A few days ago I was teaching a continuous improvement course and I realized that very few companies that apply continuous improvement do not have a methodology for this, much less a plan to address it. In the following article I intend to explain in detail the step by step process to create a continuous improvement plan step by step.
We will be based on a methodology that addresses the creation of a continuous improvement plan in 4 simple steps
- Analysis of possible causes
- Proposal and Planning
- Implementation and Monitoring
Below we will detail the First Step: Analysis of possible Causes
- Identify: Before starting the continuous improvement plan, it is important to know the mission, vision, values and objectives of the company and thereby identify the organization’s processes to improve. I have worked with many companies whose vision is to offer the best customer service and their customer service processes are at the bottom of their list; Let’s learn to identify.
- Analyze: Once we have identified our list of processes, we must learn to prioritize it, my recommendation is that we can put this list of processes in a table and be able to play with the following indicators: difficulty (every process has a difficulty for improvement, we can categorize it into : a lot, a lot, little or none), term (define the period to make the improvement, we can categorize it as: long, medium, short or immediate), impact (define the impact that is had when making the improvement is essential For prioritization we can categorize into: none, a little, quite a bit or a lot)
- Describe: Finally, now that we have a prioritized list, we must learn to describe each of the processes in this list. My recommendation is to use one of the following tools. You can use only one, or generate an exercise with another to be able to compare the results (Tools: Cause-effect diagram, SWOT, Problem tree, The 5 whys, FMEA).
This is our first step to be able to generate a continuous improvement plan, in our next article (Proposal and Planning) we will continue detailing the next 3 steps.
Conclusion: Having a continuous improvement plan will help you have a monetary structure, resource management, time management and, most importantly, have indicators that allow you to identify if the best applied ones worked.