A process improvement choice model

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

A process improvement choice model

 

Author: Chang, Wai-man Vivian
Title: A process improvement choice model
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1997
Subject: Total quality management
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Pages: iv, 68, [5] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1403634
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/2867
Abstract: Process improvement has been extolled as an effective means for enhancing the quality of an organization. This project attempts to develop a simple yet practical decision aid, the Process Improvement Choice Model (PICM), to assist the decision maker in the choice of an appropriate approach to process improvement. Three popular approaches to process improvement, namely Process Refinement, Process Redesign and Process Reengineering, are diagnosed and studied. The PICM is synthesized from the characteristics of these three process improvement approaches. Two research administrative processes in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University are selected to test the applicability of the PICM. They are admission and registration of research students, and research monitoring, which are two key research-support functions carried out by the Research and Postgraduate Studies Office (RPSO). This project proceeds in four stages, which are: Stage 1: Literature Review; Stage 2: Formulation of the PICM; Stage 3: Testing of the PICM with Real-life Processes; Stage 4: Validation through User Evaluation. After a review of relevant literature on approaches to process improvement, the three popular approaches to process improvement are identified. These approaches differentiate from one another by a number of characteristics. The PICM suggests an approach based on the degree of matching of the characteristics of a target process with those of the ideal process for each of the three approaches. In essence, the Model works on the basis of inviting the decision maker to make an assessment of the target process on four major dimensions and their corresponding factors which collectively describe the process characteristics, the nature of the improvement focus and the anticipated improvement outcome. Each factor is presented on a continuum with the two extremes characterizing the pure and ideal situation for that factor. By subjecting the target process for improvement to each factor suggested in the Model, the decision maker will determine a score on the continuum. This score accounts for his judgement about the degree to which the process is approaching either of the two extremes associated with the factor under consideration. An aggregate score is obtained by adding the individual scores for all factors. The aggregate score expressed as a percentage of the maximum possible score falls in the range 0-100%, which is divided into three equal and mutually exhaustive ranges. A score in the range 0-33.33% indicates that Process Refinement is appropriate; a score in the range 33.34-66.67% suggests Process Redesign; while a score in the range 66.68-100.00% signals Process Reengineering. The PICM is tested using two processes in the RPSO. Validation of the Model is conducted by surveying the opinions of the process users using a structured questionnaire. Relevant users who are knowledgeable about the two research processes are invited to give their views on four aspects related to the process characteristics and process improvement of the two research administrative processes selected for model validation. These aspects are described in a language understandable by the users and are broadly in line with the four dimensions and their corresponding factors incorporated in the PICM. An overall evaluation is made on the completion of the project. The validity of the PICM is assessed and some limitations of the study are highlighted. It is concluded that, in general, the PICM does offer a simple and reliable decision aid to facilitate the decision maker in making an appropriate approach to process improvement. Finally, some areas worth further investigation are suggested as topics for future research.

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