Organizational Excellence

Engage. Simplify. Enable the Mission

Process Improvement

process map


Process Improvement is a managerial approach that holistically incorporates strategy, work processes, people, and technology to improve effectiveness, efficiency, and service delivery.  Outcomes include the development of new processes or steps, improvement of existing processes, or elimination of processes or steps that no longer add value. Process Improvement aims to breakdown the rigid walls that divide functions - "functional silos" so that the processes can be designed to deliver the most value at the least cost.




Balanced Scorecard - A strategic planning  framework that focuses strategic goals on a small number of financial and non-financial data items.

Design Thinking - A methodology that aims to solve complex problems that draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning to created desired outcomes that benefit the end user. It uses the key principles of bias towards action, collaboration, focus on human values and experimentation.

Excellence in Higher Education Guide - offers a comprehensive guide to the processes of review, planning, and continuous improvement for academic, student affairs, administrative, and service units within a college or university—and to do so by adapting the Baldrige framework to higher education in a way that takes account of accrediting standards and terminology.

Journey Mapping - A customer journey map tells the story of the customer’s experience: from initial contact, through the process of engagement and into a long-term relationship.  It encourages people across the organization to consider the user’s feelings, questions and needs.

Lean Six Sigma  - Lean Six Sigma aims to streamline and improve quality and efficiency by eliminating defects and waste, and cutting out unnecessary steps in a process.

PDCA Cycle -  (plan–do–check–act) is an iterative four-step management method used for the control and continual improvement of processes and products.

Process Mapping - a graphical representation of the sequence of activities in a process. Process mapping aims to enhance clarity of the overall process and its steps so that inefficiencies and non-value added activities can be eliminated, and processes may be simplified, streamlined, or improved.

ASQ provides a collection of key quality tools.  These include:

  • Affinity Diagram - organizes a large number of ideas into their natural relationships
  • Cause and Effect Diagram (Fishbone) - identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem
  • Failure Mode Effect Analysis - the step-by-step approach for identifying all possible failures in a process
  • Five Whys and Five Hows - a questioning process designed to drill down into the details of a problem or a solution and peel away the layers of symptoms
  • Force Field Analysis - is based on the assumption that any situation is the result of forces for and against the current state being in equilibrium. Countering the opposing forces and/or increasing the favorable forces will help induce a change.
  • Value Stream Mapping - is a lean-management method for analyzing the current state and designing a future state for the series of events that take a product or service from its beginning through to the customer.


American Society for Quality (ASQ) - professional body for the quality community

Design at Darden - Design Thinking Forum

Lean Six Sigma Institute - professional body for Lean Six Sigma