Virtually all businesses will aim to improve what they do – whether that’s to increase the product being manufactured to improving the service delivered to the customer – for many business improvement is a continuous process it doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) stop.

Business improvement doesn’t just happen and should be seen as a journey that a business takes – there are a number of attributes that can demonstrate this evolution – typically they can be categorized as:

  • Process Basics – such as standard processes – compliance – visual management
  • Process Control – visual controls,
  • Process Flow – Value stream mapping – creation and improvement
  • Process Capability – process improvement, Root cause analysis

So as a journey where should businesses start?

To begin with Process basics should be established, this means workplace organization, implementing standardized processes and performance management – employees should be active participants in this process. Businesses should establish a training plan for their staff (eg. Sixsigma yellow belt) and ensure participation in tasks such as visual management and workplace optimization.

The key thing to remember is that process excellence cannot be achieved in one step – consider a route map or plan which encompasses the different activites set realistic timescales and go for it.

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