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Course ID: 252439

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Managing Customer-Driven Process Improvement

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Letting customer needs drive your process improvement efforts can increase the chances that your product or service will be favored by customers – the most important stakeholders in your business. Customer satisfaction is critical to the survival of any business. And organizations that focus on improving processes so that they can produce what customers want and need are likely to be more successful than those that don't. Customer feedback, whether direct or indirect, gives an organization an opportunity to analyze its operations and processes to find ways to satisfy customers better and to develop a competitive advantage. This course describes these and other benefits and outlines a six-step framework for customer-focused improvement activities, which include identifying customer needs, translating those needs into process requirements, and implementing and sustaining improvements. This course also describes ways an organization can prepare to be successful at carrying out these activities by, for example, continually cultivating a mind-set that recognizes the importance of the customer.
  • describe key ideas about customer-driven process improvement
  • identify the myths associated with process improvement
  • recognize the benefits of pursuing customer-driven process improvements in your organization
  • sequence examples of the stages in the framework for customer-driven process improvement
  • assess the effectiveness of an organization's preparation for customer-driven process improvement efforts in a given scenario
Rapid change and intense competition mean that organizations have to establish and maintain a clear, consistent understanding of their customers' requirements, and then meet those requirements on an ongoing basis. Information about what customers need should drive strategy and core process improvements. But the first step in any customer-driven process improvement initiative is determining customer requirements. This course describes a process for doing this. It explains how to define your customers in a way that focuses on which customer voices matter the most as an input to a process improvement initiative. It also describes how to gather high quality information about customers by using tools such as surveys, focus groups, and interviews. And it explains how to analyze customer data effectively using the Kano model.
  • distinguish between the different approaches to segmenting customers
  • determine the most appropriate customer data-gathering tool for a given situation
  • assess whether customer data has been analyzed effectively in a given scenario
Mapping and measuring your current processes, especially those that are most critical to customers, are important steps in improving them. Mapping a process helps you visualize it - enhancing your understanding of the variables that make it work. The map you create can then be used to measure different parts of the process, assessing their efficiency. This course describes the tools you need to map and measure processes effectively. It demonstrates how to create a process map and outlines steps for measuring your current processes.
  • determine whether a SIPOC diagram has been built correctly for a given scenario
  • distinguish between different types of process maps
  • recognize how to draw a process map
  • recognize examples of the steps in the process for implementing measures for current processes
Analyzing and understanding voice of the customer data is an important first step in managing customer-driven process improvement. This data reveals important information about customers' needs, perceptions, and attitudes. But what do you do with the insights you gain from it? Translating the voice of the customer into measurable process requirements is the next step. It means taking those initial insights and digging deeper so that you can turn customer needs into process goals. This course shows you how to do this. It describes what critical to quality (CTQ) customer requirements are and how to use CTQ analysis to express customer requirements as meaningful, measurable, and actionable process characteristics. It then outlines the steps for doing a quality function deployment analysis, which helps you translate the voice of customer data into internal specifications for products and processes.
  • identify effective examples of critical to quality customer requirements
  • evaluate the effectiveness of a CTQ tree in a given scenario
  • describe the priorities and relationships in a completed QFD analysis for a given scenario
  • match components of a House of Quality to their descriptions
One of the stages in customer-driven process improvement is identifying problem areas in current processes. It's vital to find out why something has gone wrong in a process, especially if it affects the organization's ability to meet customers' requirements. By identifying problems and unearthing their causes, you can pinpoint the changes necessary for resolving the problem and improving the process. This course describes how to identify process problems by doing a gap analysis. It also explains the importance of analyzing the causes of process problems. And it shows how to use a cause-and-effect diagram, as well as the 5 Whys tool, to do this type of analysis. Finally, it outlines how to validate the causes you identify.
  • recognize examples of the steps in gap analysis
  • determine the most effective cause-and-effect diagram for a given scenario
  • assess how well the 5 Whys tool has been used to determine the root cause of a problem in a given scenario
  • match descriptions to the type of statistical analysis used for validating possible process problems
After investigating current processes, it's time to find improvement solutions. You need to ask what actions or ideas will help address the root cause of any problems uncovered. Which of these ideas make up workable potential solutions? Which solution will most likely fix the issue with the least cost and disruption? How do you test a chosen solution to ensure its effectiveness? This course addresses such questions. It outlines ways to generate ideas for improving a process. It explains how to refine those ideas and select the best idea by using a solution matrix. It also describes how to calculate the risk of your given solution by using failure modes and effects analysis.
  • distinguish between different improvement solutions you may use to make processes better
  • assess the effectiveness of a brainstorming session to generate process improvement ideas, in a given scenario
  • describe ways to refine ideas for improving processes
  • sequence the steps in creating a solution matrix
  • use FMEA to determine potential risks of an improvement solution in a given scenario
The final stage in customer-driven process improvement is implementing the changes that will enable a process to deliver what customers need. After determining customer requirements, measuring and analyzing current processes, and determining process problems and potential solutions, it's now time to take action. The energy that often accompanies this stage can make the planning, piloting, and troubleshooting of the implementation easier. This course describes how to channel that energy to create a well-thought-out implementation plan. It outlines actions that help make the implementation run smoothly and describes techniques for maintaining process improvements over a longer period of time.
  • sequence examples of the steps in creating a test plan
  • recognize how to develop an effective process improvement implementation plan
  • identify examples of useful actions to take when implementing process improvements
  • describe ways to maintain process improvements

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