Process Improvement

Process Improvement

What is Process Improvement?

What is Process Improvement?

Process improvement, also known as continuous improvement, is a systematic approach that can be used to make incremental and breakthrough improvements in processes.

Process improvement is:

  • an ongoing, evolutionary way to do business
  • a perpetual effort to improve the quality of products, services or processes
  • a methodology focused on identifying and eliminating activities that add cost without adding value, thereby improving the flow of work processes

Process improvement is not:

  • a one-time event
  • focused personally on 'who' is doing the process, but 'how and why' the process is being performed
  • a personal judgmental approach


Lean Sigma is a methodology used when analyzing processes for potential improvements. Lean Sigma relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste; combining lean enterprise and Six Sigma to eliminate the eight kinds of waste:  

  1. Defects
  2. Overproduction
  3. Waiting
  4. Non-value added processing
  5. Transportation
  6. Inventory
  7. Motion
  8. Employee underutilization

lean plus six sigma equals lean sigma





Examples of triggers that process evaluation may be needed

  • Customer expectations are not being met 
  • Survey results reflect dissatisfaction with output and/or service expectations
  • Employees and customers wait a long time for approvals, products, information, or services
  • There is a backlog of work
  • Work is getting lost between department silos
  • Changes in staff; absorption of additional work causes overtime or additional resources to be requested
Our Approach

Our Approach

The Process Improvement team can partner with agencies on small short-term initiatives or large long-term initiatives. We tailor our approach based on the agency’s needs, but generally follow a DMAIC framework and thought process for most engagements. DMAIC is a Lean Sigma framework that steps a team through the improvement journey.

diagram for DMAIC









Process improvement projects require:

  • development of a business case 
  • identification of a supportive sponsor
  • assignment of a team

This type of project hinges on the fact that the improvement team is made up of SMEs and leaders of the process being improved. It is critical that all initiatives have a diverse and collaborative team that has been empowered by the Sponsor to make changes.  

The Process Improvement team works with State agencies and DIT to:

  • Partner with leadership and process owners to improve business processes identified as priorities through the organization’s strategic planning cycle
  • Identify opportunities for standardization of processes throughout the state to reduce duplication and improve performance
  • Train, coach, and mentor subject matter experts (SMEs) and leaders on Lean Sigma (Process Improvement) principles to create a culture of continuous improvement
  • Work with business teams to create and sustain Lean Management Systems to improve overall delivery and performance of strategic goals.

Yellow Belt Training and Certification

The DIT Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt course is a one day class that gives participants an introduction to the Lean Six Sigma process improvement methodology. Participants learn about common Lean Six Sigma concepts and tools that can help make processes more efficient and effective. Some of the tools that are covered in this training are:

  • Process Mapping
  • Value Added vs Non-Value Added Analysis using the 8 wastes
  • Basic Data Charting
  • Cause and Effect Matrix (Fishbone Diagram)
  • 5 Whys
  • Impact / Effort Grid
  • Standard Work
  • 5S

This level of training is typically intended for process Subject Matter Experts, but individuals from all levels of the organization can benefit from this course.

If interested, please search for “DIT Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt” training in LMS. There will be one course scheduled per month.

For more information or to schedule a training session, contact Missy Sawyer.



Process improvement results in a faster, better, more efficient and/or effective way to deliver products, services, and support to customers. By examining a process with the objective of creating efficiencies that optimize the customer's value and experience, the organization will gain speed of delivery and reduce risks to quality, thereby improving customer satisfaction.

Four Most Common Benefits of Process Improvement

  1. Increased customer satisfaction
  2. Improved process transparency
  3. Improved quality and reduced rework
  4. Increased efficiency and decreased cost