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Process Improvement

Process Improvement at Kirkwood

As Kirkwood Community College continues to grow and change, our values of respect, diversity, excellence, and responsibility remain constant. To maintain that value of excellence we need to continually be identifying opportunities to examine and improve processes that contribute to such achievement and adapt to the ever changing educational landscape. In doing so, it is important to simultaneously maintain flexibility to ensure new approaches can be incorporated as conditions change and to be user friendly to those who have to work within the system. Institutional Effectiveness recognizes process improvement is a priority with the goal to make processes efficient – minimizing the resources used; to make processes effective – producing the desired results; and to facilitate successful implementation of process improvements.

What is Process Improvement?

Process improvement is a systematic approach used to make incremental and breakthrough improvements in processes. Process improvement can result in a faster, better, more efficient and/or cost-effective way to deliver products, services, and support to customers. By examining a process with the objective of creating efficiencies that optimize the customer's value and experience, the college will gain speed of delivery and reduce risks to quality, thereby improving customer satisfaction.

Examples of process improvement desired outcomes:

  • Identifying and eliminating activities that add cost without adding value
  • Improving the flow of work processes
  • Improving the final product or service
  • Improving decision making based on sound data and reasoning
  • Aligning improvements with the college's mission, vision, and values
  • Creating a culture of continuous improvement

Examples of events that signal a process improvement may be needed:

  • Introduction of new systems, tools, regulations, etc. that impact work
  • Customer expectations are not being met
  • Changes in staff or absorption of additional work requiring more time
  • Employees do not understand the value of tasks being performed
  • Employees are chasing information
  • Work is getting lost or duplicated between department silos

Fulfilling our mission and meeting expectations require the engagement and active participation from all members of the Kirkwood community. You are vital to our success in helping the college fulfill its vision. If you are interested in beginning a process improvement activity, please access and complete the Process Improvement Request using the ‘Request Process Improvement” button. If you wish to gain additional knowledge about our process or want to discuss possibilities for improvement, please contact Greg Hall at