Enterprise mobility

Continuous improvement- The secret of success for any business

We often come across the term “continuous improvement” in a software firm. This principle has trickled down from production processes. It solves the constancy of purpose where preference is given for long term thoughts and considering your organization as a system for continual improvement process.

So, what is continuous improvement?

It helps you identify opportunities for streamlining work and effectively reducing wastage. It gained into prominence with the application of Kaizen in manufacturing companies and is now used widely by all types of companies across the world. It is the relentless pursuit of improving your products, services and processes using Kaizen principles.

How does it work?

Deming Cycle is one of the most popular tools for continuous improvement. It is a 4-step model that works along the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle. This is the clue to successful continuous improvement,

Plan:

Find an opportunity or create a plan for change

Do:

Make the changes in incremental cycles

Check:

Monitor the results and see if your efforts are making a difference

Act:

Was the change successful? Execute it on a wider scale and monitor your results. Go back to planning stage if the change didn’t give the expected results. with constancy of purpose as a fuel.

You can also use Six Sigma, Lean, and Total Quality Management for continuous improvement.

The process of continuous improvement can be followed by three Kaizen paradigms:

Feedback:

Keep evaluating the processes using self reflection and monitoring

Efficiency:

Identify areas of improvement and work towards improving them

Evolution:

Follow the continuous improvement process in a series of incremental steps rather than a big overhaul

It requires a continual improvement process driven by small increments to achieve a goal and an open mindset to learning. Here is how you can use feedback in a safe environment.

Feedback helps in learning:

Feedback helps you to improve, develop and build your brand without any further ado. Your feedbacks would take you to the next level of success if you take it constructively. Every feedback is an opportunity to promote learning between team members, divisions, and teams. Feedback should always be given and taken in a sporting way. With proper feedback, you can get everything done easily. It is going to become easier for you when you are taking up negative feedbacks positively. You need to believe that constructive criticism can take your business to the next level.

Be appreciative of all forms of feedback:

Feedbacks need not necessarily be positive all the time. It can be of negative tone at tones. You need to understand how to take every kind of feedback positively without any second thoughts. Feedback can be offered in different ways. Feedback in all its form is a step towards continuous improvement. From automatic feedback to formal one-on-one sessions, feedback should be the clue to a successful continuous improvement process. When you appreciate positive feedback, you should equally appreciate negative feedbacks to get on to the next level.

Set the expectations:

While you set your expectations, you need to look for ways to achieve it. That would give you an upper hand towards moving on to your goal. You should clearly set your expectations before you set your goal. That would allow you to take more wise decisions without complicating the situation. Giving feedback requires stepping outside the safe boundaries of the workplace. Receiving feedback may also hurt someone’s feelings. We need to find a way for the feedback to transcend the emotional boundaries and comfort zones. Senior employees will need to set behavioural expectations such as work timings and deliverables. Higher management people should embed a transparent work environment. Giving and receiving the feedback will require lowering the defence mechanisms and trusting each other. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself as you set about giving feedback.

– What are the limits for the comfort zone of a person?

– What are my limits and boundaries when I get a feedback?

– How do we convey feedback to someone who’s privileged at the company?

Starting on the path of continual improvement process may require some adjustment but it is a necessary process. Curious to know more about continuous improvement and how it has helped our clients? Write to us at business@pattemdigital.com and we would love to discuss it in depth with you.

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