Small and Large Process Change

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Some process change is big and some change is small…

“I have been watching the sea for half an hour now. The wind has dropped to almost nothing and it seems  that the sea is almost as flat as a mirror. The view of clouds is also more like an oil painting, so still they are.  The seagulls are sitting on rocks and in cliff crevasses – none are in flight. It is only with keen powers of  Observation that I can see the tiniest changes to this scene – the almost imperceptible movement of  cumulonimbus clouds across the sky, the tiniest disturbance of fish just below the water line. Suddenly I hear two voices shouting and see a large speedboat emerge from around the bay bend and noisily cut into  this calm scene. The whole picture is changed.”

It may be that a small change to a process will have a small impact. We sharpen a knife for a few seconds and the
quality of the cut is marginally improved.

It might be that we make a small change to a process and it has a big impact. We add a pinch of salt to a slowly
cooking soup and the taste is radically transformed.

It may be that we make a big change to a process, which only has a small impact. We introduce an entirely new
range of products and only a small increase in sales results.

And it may be that we make a big change to a process, which has a big impact. We radically change the way we
advertise our products moving towards promotion on the Internet and a big increase in sales to new customers results.

So, changes in process can be larger or smaller in scale and have either large or small impacts.

2 Mini Case Examples of Process Change

Steve’s shop sold a range of hardware and software products for computers. In order to improve sales her identified
his best selling software and created a ‘top ten bestseller’ stand near the front of the shop. This had a small impact on
improving sales. He also developed a loyalty scheme providing special offers for customers who spent over a certain
a moment. This had a major impact on boosting sales. Both were small changes that had different impacts.

In the second case poor Sally, owner of a restaurant made a small change to the menu and lost quite a few customers.
She removed the cheaper range of wines and, instead, offered higher quality at a higher price. Disaster! She also
completely redesigned the restaurant, a major change that was a terrible flop. Most regulars preferred the old
atmosphere and didn’t return. New customers simply did not like the choice of designs or colours. “It put me off my
dinner!” said one irate customer. “It looks like a pizza on the walls.”

SMALL and LARGE Process Changes – THINKING ACTIVITY

Think of a process in your life or at work where a small change might make a big impact!

For example: better tea or coffee might lift the mood significantly. Or a small change to a product
design might have a major impact on performance.

There may be at least one small change you could make in your life or your organisation that might have a very large impact.

 


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