Business Process Improvement

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General Information

Length and Learning Modes: In person classes: 2 days; Virtual classes: four 3.5 hour sessions; Anytime Learning: four 3.5 hour sessions. Prices depend on the mode chosen. Discounts available for teams and for private offerings.

Perhaps no other skill can yield such immediate results and payback than learning how to improve business processes. This course explores the need for a business process focus, the essential steps for business process improvement, and the critical success factors for making the effort successful. It provides a practical framework for business process improvement and describes many tried and true process improvement concepts and techniques. Lastly, it provides valuable tips and techniques to introduce process changes effectively, to get the most from your process improvement effort. Presented in a methodology-neutral way, participants can easily apply the knowledge and skills to any environment, and use the techniques immediately upon leaving class.


Special Offer
We are dedicated to the skill development of our customers. To support your growth, we encourage you to retake this class as a refresher at no charge (space permitting and travel not included). You are responsible for all materials for any retakes; depending on the time elapsed between classes, it may mean purchasing new materials at a small cost. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a retake.


Experience or training in modeling or mapping business processes. The Watermark Learning course Business Process Modeling satisfies this prerequisite.

Skill Level: Basic

Process analysts, business analysts, project managers, business process owners, general business staff, and anyone who needs the skills to improve and/or manage business processes.

Development Units:
PDUs: 14
CDUs: 14
CEUs: 1.4
Certificate Programs:
  • Certificate in Business Process Management

To help assimilate the tools and techniques learned, there is a mixture of individual and team exercises throughout the course. A lively role-play and case study help reinforce concepts learned. Students will need to be prepared for a high level of participation. Each participant will receive a comprehensive student guide complete with examples and workshop solutions.


Business Process Improvement (BPI) Foundation

  • Discussion: Challenges of Inefficient or “Poor” Processes
  • Challenges of Improving Processes
  • Brief history of Process Improvement Movements
  • The Case for Business Process Improvement
    • Today’s Marketplace – What Has Changed?
    • Current Organizational Realities
  • Three types of Business Activity
  • Formula for Business Process Improvement
  • Discussion: What is the potential Impact of Business Process Improvements? What is the cost of Process Improvements?
  • Business Process Improvement Impact Illustrations
  • Justifying the Cost of Business Process Improvement
  • Cost of Quality Rule
  • Benefits of Business Process Improvement
  • Why Seek Process Standardization
  • Definition: Precision versus Accuracy
  • Continuous Business Process Improvement
  • BPI Critical Success Factors (CSF’s)
  • Exercise
  • Framework for Business Process Management (BPM)
  • The Net Positive Effect of Applying BPM Layers
  • How BPI fits into BPM – Modeling, Analysis, Design, Transformation and Performance Measurement
    • Business Process Modeling Review
    • Business Process Analysis Review
    • Business Process Design Review
    • Business Process Transformation Review
    • Business Process Performance Management Review
  • Common Principles and Steps of Multiple PI Disciplines
  • Introduction to Case Study and Workshop
  • Discussion: What is analysis? What is measurement? How do they contribute to process improvement?
  • The Iterative Nature of Analysis and Metrics
  • Analysis and Metrics Enable Problem Spotting
  • Discussion: Why Measure?
  • Measurement Usage
  • Benefits of measurements
  • Workshop
  • Metrics/Measurements – Key Components (basic definitions, data, variation, data collection plan)
  • Definition of data types – attribute and variable
  • Understanding Variation
    • Sources of Variation
    • Types of Variation
    • Six Sigma Quality
  • Data – Why is it Necessary?
  • Data Collection – What and Why?
    • Three levels of Data Collection
    • Purpose of a Data Collection Plan
    • Existing versus New
    • Why Develop Data Collection Tools
    • General Examples – Checksheets, Sampling
  • Metrics best practices – Balanced Scorecard, Dashboards
  • What do we measure to shed light on process effectiveness?
  • Measurement considerations and techniques
  • Metrics - The Good
  • Metrics – The Bad
  • Workshop
  • An Analysis Analogy
  • A Case for Analysis - Why Analyze?
  • It’s Typically Not a People Problem
  • Three Key areas of Analysis:  Data, Process and Root Cause
  • Analysis Key Concepts
  • Analysis Steps
    • Exploration
    • Generating Hypothesis
    • Verifying Root Cause(s)
  • Analysis Challenges
    • Roller Coaster-like Performance
    • Point of Diminishing Returns
    • Non-Linear Performance
    • Lack of Clarity
    • Hidden Motives
    • Examining Presuppositions
    • Understanding the “Would”, the “Could”, and the “Should”
    • The use of Causation and Correlation
  • Three Lenses: People, Process, or Technology
  • Analysis Tools / Techniques
    • Process Analysis
    • Pareto Analysis
    •  Scatter Diagrams, Run Charts, Histograms “Rolled Throughput Yield” for a Given Process
    • Touch Time versus Elapsed Time for a Given Value Stream (Castle Steps)
  • Workshop

Business Process Design

  • A Case for Design
  • Process Design Principles
    • Power to the People
    • Static versus Dynamic Design
    • Designing Out Ambiguity
    • Lean Techniques Applied
    • One Page Procedures
    • Prototyping
  • Three Objectives of Process Design: Optimize Time, Optimize Quality, and Optimize Process Output Value
  • Time optimization Techniques
  • Exercise
  • Quality Optimization Techniques
  • Exercise
  • Value Optimization Techniques
  • Exercise
  • Common Design Flaws
  • Workshop

Transformation Processes

  • Case Study Discussion
  • Transformation Philosophies
  • Exercise
  • Identify and Address Obstacles
  • Organizational Change Management Curve
  • Motivation – What makes people tick?
  • Change Tools and Methods
  • Results from BPI as Inputs to Projects and Requirements
  • Importance and Components of a Control Plan
  • Consulting Tips: Best Ways to Recommend Change
  • Adapting presentation to audience
  • Workshop

Watermark Learning constantly improves its course offerings to ensure the best training possible and to keep you abreast of the latest industry trends. As a result, this outline is subject to change.

Early Bird Pricing applies to registrations that are paid for by the Early Bird Date. Cannot be combined with any other offer or discount unless Early Bird pricing results in a higher discount. In that case Early Bird pricing will override any lower discount offer.

No bulk discounts are applicable to this item.