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When to Revisit Your Company's Continuous Improvement Model

By Roger Price - November 4, 2014

Review Continuous Improvement ModelContinuous improvement (CI) is a perpetual process (as the name indicates) that should be integrated into your company's daily workflow. Every employee should have a clear understanding of their improvement actions, how to achieve them, and the expected completion date. The organization also needs a system for tracking progress and measuring success.

However, although CI is a perpetual process, the organization can still benefit from formally pulling up from time to time to revisit its current approach with an eye toward evolving it to meet the ever changing needs of the business.

When to Revisit Your CI Model

While every company approaches CI a little differently, consider these general review guidelines to stay on track:

  • Annual Learning Review  - Around the same time that you work through your formal strategy deployment process, include a formal review of your current approach to CI.  Questions to consider during this review include:

    • Did we deliver the expected business results through CI over the past 12 months?  If not, why and what needs to change moving forward?

    • What are the business objectives in the coming year that CI can help the business to achieve?

    • Are we properly resourced at all levels to execute what the business requires in the coming 12 months?

    • What is the perception of CI across the organization?  Are we winning the “hearts and minds” of the workforce?  If not, what needs to happen going forward to better infuse CI into the DNA of the organization?

  • Quarterly Progress Review - Set up quarterly activity-based and outcomes-based goals for CI, and arrange a standard time each quarter to review your performance against those goals with the team and, if needed, adjust the plan for the following quarter to stay on track.  Different from the annual learning review, the focus for the quarterly progress review is on execution.  

  • Periodic Milestone Review - Whenever you achieve a major milestone, such as executing a series of CI deployments across multiple locations or reaching a certain level of operational maturity, take the time to meet with the people involved to congratulate them on the achievement, review lessons learned, challenges, successes, and any other information that can help you improve your CI approach. This is also a good time to confirm a set of  new milestones to pursue.

One of the best ways to manage CI both in-between and during these formal review sessions is with a CI management platform that allows you to view and analyze the status of all CI activity across the enterprise.  Phase 5 Group’s EON software is specifically designed to do just that.  You can set strategic objectives at all levels, manage your improvement project pipeline, and track the operational maturity profile of the organization .  Additionally, EON effectively serves as each employee’s personal CI action management tool allowing users to create, assign, schedule, and manage improvement activity.  EON helps companies to accelerate the value capture from CI and minimize the risk of momentum loss or regression.  Long story made short, companies that use EON are less likely to walk into an annual CI learning review asking, “where did we go wrong?” and more likely to ask, “how do we build upon the tremendous value that CI has brought the business?”.

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