The Ideal Size of Process Improvement Teams


Size does Matter – in Process Improvement and Process Management

Process Management gets a poor deal in most organisations. It is surprising, as the quality of your processes has a direct bearing on productivity and result. Your set of processes includes all of your operational processes and all of your organisational and leadership processes. For example, it would include your strategic processes, the way you review the business, interact with suppliers, manage data, and more. When you look at an organisation’s structure and size of the departments/functions, it is easy to tell a lot about its health and ability to withstand changes in the market place from the location in the structure of different departments, and their sizes. So my question for you today is: What is the relative size of these functions in your organisation:

  • HR
  • Finance
  • Process Management/Improvement
  • Quality Assurance/Safety

Depending on your business, a Project Office might also be important. These functions should be around the same size – around 2.5% – 3% of headcount for established large businesses. Startups could outsource some of the HR and Finance functions, but Process and Process Improvement is often unique to the business and should have a strong focus in the early stage of business establishment. Trying to retro-fit process is more difficult than building robust processes in the early stages.

As with HR and Finance, what is appropriate for the early stages of a business may not be relevant for larger or more established businesses. Expect to have several refinements of the services and products of these functions as the business evolves.

One final thought – the Vision and Purpose for each of these functions is equally important. If the function is purely transactional, then use a little less headcount percentage. If the expectation is for innovation, forward thinking and strategic input, a little more headcount will help.

Take care, balance life and love your work.


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