Designing a Continuous Improvement Strategy Based on Data
Recently, companies have shifted from reacting to proactively responding to the disruptions COVID-19 created. They’re using these approaches to recover, thrive and move forward:
- Prioritizing people, safety, continuous productivity and improvement
- Reshaping strategy for business continuity – evaluating 2020 business outcomes and readjusting based on reality
- Realigning the organization and delivery teams around the new outcomes and short-term priorities
- Focusing on running the business, strong operations and healthy cash reserves
- Contingency planning for 2020, Q1/Q2 of 2021
Using Data to Make Decisions & Priorities
If you’ve wondered where your starting point should be, baselines provide a benchmark. An “org baseline” is what we refer to as the ability to assess maturity and performance across all of your teams at once to gain insights into your teams’ current state, and identify strengths and areas for improvement.
Org Baseline data helps inform investment decisions and enables you to maximize targeted areas of focus, i.e., talent gaps, coaching, training, etc. Org Baselines give you the ability to quickly assess a large number of teams, identify targeted recommendations for improvement and which obstacles leaders need to help remove. With key insights and access to the AgilityHealth® Growth Portal, teams are enabled to help themselves.
Using data to inform decisions and priorities – especially in times of uncertainty – is crucial, because it helps you focus on the right things, monitor progress, and overcome misleading assumptions. Taking that data to develop an ongoing Continuous Improvement Strategy is key to helping teams optimize their performance.
The Building Blocks for Designing a Continuous Improvement Strategy
The American Society for Quality defines Continuous Improvement as “the ongoing improvement of products, services or processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements. These efforts can seek ‘incremental’ improvement over time or ‘breakthrough’ improvement all at once.”
A continuous improvement strategy begins with asking “What do I want to measure?” and “What do I want to improve at each level of the organization?” You can start by looking at the team level, the team of teams level, and then the organizational level.
A quick overview of the steps:
- Define goals and outcomes for your measurement and continuous improvement program
- Identify teams and organizations in scope
- Gain consensus on what to measure at each level
- Rank and prioritize the plan and develop a quarterly roadmap
- Enable leadership’s readiness to remove obstacles
- Identify change management areas of focus for teams, leaders and stakeholders
- Define a talent development strategy for key roles that enable agility
Ultimately, a Continuous Improvement Strategy helps you develop a prioritized roadmap and holistic approach for your transformation journey by measuring at different levels of your organization and engaging leaders early. Assessing groups of teams (aka Org Baseline/measurement) will identify patterns and target areas to focus on so you can use that data to drive improvements across your company – despite disruptions like COVID-19.
- Need help realigning your 2020 priorities? Check out our new virtual workshop
- Schedule a Measurement and Continuous Improvement Strategy workshop to get started with your strategy
- Develop a continuous improvement program at all levels with an Org Baseline