Intense international competition, together with more knowledgeable and demanding customers, dictates that organizations must strive for ever higher levels of performance in terms of effectiveness (providing appropriate products or services in a timely fashion), efficiency (providing them with low levels of resources) and adaptability (responding rapidly to changing conditions). Processes are sets of activities that transform various inputs (e.g. workskills, capital, materials, energy and information) into desired products and services. Higher levels of performance are achieved by improving or redesigning important processes within the organization.
This talk, using a recently developed framework, will discuss a structured approach to process improvement. The critical role of creative problem solving and comparisons with the philosophy and techniques of operational research (OR) will be emphasized. In particular, what roles do/can OR professionals play in process improvement? Other topics to be covered are