Streamlining Government: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen OMB's Approach to Improving Efficiency Page: 44 of 73
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Process Improvement Process improvement methods can increase product quality and decrease
Methods and Technology costs, resulting in improved efficiency.69 Process improvement methods
Improvements Can can involve examining processes and systems to identify and correct
Increase Efficiency costly errors, bottlenecks, or duplicative processes while maintaining or
improving the quality of outputs.
There are numerous process methods that use different tools and
techniques. For example, Six Sigma is a data-driven approach based on the
idea of eliminating defects and errors that contribute to losses of time,
money, opportunities, or business. The main idea behind Six Sigma is to
measure the defects in a process and then devise solutions to eliminate
them, helping an organization approach a high quality level. Another
method is Business Process Reengineering (BPR), which redesigns the
way work is done to better support the organization's mission and reduce
costs. Reengineering starts with a high-level assessment of the
organization's mission, strategic goals, and customers. As a result of the
strategic assessment, BPR identifies, analyzes, and redesigns an
organization's core business processes with the aim of achieving dramatic
improvements in critical performance measures, such as cost, quality,
service, and speed.
A 2009 study conducted by the American Productivity and Quality Center
(APQC)70 identified a variety of methods, including Six Sigma and
Business Process Re-engineering, which have been used by organizations
to focus on process improvement.7' The study included a survey of 281
small-to-large-sized enterprises with annual gross revenue of $4.2 trillion
to identify current process-focused practices and learn about process
effectiveness. Survey respondents identified various efficiency related
improvements resulting from their process improvement approaches, such
as streamlined processes, improved customer satisfaction, quality
improvements, and improved decision making.
69GAO, DOD Information Technology: Software and Systems Process Improvement
Programs vary in Use of Best Practices, GAO-01-116 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 30, 2001).
70APQC is a nonprofit worldwide leader in process and performance improvement with
members from government, nongovernment, and business organizations.
71APQC, Operating Tactics in Tough Times: Reduce Costs and Retain Customers -
Business Process Management Research (Houston, TX: Aug. 11, 2009). Some of the other
methodologies covered in the report include Baldrige National Quality Program, Kaizen,
ISO 9001, and LEAN.
GAO-10-394 Streamlining Government
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Streamlining Government: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen OMB's Approach to Improving Efficiency, report, May 7, 2010; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302236/m1/44/: accessed May 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.