in my current projects I would really like to improve the last phase - Control ( from DMAIC) or more popular -Continuous Improvement phase.
Me and my team are always focused to deliver and forget the last phase that is important if we want to keep the changes made stick in and turn into BAU.
What is the best structure you are using in your projects in order to be easily understandable by the stakeholders and followed by the process team?
What is the sequence of actions that is recommended to follow?
Any tips and tricks, templates, graphical representation will be also valuable.
Personally, I feel that sustainable continuous improvement (CI) requires the following thinking and actions:
1. Accept continuous improvement as a "VALUE" of the organization; inculcate it in all
2. CI is an attitude; shape it by linking it with rewards and recognition.
3. Create a buy-in of the people in CI, so that they see in it why they should do it.
4. Do it not through direction but by empowerment/Involvement/suggestions.
5. Develop a shared vision of the organization; and link it with that
6. Identify training need, deliver first-rate training, & measure its effectiveness.
7. Create an environment of continuous learning among all employees8. Create an atmosphere of people care, dignity, positivity, inspiration, and fun
However as per methodology/ structure is concerned then there are following CI tools which are really easy to understand.
Over the years, numerous tools, techniques, and systems have been designed to aid improvement. They are intended to give businesses a framework so that they don’t have to create their own from scratch. This allows them to learn from the best practices of others and leverage what’s been proven to work. However, knowing the difference between processes and terminology can be confusing. With so many options to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your specific business needs? So here is my preferred tool for CI but would also like to name few more:
The PDCA cycle (short for plan, do, check, act) provides you with a systematic approach to testing different ideas and hypotheses. It can help you to implement continuous improvement throughout your organization using a structured framework. If you want to improve business processes, efficiency, or productivity, then the PDCA cycle can help.
The framework gives front line teams a four-step guide for executing incremental improvement practices. It enables them to avoid making the same mistakes repeatedly and is commonly used in lean manufacturing.
However, Some companies follow a slightly modified PDSA cycle, where the S stands for ‘study’ instead of check. It’s very similar to PDCA but involves passively observing instead of proactively checking. The simple format means that PDCA is one of the most easily adopted continuous improvement tools. Everyone in a company can understand and follow the four steps as they’re relatable in a wide variety of job roles, from human resources to R&D. It facilitates continuous process improvement and empowers employees to test ideas on a small scale. Over time, this creates a culture of creativity and innovation which is difficult for your competitors to replicate.
One of the key benefits of PDCA is that it’s easy to understand and remember. The acronym can quickly become a mantra that is repeated and utilized by everyone in the business. Some companies display the process on posters around their buildings while others print it on to mouse mats and coffee mugs. This gives employees a visual reminder and encourages them to adopt it as a consistent part of their work routine. The 4-step process doesn’t require weeks of training to understand either – it can be summarised clearly in a matter of minutes. Managers can then follow-up with staff as they implement it and help them to learn on the go. This approach to coaching means there isn’t a large barrier to implementation in terms of training. Companies can hit the ground running and then tweak it as they go along.
Lastly, Apart from PDCA/PDSA there are few more tools for CI namely:
Gemba Walks, 5 Why’s, Toyota Kata coaching from managers, 3M’s (Muri, Mura, and Muda), and Continuous Imporvement software and I believe all of them are unique in their own existence.