Blog Posts Process Analysis

BPI Continuous Improvement Program – Enhance Phase

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

BPI Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) – Enhance Phase


  • A plan to further optimize the newly-implemented business processes (resulting from the BPI program) and to foster a corporate culture that strives for continuous improvement over the long term. These plans are implemented through small, specialized Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) teams that are established to solve specific problems within very short time-frames (e.g. 7 to 14 days).    

Client Value

  • The development of a Continuous Improvement Plan is indispensable for maintaining and     building upon the gains achieved through the BPI effort. A solid CIP plan ensures that employees are trained in and become accustomed to continuous change programs.
  • A high percentage of performance improvement projects fail during implementation. Planning beyond implementation ensures that the momentum for improvement and change remains high. The establishment of CIP teams can motivate in particular those employees who were not directly involved in the BPI redesign effort.        
  • Without planning for ongoing improvement, the performance of the newly-redesigned processes will not be maximized and will deteriorate over time, reducing the overall gains of the BPI initiative.


Shortly after implementation of the new process design, several CIP teams are formed (depending on the size and cross-functionality of the process to be improved). Teams consists of three to five members who usually work within a specific part of a given process. Each team is given up to two weeks to uncover further improvement opportunities within their focus area and to identify possible solutions.
  1. Conduct interviews with ‘process owners’ and ‘process workers’ to determine potential focus areas for continuous improvement .
    1. Consider a variety of internal and external sources for identifying opportunities.   
      1. Internal: Performance improvement programs, reported problems, status reports, and results from existing initiatives such as Statistical Process Control (SPC).       
      2. External: Customer surveys, interviews, or focus group.
  2. Draw up the elements of the Continuous Improvement Plan, taking into consideration the following components:
    1. Management leadership, commitment, and participation   
      1. Management must stay abreast of the CIP program (e.g. through updates and feedback at weekly management meetings).           
    2. Employee commitment and involvement       
      1. Employees must to be encouraged to take calculated risks in the name of improving the organization, its products, and its customer service. Stress teamwork and the sharing of knowledge and experience across the organization.   
    3. A mechanism to track continuous improvements and assess progress        
      1. Put in place mechanisms to gather and analyse performance data so that improvements can be quantified/tracked and variances can be compared to ideal performance levels. Train employees to anticipate problems and empower them take corrective actions.   
      2. A system of regular status reporting may include some or all of the following:   
        1. Customer complaints, comments, and compliments       
        2. Evidence of redundant, unnecessary, or non-value added activities   
        3. Excessive costs associated with value added activities suggesting the need for information systems support       
        4. Incoming material quality and timeliness
        5. Quality, availability, and features of machines, equipment and tools   
        6. Skill level deficiencies or lack of labor resources.       
      3. Regardless of the format of the status report, it should contain these features:        
        1. Description of specific problems                
        2. Analysis and synthesis of performance data related to the problem   
        3. Recommended course of action to remedy the problem       
        4. Assignment of accountability/responsibility for ensuring that the recommendation solution is carried through to implementation.   
      4. Appropriate communication           
        1. Provide personnel with the ability to communicate freely with each other. View information as a strategic resource to be shared rather than hoarded.
      5. Time-frame and Cost       
        1. CIP should not drag on in duration beyond two to three weeks because it risks being sidetracked, losing momentum or expanding in scope to a major initiative requiring additional resources and attention.           
      6. Training of CIP teams           
        1. All staff should be provided with CIP training. Consider offering a ‘general awareness’ training package to all staff, supplemented by just-in-time training on CIP principles prior to participation in a CIP team.



  • Identify resources for continuous improvement early. During roll-out of the BPI business solution, management is likely to assign project team members and other resources to full-time positions that may not allow for their participation in CIP initiatives.

Tactics/Helpful Hints

  • Sponsorship is key to maintaining the necessary support of the BPI initiative. Provide up-front introduction and planning for continuous improvement to ensure that sponsorship does not diminish once the BPI roll-out is accomplished.


  • Experience with the development of continuous improvements programs in organizations (e.g. Total Quality Management) is a strong asset for participation in CIP projects.
  • Consider rotating membership in CIP teams through the entire organization to ensure broad participation and support.

Leave a Comment

Get the BPI Web Feed

Using the HTML code below, you can display this Business Process Incubator page content with the current filter and sorting inside your web site for FREE.

Copy/Paste this code in your website html code:

<iframe src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="auto" width="100%" height="700">

Customizing your BPI Web Feed

You can click on the Get the BPI Web Feed link on any of our page to create the best possible feed for your site. Here are a few tips to customize your BPI Web Feed.

Customizing the Content Filter
On any page, you can add filter criteria using the MORE FILTERS interface:

Customizing the Content Filter

Customizing the Content Sorting
Clicking on the sorting options will also change the way your BPI Web Feed will be ordered on your site:

Get the BPI Web Feed

Some integration examples