What is Continuous Improvement and 4 Points you have to know to create a Continuous Improvement Culture.
The 4 requirements to create a Continuous Improvement Culture.
Continuous Improvement is changing for the better.
Do the work, Be the change!
It means new ideas are generated, tested, refined, and implemented by everyone, every day, everywhere.
To create a Continuous Improvement Culture, you need:
1) WILL – You have to believe that good enough never is. You need to foster an environment of curiosity … Why? Why not? What if?
2) SKILL – It is about development, and it takes time and effort
3) AUTHORITY – Truly authorize everyone to make improvements. You’re engaged because you feel empowered to drive change.
4) GUIDANCE – It is about boundaries, learning, and development.
Why Continuous Improvement is Important.
As Simon Sinek says in the famous video “Start with Why”, it is crucial to understand the reason for the continuous improvement culture to have all the employees engaged in this journey.
From the company standpoint is important to implement continuous improvement because a company has constantly to make things better.
If we focus on Lean Thinking, a company should continuously remove the seven wastes from its processes to reduce costs and increase profits.
From the manager’s point of view to embrace the continuous improvement culture is really not an option to survive in a long term vision.
let us pass to the employees.
The continuous improvement culture is based on people’s engagement and empowerment.
So, if correctly implemented, this way of improvement should really create a better work atmosphere where people are really committed to improving the processes having personal benefits.
I think that every employee would like to have a clean workplace, achievable daily target, time to think new solutions, apprisal for the work done and tangible rewards.
Is not it?
By the continuous improvement culture, the company will delight the customer with lower prices, high quality, and engaged people.
at the end of the day, there is no reason why continuous improvement should not be implemented in any company.
Benefits for all!
If correctly implemented.
What is Continuous Improvement?
What is Continuous Improvement?
Well, I would like to explain this concept by analyzing the 2 words separately and then mix them up.
Let us start with Continuous.
Continuous means that has to be done now and forever. You cannot imagine performing the Continuous Improvement only in January or only on Friday.
The sense here is that you have to carry out the Continuous Improvement every day. Has the word suggests has to be Continuous.
as for the operation, the quality, the HR, the sourcing, etc.
A permanent staff of professionals has to be 100% dedicated to the improvement, otherwise, it cannot be continuous and the shopfloor easily will slip back to the old habits.
to reach this continuity, the senior management has to be totally committed.
Believe me, there is no chance to be successful if the leadership is not on board.
let us move to the second word, improvement.
Improvement means to be better than before.
For example, I have improved my run time if I have moved from 10 km to 15 km run in 45 minutes!
I have lost my weight from 90 kg to 85 kg with a target of 80 kg.
Please note that to make improvements there are a couple of things to underline as necessary.
First, you need a system to measure what you want to improve.
It is known the famous sentence: “You cannot improve what you do not measure”.
Second, you need a target to reach. My suggestion here is to have a target that is achievable by the team in a reasonable time-frame.
For example, the team has to reduce the defects of the SKU 1234 from 3% to 2% in 2 months. This metric will be updated weekly and monitored daily.
I want to underline that the improvement has not to be huge in one shot.
The key point is to have improvements every day, everywhere made by everyone.
After a constant application of this methodology, you will see incredible results.
This concept of the power of consistency is explained in the book, THE COMPOUND EFFECT by Darren Hardy
Continuous Improvement is often called KAIZEN. KAIZEN is a Japanese word that means KAI = Change, ZEN = Better.
So, I am fine to use one or the other.
It is now time to mix the words and jump to conclusions.
Continuous Improvement is a methodology that aims people to continuously ask themself: “How can I do better in my job?”
The team has to practice in finding the root cause of the problems and implement solutions faster and faster.
It does not happen overnight and a company has to practice for years before labeling as an expert.
There are many tools you can use in the Continuous Improvement Process but do not forget that the most important thing is to involve people, listen and respect them.