transformation event on their onboarding processes. With the help of process transformation coaching and training, this team significantly redesigned onboarding, decreasing turnaround time from 90 days to a stunning 7 to 20 days. The nonprofit also recaptured time, which they redirected to educating more community members. Due to their process transformation coaching and training journey, this organization now makes a bigger racial equity impact by enabling more minorities in their community to buy a home.

New Process Transformation Tools Require Training

Process transformation uses more advanced techniques than traditional process improvement, including identifying waste and establishing fact-based quality management. Many of the process transformation tools come from the Lean operations, Six Sigma, and Human Centered Design methodologies.

Given that many process transformation approaches are new to users, they need training to use these powerful tools successfully. Whether the training is face-to-face or online, attendees of our training both learn to use the approaches and accept the need for improvement in their own work. Organizations say this training readies employees to engage in change (human change management) and improves the organization’s outcomes.

Expert Coaching to Success

As with any tool, process transformation tools are effective only when they are used the right way. It takes practice to know how to get the most out of these methods. For example, my Six Sigma Black Belt certification required me to submit two successful projects that effectively utilized Six Sigma principles. This requirement acknowledges that such tools are learned and tested only through practice. Also, many certification programs require applicants to work under the direction of an experienced, certified coach to help them be successful.

We provide coaching to all the teams we work with to show how process transformation can work in their own unique situation. The benefits of this coaching are twofold. First, coaching builds process skills and muscles. Teams need confirmation that they are using a given tool the right way, and they gain confidence through supervised use.

Second, our experienced process transformation coach ensures that teams maximize their results. Years of practice brings a level of expertise about which tool to use and when and how to use it. For example, when should quality management tools be used? When should the team push harder to find wasted steps? When is the team basing its approach on assumptions rather than facts? On average, teams we have trained and coached have improved process outcomes by 52%. That means a process of 100 steps can be streamlined to consist of about 50 steps, with the resulting time recapture.

First Step to Increase Focus on Racial Equity: Create Capacity

Philanthropic organizations who look to increase their commitment to racial equity can increase their capacity for this important work through process transformation. Grantmakers who transform DAF grants, gifts, or other critical processes can recapture a thousand or more hours hundreds of hours without doing additional hiring or stopping the programs they were already doing. You can too. Contact Lee to identify your goals and challenges and to formulate a process transformation plan that will recapture your team’s capacity.

Philanthropic and Nonprofit Organizations Find Their Process Transformation Opportunities

October 15, 2020 | 1:55 pm

I was delighted this week to speak to about 100 nonprofit and philanthropic leaders about transforming processes to better serve their communities! Thank you to the Nonprofit Financial Group for sharing this virtual learning conference and to my co-speakers Megan Genest Tarnow and Vickie Viaene. So glad we partnered to invest in our communities!

Recorded Sessions

 

Nonprofit attendees: As a process improvement coach, I hope you take action on one of the ideas you generated during this session. Other organizations have recaptured time and now deliver more impact in their community by transforming how work is done. You can too!

Not Just Plug and Play Free Webinar; Sept 24, 2020; 2 – 3 pm CT

September 8, 2020 | 2:21 pm

Webinar back by popular demand: Upgrading software? Maximize your investment with process reimaging

When an organization updates its software system, the purchase typically requires years of research and a financial investment that can run well into six figures. So, it’s important to make the most of that purchase. The most effective way to do that is to use system upgrades as an opportunity to reexamine internal processes.

In this live, no cost webinar, learn the best practices for integrating the business processes into new system implementation. Attendees at this webinar said it was: “Valuable” and “I leaned a bunch.” Register in advance for this webinar here: Webinar Registration Link.

To learn about these best practices, check out these articles: Address Our Humanity in New Software Installation and How to Reimage Business Processes for Software Implementation Success. And contact Lee Kuntz to share your new software implementation challenges.

Contact Lee today to discuss your challenge.