A successful business must change with the times. Customer bases can change throughout the years, technology changes and social trends change. Businesses that want to withstand these tests will want to improve upon their company as needed. Keeping this in mind, it’s imperative to know when is the time for change, and what the best method for change is. Taking the proper steps can be the difference between success and failure.
Business Process Improvement (BPI) is a method in which many companies improve upon their business when improvement is needed. Business Process Improvement is a systematic method of helping organizations to achieve more efficient results within the business model. The method was first documented by H. James Harrington in the book “Business Process Improvement” in 1991. BPI reduces the cost to run a business and the cycle time by as much as 90% and improves overall quality of the business by over 60%. The method works for any type of business, be it a for profit organization, non-profit organization or some other type of business. It was the first methodology that address the service and support process of the business and was developed at IBM at the request of the president, John F. Akers.

BPI works by deciding what the organization’s goals and purposes are. This basically means that the company decides who they are, what it is they do and why they want to do it. They must also determine whom their customer base is and how that customer base might change over time. After gathering the information, the company makes a strategic plan to meet its business goals. The methodology is used to implement radical change rather than gradual changes over time and employs many principles of project management.

When using this method, it is important to define what the company’s existing structure is, its current processes and what changes are imperative. Clear timelines with well-defined goals must be kept in order for the method to work. It is also important that the company’s resources not be spread too thinly in order for Business Process Improvement to work.
If a company is on the verge of bankruptcy or otherwise not doing as well as it needs to be, Business Process Improvement is a quicker method to get things back on track as long as the right team is put together to be sure that tasks are done as they should be.