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Unlock the Power of Process Functional Model: Identify Opportunities and Implement Solutions for Business Success

January 16, 2023

Improving processes is essential for any organization looking to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve overall performance. Whether streamlining operations, automating repetitive tasks, or eliminating bottlenecks, there are many ways to improve processes and boost productivity. In today’s fast-paced business environment, organizations that can quickly and effectively adapt to changing market conditions are more likely to succeed. By identifying opportunities for improvement and implementing solutions, businesses can stay ahead of the competition and achieve their goals. This article will explore the benefits of Process Functional Modeling and how it can be used to make strategic and tactical decisions that lead to increased efficiency and profitability for your organization.

process functional modeling

What is a process?

Before we continue any further, let’s try to define what is a process. We can find many definitions out there, and the most common one is: “A process is a series of actions to achieve a result.”

This time, we wanted to give our own a bit more detailed definition of the term process:

A process is a set of sequential actions which convert available resources into a desired product. In other words, a process is a way to increase the value of the available resources. So, the main function of the process is to increase the value. A process can be performed by an instrument, sophisticated equipment, or manufacturing facility, by a single person, a group of people, by a guitar player, a jazz band, or an orchestra. It does not matter what is the process. What matters is that a value is created.

A takeaway: The purpose of a process is the creation of a value.

Process operation

As mentioned above, a process consists of a number of sequential operations. Each operation may be one of the 4 types.

Operation types

Productive operation

It is an operation that results in irreversible changes in an object. Productive operation increases the value of the final product.

Focus your efforts on productive operations during a process design and improvement.  

Providing operation

It is an operation that results in temporary changes. Providing operation increases the cost of the process’s final product but never adds value.

When you are trying to simplify and reduce costs, concentrate on providing operations – simplify or eliminate them completely. Ideally, eliminate all providing operations from the process flow.

Corrective operation

These types of operations exist due to improper performance of productive operations and existing providing operations. A corrective operation may add some value to the product as a complimentary of the productive operation due to a flaw in the productive operation itself.

Analyze corrective operations but do not spend time and money on improving corrective operations. Instead, improve productive operations and eliminate providing operations, then you can safely remove corrective operations.

Metrology operation

It is an operation that results in no changes and no value added to the product. Metrology operations exist due to flaws in productive operations and the existence of providing operations.

Similar to corrective operations, we should aim to remove metrology as much as possible by improving productive operations. Ultimately, it will result in savings of time and money.

The strategy

The classification of process operations into types and an extremely important step in our analysis. Think about it, this step is helping us to define the strategy of how the process may be improved. At this stage, we are able to analyze, visualize and understand how the entire process works. Subsequently, this allows us to make the strategic decision about what operation we should invest in. Without these analyses, organizations end up in a guessing game, trial and error, and compromises.

A takeaway: Classification of process operation into types helps us to make strategic decisions.

The tactics

Once we made a strategic decision of what are we going to improve, it is time to figure out the how. This is the tactical decision on how are we going to improve a specific operation in our long and complex process.

Functional Modeling is the tool that helps us to make tactical decisions by analyzing a single operation that we are targeting. Create the functional model for each operation, define the functional and problem rank of operations, and create the tactical steps for process improvement.

Below is an example of what a functional model might look like in the PRIZ Innovation Hub.

Example of functional model

The platform will automatically calculate the functional and problematic ranks for each operation. One of the more important pieces of information is the functional/problematic ranks ratio. Anything below 2 means that the operation in suboptimal and requires our attention.

sample of process functional model

For more information about process Functional Modeling, you are invited to read: Process Functional Modeling with PRIZ Innovation Hub and  Functional Modelling with PRIZ Innovation Platform,
or watch the recording of our Webinar:  The Art of Functional Modelling with PRIZ Platform.

This is only the beginning of a series of articles related to process analysis. In the next post, we will be presenting a real case study from an industry. Subscribe and follow us to be notified when we publish it.

Contact us with any questions.

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