Which of Your Processes are Most Important?

Determining where to focus your improvement efforts can be a challenge, but an important one. That idea was reinforced for me recently by reading about a keynote address given at a healthcare conference.

The address was by Don Berwick, CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, speaking at IHI’s annual National Forum this week in Nashville. (Productivity Press was at the conference. Check out our books on healthcare management.)

Berwick’s address was described in one of my favorite blogs, Life as a Healthcare CIO, written by Dr. John Halamka, CIO of the CareGroup Health System, and also CIO and Dean for Technology at Harvard Medical School. He writes:

Don hypothesized that 80% of healthcare can be reduced to approximately 100 processes. If we focus on perfecting these 100 processes, we're likely to make a major impact. IHI will soon implement an Improvement Map as a next step to the 5 million lives campaign.

That’s an intriguing idea. If true, it probably applies to nearly all organizations and industries, not just healthcare.

Do you agree? Can your business be reduced to 100 (or so) processes? How do you prioritize which processes to perfect?


The Process Ninja said...

I think it's a little bit more complex than that. Because processes interact in such different and complex ways I don't think you can just say "this process is more important than that one". I think it's a good idea to try to prioritise them but it's going to be a real challenge to come up with criteria to judge them! Everyone will have a different opinion depending on their role in the organisation too!

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