Why Does Process Innovation Matter?

You have probably heard of the popular saying ‘It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you make it.’

People are so focused on the results, caring less about the process through which they arrive at the outcome. Indeed, a change in process is only seen and valued internally but that does not mean it is not important. Businesses, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic, are faced with the challenge of transforming at the speed of light to keep pace with the changing business environment. In this regard, they might be tempted to overlook essential processes that can help them to create a sustainable product which will keep appealing customers.

Now, what does process innovation entail and what are some of these processes?

According to an article by Viima, process innovation combines the skills, technologies and structures that are used to produce products or provide services. It generally refers to the implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method.

Examples of process innovation include new or significantly improved methods and tools of operation, production or supply, skills used to perform the service or new software used in product design and development.

Process innovation is a low-risk type of innovation because it does not change the product but improves the methods of bringing out the product. This, in turn,  significantly reduces production costs.

Is there a risk of focusing on the process to the extent that the results are not obtained? 

Sekayi Fundafunda, in her open innovation letter to stakeholders, writes:

“Now, I must caveat this by stating that there is a need to “process with caution”, taking into account the dangerous possibility of focusing (more) on the process and not so much the outcome – the ‘why’ behind the process. Nonetheless, there is certainly a place for the process, a rigorous process, and that is when we are thinking about the sustainability of a product/service. Building a high-velocity and efficient process will ensure that you can match your objectives with your results.”

There is a reason why companies design processes the way they do, hence, process discipline is essential in helping them to stay competitive.  As you introduce new processes or improve the already existing ones, ensure that you effectively communicate with your employees why you do what you do. Establish platforms that contain clear information on the critical processes so that your employees can reference them as needed. 

Setting up the most innovative processes helps you stay up to speed with your innovation strategy and also helps you to set the direction for your industry before your competitors do. The idea is to get there but get there in the right way.

We are open to discussions on how we can help you to set up rigorous processes to enhance your process innovation strategy. Consult with us today.