How To Write a Process Improvement Plan in 6 Steps (W

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 24, 2022 | Published September 29, 2021

Updated August 24, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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Many organizations use complex processes to conduct their daily operations. Companies can increase efficiency and improve work quality by developing strategies to enhance these processes. Learning more about a process improvement plan and what it includes can help you develop the skills to plan for and communicate operational improvements successfully. 

In this article, we explain what a process improvement plan is, describe why it's important, provide key components and list six steps to create an effective one.

What is a process improvement plan?

A process improvement plan is a strategy businesses create to improve processes for efficient operations. These processes contain specific steps for an intended outcome. Some examples include onboarding new employees or distributing employee payments.

A process improvement plan can be a written strategy for enhancing these processes. These plans can outline important steps, resources, roles and metrics for improving a process. You can use your improvement plan as a guide to implementing a new process successfully.

Related: What Is Strategic Planning? Definition, Techniques and Examples

Why is a process improvement plan important?

Here are some benefits of using process improvement plans:

  • Increased efficiency

  • Streamlined processes

  • Smarter resource use

  • Improved productivity

  • Optimized operations

  • Opportunity to implement feedback from stakeholders like employees and customers

  • Option to organize current process information and store it in one location

  • Ability to monitor processes improvement in the future

Related: Business Efficiency: What It Is and How To Improve It

What to include in a process improvement plan

Each organization can create a unique process improvement plan, but there are some common components of effective plans. They include:

  • The process you're improving: A comprehensive improvement plan can include a description of the organizational process that you're trying to enhance.

  • Team members: The plan can also include the names of people tasked with improving the process. It can also note their specific roles and responsibilities.

  • Resources: You can also list resources important to improving the process, such as your budget. This can help you implement your plan more efficiently.

  • KPIs: Many people include key performance indicators (KPIs) in their plans to help them monitor progress. KPIs can vary for different organizations depending on their goals.

Related: Coming Up With a Business Process (With Tips and Examples)

How to write a process improvement plan

You can follow these six key steps to craft an effective process improvement plan:

1. Choose the process to improve

The first step to creating a process improvement plan is choosing the process you want to improve. Identify a specific characteristic of the process that you're interested in changing. For example, you might want to improve how your organization distributes employee paychecks. You may want to target how employees get their checks on payday. An effective way to determine which processes require improvement is to gather feedback from employees, customers and other stakeholders.

Related: How To Get Essential Feedback From Employees in 4 Steps

2. Create a process improvement team

Another key step to creating your plan is gathering a group of people to serve on the process improvement team. Try to choose people who work directly with the process you're improving. This can help you gain insight into the process and make the best decisions for the people who regularly use it. For example, if you want to improve a customer service procedure, try to include those who work with customers regularly.

Related: Characteristics of Good Teamwork (With Tips)

3. Reflect on your current process

It's also important to reflect on your current process. You can make it easier to study the process by creating a flowchart or another visualization tool. Try to illustrate the steps of the process and how they lead to an outcome. During this step, take notes and analyze any existing data. You can also discuss the efficiency of processes with those who use or implement them. 

4. Identify issues with the process

After analyzing your data, you can identify issues with the current process. Try to identify redundancies or unnecessary steps in the process. You can also search for tasks or steps that you could automate. If you're unsure about any steps in the process, this may indicate it's unclear or overly complicated.

Related: 8 Risk Identification Methods To Discover Your Business Risks

5. Devise a strategy for improving the process

Once you've identified issues with your current process, you can create an improvement plan. During this stage, the planning team can meet to determine solutions to any issues. Try to consider solutions for each shortcoming in the current process. You can put your strategy in writing and revise it before beginning to test it.

Related: 6 Ways To Streamline Business Process and Workflows

6. Test the strategy

Before you implement your process improvement plan on a large scale, test your strategy. You can collect data during the testing process to gauge the effectiveness of the improvement plan. If necessary, you can make additional changes to the plan and test it again. This can help you ensure that you implement the most impactful plan possible.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Strategic Planning

Tips for using a process improvement plan

Here are some tips to optimize your process improvement plan:

Communicate with team members

Communicating with your team and other people in your organization is essential for using a process improvement plan. Make sure to get feedback from multiple people to create a plan that works for the entire organization. This also lets everyone know the process improvement plan and its details.

Related: Guide To Improving Team Communication in the Workplace

Monitor results over time

Another tip is to monitor the results of your plan over time. Try to be patient, as you might not see the results of your plan immediately. You can monitor progress by measuring your results with your key performance indicators. Before implementing a plan, develop a regular schedule to monitor progress and note any required adjustments.

Related: How To Monitor Progress

Try process management software

You can also consider using process management software to help you create processes digitally. Process management software programs can help you standardize processes across your organization. You can also use these programs to automate specific tasks.

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