Beginning the Process of Changing the Process

May 20, 2021 |Posted by Brett Simmons | Coaching
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So, you have identified your processes, and they are more visible to your supply chain organization.  Because of your success in increasing process visibility, you have feedback that a process needs to be changed.  A meeting has been scheduled to discuss the request with a department leader.  How should you approach this change?  You want to keep operations flowing, but the modification could potentially be disruptive to your stakeholders. 

Try these three questions to begin the process of changing the process. 

Why do we need this change?

When you have multiple stakeholders, this question can assist in understanding the added value to the organization.  For instance, if the change benefits a single department at the expense of others, you will need to clarify the benefit to the business.  Creating a process map is an excellent way to visualize this.  Software is available to assist in producing different types of maps.   

What will the end result look like? 

The first question gave you a good grasp of why the change is needed.  This question will provide a better understanding of how a change would differ from the current process.  You are also getting a better grasp of the resources a change like this will require.  Develop a future state process map to assess the need for incremental resources. 

Whom will this change affect?

Changing a single process can affect multiple departments.  Accounting, Technology, Operations, and many other teams could all be substantially affected by what one department thinks is a simple adjustment.  Asking this question will allow you to further identify stakeholders and assess whether the customer’s experience will be impacted. 

  

These three questions can be the difference between the success and failure of change management efforts, particularly in supply chain organizations.  They are ineffective, however, if you fail to listen to the responses they generate.  Next time, we’ll look at some techniques to help when listening to others. 

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Brett Simmons

Brett is a Senior Consultant at OUTLAST Consulting LLC, a consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations with strategy, process improvement, and professional development. He graduated from the University of Alabama with his Bachelor of Science in Marketing and received his Master of Science in Supply Chain & Logistics Management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has years of experience in warehousing, transportation, and operations in industries such as Mining, Railroad, and Consumer Packaged Goods.

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