Why Process Improvement Is a Moving Target
You may as well come to terms with it now; you will never be rid of process improvement. It isn’t simply something you can hastily check off your to-do list, or consider a completed task.
The very nature and essence of process improvement is that of a moving target. So, what are the primary causes of this perpetual state of change and flux? Several factors come to mind.
The business climate of your industry will constantly be evolving. As mentioned in a previous post, Management in Full Bloom: What Gardening Taught Me About Management, your environment can be unpredictable. So, you must adapt and adjust as change occurs.
While you can be aware environmental changes will occur, it is not always likely you will know exactly when. To combat this uncertainty, put in place specific forecasting actions to prepare and guard yourself for environmental shifts.
We now live in the Digital Age. The technology of today is not the same as it was ten years ago, ten months ago or even, ten hours ago!
It affects our:
- Information gathering
- Research and much more
The biggest mistake you can make with technology is to resist it, especially when the benefits prove to be advantageous to your business. At times, we may all foster a great sense of nostalgia for certain times or ways of life, but don’t let that impede progress.
For example, if a digital reporting system significantly reduces your time commitment to tracking employee progress, embrace the time it gives you to focus on other responsibilities instead of resisting the new tool.
That being said, technology is not a magic wand that will resolve all operational challenges. It can be extremely helpful for streamlining processes and saving money — only if your staff is onboard and trained in how to use it the way it was intended.
It is inevitable your team will shift, grow and ultimately change over the lifetime of your business. Prepare for these changes by creating a vision and set of standards for how your team operates and interacts with one another.
You may consider a weekly team meeting on Monday morning, in preparation for the week ahead. Regardless of new additions or leaving employees, this action will remain constant and add structure to your team dynamic.
Furthermore, you can create a structured monitoring system, where each employee partakes in periodic and scheduled evaluations, both of themselves and of you.
Arrange these reviews at regular intervals. You should track change and progress, as well as create assessments for what is working and what is not.
Finally, creating a vision will impart a core set of values for your business, which will steer your team and their actions. Your vision should be the cumulative ambition of what your organization is trying to achieve. For maximum retention, be specific, yet concise.
You can have the best processes, equipment and technology in place, but if your team isn’t engaged and included in the planning and implementation, your operations will suffer. And of course, you don’t want that since operations is the foundation to an organization’s success!
Learn more about why operations is crucial to organizations of any size or industry in our post, Think Ops. Mgmt. Is Only for Big Manufacturing Businesses? Think Again.
Interested in learning more about how to transform your operations management and be competitive in a global economy?
Learn more at FTPConsulting.com.