How To Drive Continuous Improvements Of Skills
Change is good for an obvious reason. The continual improvement process in management processes, tools, or other related things improves product services, quality management, business process, and finally, ensures a great customer experience.
However, if you’re wondering how successful are continuous improvement products, services, or processes, let me tell you one thing. Organizations leveraging continuous improvement methodologies observed 60% of their continuous improvement efforts were successful. It ensures employee involvement, improves business culture, and contributes to its success ratio.
Most people often think of continuous improvements as a new methodology. It isn’t a new concept. Curious to know more? Keep reading the article inch-by-inch to discover a few exciting facts.
What Is Continuous Improvement?
CI, also known as Continuous Improvement, is an ongoing process of improving products and services. As said earlier, continuous improvement isn’t a new system. The idea has been taken from a long history. For instance, let’s take an example of a caveman.
The innocent caveman thrives on catching the fast-moving fish from the pond. He puts all his efforts into satiating his hunger. He then identifies the difficulty in catching fish using his hands. So, he seeks an improvement and leverages a stick to catch the fish. Throwing the stick gave him better results. Cavemen attached a stone at the stick end to further improve these hunting prices. Lastly, he involved multiple cavemen in increasing the food and contributed to more success.
If you observe the caveman story, you can identify the improvement culture. Here the order of continuous improvement process includes:
- Problem Identification
- Improvement Plan
- Reviewing & Modification
This incremental improvement over time gave tremendous results. The caveman’s ongoing effort to improve led to human civilization, ensuring a comfy lifestyle. Meanwhile, the businesses or organizations opting for breakthrough improvements enjoy the best results.
Types of Continuous Improvement Skills
There are two significant types of continuous improvements- Incremental and breakthrough continuous improvement processes. Let’s understand them briefly.
Incremental Continuous Improvement Process
It’s a process improvement that allows you to perform quick improvements in the ongoing process. For instance, you’re running a service and noticed a loophole or minor error. Now, fixing the error in the actual process to prevent further mistakes is known as an incremental continuous improvement process. This improvement process helps you avoid the same mistakes as before.
Breakthrough Continuous Improvement Process
Unlike incremental continuous improvement, this allows you to perform changes strategically. The breakthrough process initially identifies the improvement area and plans for its strategic execution. This is usually done when the change is substantial and requires team coordination.
Significance of Continuous Improvement Culture
So far, you have understood what is continuous improvement and its types. Now, let’s dwell sometime on understanding the importance of a continuous improvement culture.
Most organizations spend colossal time planning and implementing the processes. Despite spending hours, they receive minimal results. Usually, traditional businesses spend almost six months planning and executing complex projects.
The improvements will be made from project to project rather than day-to-day. This is why the businesses following the traditional improvement process get minimal results despite spending months on the project implementation. For instance, the typical traditional improvement cycle looks like the following.
- Two weeks: Planning for the complicated task or project
- Two to four months: Execution and performing specific actions to get a good yield
- Two weeks: Presenting the project deliverables was a huge success
- Final output: Measure results with tons of improvements
The major reasons for the failure of this system are uncertainty at work, delayed feedback, and learning. Since the employees don’t care about improvements until the project is done, it leads to delayed learning and produces mediocre results.
In contrast, let’s understand the daily or continuous improvement cycle.
- Sunday: Plan, do it, check for improvements, and take action. It’s also known as the PDCA improvement model.
- Monday: Plan-Do-Check-Act
- Tuesday: Plan-Do-Check-Act
- Wednesday: Plan-Do-Check-Act
- Thursday: Plan-Do-Check-Act
- Friday: Plan-Do-Check-Act
- Saturday: Plan-Do-Check-Act
This is one of the scientifically proven approaches to drive massive success. Since each day you plan, execute, analyze, and act upon the project, you get faster feedback and accelerate the learning process. As a result, you get elite results.
Still aren’t convinced about the efficiency of continuous improvement skills? Here’re a few statistics that help you understand more about continuous improvements in the organization.
- 54% of the daily improvements, improved the project or tasks quality.
- 54% of continuous improvements of products or services led to customer and staff satisfaction.
- The regular improvements by staff saved 13% of business money.
- On average, continuous improvement saves one hour a day. It means the total time saved in a year is about 270 hours.
- 1% of daily improvements resulted in 37.8% gains.
- Furthermore, the continuous improvement of skills increased staff engagement by 59% and reduced 50% of learning time.
- The above data clearly quotes the importance of driving continuous improvements in the organization. Whether you run a small business or a Multinational Company, the incorporation of continuous improvements drives incredible results. Want to incorporate how to drive continuous improvement of skills? Yup. Skip to the next section.
How to Drive Continuous Improvements of Skills
Now, let’s deal with how to drive continuous improvement of skills? Although most organizations learn the importance of continuous improvements of skills, only a few enjoy elite results. Do you want to be in that few organizations enjoying greater results than competitors? If yes, it’s essential to realize how to drive continuous improvement of skills.
Want to start a continuous improvement culture at your organization but don’t know where and how to start? Well, if you’re pretty confused about how to incorporate a smooth improvement system practically, here’s a simple example.
Identify the process that’s bringing you negative results. Choose a certain task where you aren’t getting the results you desire. Study and improve it. Make sure you apply continuous improvement processes to drive better results.
Unlike case 1, here, you identify the positive aspects of your business or organization. Choose the process where you can learn the positive impacts of it. After identifying it, apply the same to other areas of your business to enjoy colossal success.
Finally, case 3 primarily concentrates on the challenging aspects of the business. Choose a process where you observe nothing wrong, but it’s pretty challenging to achieve. In this case, you should think of daily improvements to make the process feasible.
One You analyze your business processes or systems, you perhaps understand where to look for the improvements. Now, here comes the question- How to drive continuous improvement of skills?
The only solution to this question is to understand various continuous improvement models. One of the most popular and easiest to apply continuous improvement solutions is PCDA (aka Plan-Do-Check-Act).
Step 1(PLAN): The initial step of this continuous improvement system is to “Plan.” The planning stage clearly defines the team responsibilities and project timelines. In this stage, you’ll identify the problem and explore the best solutions by asking to discuss questions. Usually, the questions in the planning stage look like the following.
- Is there any scope of this process?
- What is the best alternative?
- How do I approach it to get the desired outcomes?
Step 2(DO): You execute the plan and implement the solution in this step. This stage is also best known as the experimentation stage, where you analyze and review the scope of the solution. Make sure you collect data and feedback on the process.
Step 3(CHECK): In step 3, evaluate the results. The crucial questions to ask at this stage is as follows.
- How successful is the approach?
- Did I get any desired outcomes?
- What are the pros and cons of the approach?
- How can I improve it?
If the approach is successful, you can continue to step 4. Or else, consider re-planning the process to get the best outcomes.
Step 4(ACT): This is the final step in the continuous improvement culture. Once you collect the feedback and data from the earlier processes, you can now implement them into a completely new solution that drives great results.
The PDCA, as mentioned earlier, is pretty simple and effective. So, make sure you implement this cycle to draw the best results.
Continuous improvement skills play a crucial role in business success. Whether you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, it’s vital to understand the importance of continuous learning and improvements. From the above discussion, you’ve learned what is continuous improvement, how to drive continuous improvement of skills and its significance.
Since continuous improvements are lucrative, there are several chances to make mistakes. Most people follow a just-do-it mindset and cookie-cutter approach as their competitors are using it. So, make sure you take proper guidance by enrolling in reliable courses. If you’ve no idea where to get started, master the relevant courses that bring you and your organization more remarkable results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Continuous Improvement Skills Work For My Business Model?
Yes. Whether you’ve got an NGO, MNC, startup, small, or micro business, the continuous improvement culture works for all organizations.
What are the benefits of continuous improvement skills?
A few benefits of continuous improvement skills are reduced costs, excellent employee engagement at work, elite results, colossal ROI, and increased productivity.
What are the key factors to consider during the process of continuous improvements?
Whenever you’re starting a continuous improvement approach, here’re a few factors to consider:
- Always start small and grow big.
- Prepare your mindset to overcome failures.
- Understand your KPIs.
- Make sure you align the improvement process with the organization’s vision.