Process Improvement with David Upton’s “Four Levels of Involvement”


David Upton formerly from Harvard Business School and now at Oxford University , describes a process improvement approach that he calls the “4 levels of involvement”.

Upton’s four levels are discussed below with the inclusion of a preliminary step I call the ground floor which is sadly forgotten by most people but is critical to the success of an improvement project.

Ground Floor. Establish Process Control.

This step involves recording information on the process settings and outputs and is important for analysing where the process is and what variation is present in it. This is the beginning of process knowledge and takes it up to level 3 of the 8 stages detailed by Barnes i.e. learn to measure key variables.