We think Business Improvement is hugely important – I can make or break any business – all businesses incur costs and have issues that can impact customer satisfaction – business improvement, used correctly, is the smart bomb that will get stuck in and tune your business into a finely honed machine – we think there are 10 basic steps that should be in every improvement executives locker – take a look below:

1. Think smart and reuse

Improvement methodologies like Six Sigma and Lean are popular for a reason they work, there used in loads of diverse industries and provide a proven route to success – spend your time getting to know these frameworks and learn how to implement them in your business – take what others have learn and applied and see how it can be implemented in your business.

2. Involve your audience

Many projects fail because they fail to grasp this simple concept carry out a stakeholder analysis work hard on understanding how your improvement initiative will impact your audience (internal and external stakeholders) and get them involved. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

3 Display your successes (and your failures)

Laser guided business metrics with targets – all published and accessible for the whole business to refer to – don’t be afraid if your way short of your targets – these metrics should drive your improvement

4. Focus on your customer

Your customer is what generates sales – live eat and breath the voice of the customer – do nothing that wouldn’t delight them.

5. Build an improvement roadmap and a business system

Build a strategy of how you will deploy your business improvement initiatives look at where you Are and where you want to be and build a plan to get you there – ensure you have a business system (including robust documented processes) to provide the foundations on which to build on.

6 Benchmark

Another simple one that’s too often overlooked – join a trade association get involved and learn from your peers.

7 Educate and Promote

Skill your workforce – don’t keep business improvement a black art spread it far and wide consider training courses, green belts, regular briefings and targets for each and every employee from the CEO down

8 Leverage Technology

Technology can work wonders from a promotions tool like an intranet to time saving software for mapping processes – take an interest in technology – how are you peers using it – how can you get benefits from it.

9 Value Stream Map your processes

Stage one for any business know your process inside out – use standard flow charts to document your processes and a value stream map to analyze them.

10 Choose your battles wisely

Choose your improvement initiatives wisely remember Pareto 80/20 rule the small numbers drive the results – you won’t be able to tackle everything so target initiatives that will make the biggest difference and have the best chance of success.

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