The value of an improvement culture.

Most process people are experts at seeing inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement in business processes, but it is the teams on the ‘shop floor’ – those using the processes every day – that understand what those processes look like in the real world.

They understand the differences between what is designed on paper and what actually happens on a day-to-day basis, so it only makes sense to include them in any process improvement approach.

Process improvement is a team effort.

A Harvard Business Review article entitled ‘How to make sure good ideas don’t get lost in the shuffle’ references the research results of a recent study into process improvement after an Israeli electro-optics company, Elop, radically reinvented their improvement culture.

Previously, those working with processes in the manufacturing and operation spheres were not being heard, and the research team found that in this environment employees become frustrated and their creativity wanes over time. As a result, innovation can stall. Elop set about changing that culture, and the results were dramatic.

By engaging all of their employees in process improvement, Elop discovered that over 80% of their team had ideas to contribute when they were given an appropriate avenue.

The researchers credit an engaged workforce using a transparent, collaborative approach with saving millions and dramatically improving efficiency for the company. It’s research we’ve seen borne out in our own Nintex Promapp case studies.

The fact that Nintex Promapp clients have received more than 95,000 improvement suggestions via our platform indicates that teams respond positively, when given the opportunity to participate in process improvement.

Nintex Promapp’s secret sauce.

Nintex Promapp engages teams in the business of process improvement. Nintex Promapp processes are designed to be clear and easily accessible for everyone across the business, giving those who use them every day the opportunity to weigh in on what works, and what doesn’t.

For example Soar Print, a leading print services company in Auckland, uses Nintex Promapp to drive their continuous improvement program. Nintex Promapp helps them gather and implement 20-30 improvement ideas a month directly from the teams who use the processes. One idea to adjust the shift changeover process recovered 30 minutes of lost production time daily for the company.

A key tool in this culture is Nintex Promapp’s feedback function:

1. It provides a clear path for process users to comment on both its efficiency and effectiveness.

2. The resulting audit trail means that improvement suggestions are both visible and connected to the process in question.


3. Notifications on the process owner and expert’s dashboards ensure suggestions are seen, and the ‘response required͛ option creates a conversation around the improvement idea with those that are in the best position to make changes.


The result: teams are engaged at every level, and improvements take hold.

Respond to feedback.

Rinnai New Zealand have experienced exactly that. They have used Nintex Promapp to shift processes from the manual on the shelf to the forefront of their team’s thinking. Kevin Sherlock, Rinnai’s Quality Assurance Manager says, ‘We might do an internal audit on whether we were following existing processes and how to improve. Reported on paper, that relies on you to remember the changes, and for managers to remember to remind you. Nintex Promapp makes that information available all the time.’

The ability to provide feedback and respond to it in an agile fashion has helped engage staff and embed a culture of improvement, from the board room to the shop floor.

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Welcoming and using feedback well can help your organization foster a culture of continuous improvement and encourage engagement at all levels. Don’t leave your best change agents and most knowledgeable process participants out of the process improvement loop.

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