Setting up a programme of continuous improvement in your organisation is not easy. It takes a lot of time and effort. But that effort is not necessarily bigger than the effort spent when undertaking a traditional transformation project.
With that in mind, what are the positive results that a focus on continuous improvement can provide for your business?
- Higher success rate: Many transformations fail due to the lack of process focus and because they look too far ahead. Instead of relying on a risky big bang, continuous improvement will allow you to manage one step at a time and adjust where needed.
- Team involvement is increased as continuous improvement efforts are executed by 'all employees' and not by a special taskforce. This results in a positive culture and more fun at work where people feel ownership and are proud of the work they have done.
- If/when you succeed in implementing continuous improvement for one process, you can copy the method to other processes and spread this successful approach through the organisation.
- If a team becomes used to exploring their process and making improvements, using Lean, 6 Sigma, Kaizen methods where applicable, they will become an agile team. In turn, your organisation will become agile and will more easily be able to deal with external changes, new laws, unforeseen situations and special demands from customers, etc.
- Lower costs: When teams are used to continuous improvement as a practice, they will automatically work smarter tomorrow than they did yesterday. Costs will go down as teams learn they can do more with the same group/resources, see less need to replace people that have left, etc.
- Less overhead & management: When teams are used to continuous improvement, they increasingly become able to manage themselves and need less guidance and management.
- Focus on long-lasting instead of quick fixes: Based on continuous improvement principles, teams will learn to look for the root cause of any issue, instead of just looking for a quick fix. As a result, the chance you will run into a recurring problem will be smaller.
- Improved compliance and reduced risk: A continuous improvement team will have greater involvement and ownership of the complete process. With this higher level of involvement and total ownership, your compliance and risk management responsibilities will be more effectively taken care off as well.
- Quicker introduction of new services/products: Your agile teams will take ownership of any new product or service. They are used to being involved in and aware of the bigger picture for your business and this can shorten the time-to-market process.
- Better outsourcing and partnerships: Continuous improvement efforts will bring the associated benefits of Kaizen, Lean, 6 Sigma, etc to your suppliers and partners. Meanwhile, your teams will find it more natural to be involved in this extended process, appreciating their role beyond the walls of your own organisation.
Find out more about continuous improvement
Read a range of real-world examples of how businesses have implemented continuous improvement
Download our whitepaper 'From Kaizen to Six Sigma: What process management style is right for you?' to find out more.
You can also learn about the wide range of products we offer, which are tailored to enhance the ability of our partners to deliver clear benefits through a focus on business process management.