The common mistake many companies make is that once they identify an area of improvement, they attempt to fix it in isolation. The output of one step is the input of another. Dramatically improving a step, only to have the increased volume of output from that step overwhelm the input of the next step just shifts the bottleneck instead of creating overall productivity gains and real optimization. You need to take a balanced approach – don’t change one part without changing a corresponding part. A great example of this is with the marketing and sales demand funnel. Fixing an over-qualification at one of the earlier stages might increase the throughput of that stage. But if the business functions who receive those leads at later stages aren’t prepared to alter business rules and process to accommodate for an increase in volume or lower quality leads, then ultimately later conversion steps, such as turning those leads into closed won deals, will suffer. This will decrease your overall efficiency and revenue as a result!
By sticking to this New Year’s resolution and remaining balanced in your approach, your process improvement strategy can be on its way to actually becoming more efficient. I wish we could apply the same tip to our health and weight loss goals!