How long does it take to see results from process improvement initiatives?

How Long Does It Take To See Results From Process Improvement Initiatives?

The timeline for seeing results from process improvement initiatives can vary depending on several factors, such as the scope and complexity of your initiative, the resources available, and the level of implementation and adoption.

In some cases, you may see initial improvements within a few weeks or months of implementing process improvements, while in other cases, it may take several months or even years to see significant results. When it comes to process improvements, you shouldn’t look for instant and massive results. Its power lies in the accumulation of small improvements over time. 

You don’t have to wait for months or years to start seeing results

Process improvement comes with different tools and methods, and the approach varies. How you tackle problems will also affect when you see the results of your efforts. With my approach to process improvement for service businesses, we prioritize solving problems that drive ROI in the shortest amount of time. 

We have a simple framework and methodology that’s really effective and proven to help us focus the efforts of our work. I’ve discussed this in my previous blogs about the two components of problem prioritization: Three Qualitative Questions and Five Quantitative Questions

This framework is something you can steal. It’s really powerful. One of the qualitative questions being asked is, “Can the problem be solved in 30 days?” With all of our process improvement initiatives, we focus on solving problems with a 30-day lead time.

Think incremental change instead of big, massive results

Doing process improvements that take longer than a month doesn’t feel good. It’s exhausting. Morale is lost, as no one feels like they’re winning. In process improvement, we focus on incremental change. Things that can be done incrementally. 

If you have one big urgent problem, what we do is break it down so we can make some improvement in 30 days. It’s not going to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be.  In a bigger-picture mindset, what it does is remove perfectionism from people. 

The reason why people don’t fix processes is that they don’t know how to fix them completely, all together at once. They just say to themselves, “Oh, f*ck it. I don’t know what the answer is.” They just give up. What we’re teaching people is how to break process problems down into bite-sized activities. This makes process improvement more manageable and achievable. 

Process improvement creates consistency; building consistency takes time but it’s worth it

What truly makes process improvement effective is being able to deliver consistency throughout the customer experience. You may not readily see huge results right away because the power of the process is when you improve a ton of tiny things, not one big thing. 

Doing massive one-time initiatives in certain areas of your business creates inconsistency from the customer’s perspective. Whereas in process improvement, you’re looking at the entire customer experience and making small, incremental changes to improve processes throughout the customer lifecycle. 

Over time, you get ahead of your competitors. You gain your customers’ loyalty. They trust that you will always deliver your brand’s promise. You start to build this reputation of having the best processes in the business. People will come to you to see what you’re doing. This is how you become a respected leader in the industry.

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In your service,

Hilary Corna

Hilary Corna

Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Founder of the Human Way ™...

Hilary’s favorite title is HUMAN.


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