When I realized that I was trying to create a process for improving processes, I finally understood why I was having such a difficult time at it. When you're trying to improve a process, you need a process. And if there's a problem with the process that you're trying to improve, most likely your process for improving it will have those same flaws.
Let me try again, with specifics. Let's say that you're in charge of project planning on your team. You want to improve the project planning process. Where do you start? You can brainstorm, and come up with ideas, but how do you rank and sort those ideas? How do you find the valuable ideas among the worthless? This is the same problem I was trying to fix in the project planning process, so it turns out that I have to find the fix to the problem in order to find the fix.
Okay, enough about that. It's a serious problem, but it's sort of boring at the same time. I just need to talk to people that know more than I do, and hope that I don't end up talking to someone that knows less than I do in disguise.
Wait, I have a little more to say. People who should know often come up with this answer: it all depends on who you hire. Hire the right people, and the right process, no matter how messy, will evolve. I suspect it's because when you hire the right people, you don't need a process. The complexity of the entire process can exist in the dark frontal lobe of the collective employees, like giant unarticulated knots, and all of the work happens in these heads without ever being written down or spoken. Then, what happens, is sometime down the road the company finds that it does not know how it succeeded because the group has let in a few dummies and a few of the smart people have left, and everyone is confused and scared. Maybe there's some strange paradox about right people and right process... the two can't exist fully in the other's company. The right people don't like writing everything to disk because it's slow and cumbersome (just like computers work much faster when using RAM than when having to read things from a hard drive), and so the right process drives the right people away and encourages less able people to thrive (since they don't have the process in RAM and will succeed to a limited degree more than they would have without the process). I have a feeling that I've mixed one too many metaphor here. If you're the right person, you'll know this already though, right?