Improving the “Improvers”

A Standardized Model…

Some organizations are very, very good at process improvement. Have you ever wondered how they get so good at it? The odds are, they have studied and “improved” the improvement process.

In other words, process improvement is itself a process that can be improved…, yet it is often ignored by the very professionals who spend their time improving other work processes.

Have you ever wondered about the effectiveness of your organization’s continuous improvement processes?

Is your improvement process as successful as you want it to be?

How well would your improvement process work if everything were exactly right the environment?

A good first-step toward answering these questions might be to evaluate the team. Do the people involved possess the necessary skills? Do they understand the improvement methodology and how it is executed?

During a recent CI discussion, participants agreed that deploying an organization-wide standard improvement process and making sure all stakeholders were taught “how” to implement (and ultimately master) this standard process was the best first step toward improving the improvement process.

To emphasize the importance of standardized work and work processes, one person referenced a Taiichi Ohno quote: “Where there is no standard, there can be no kaizen.”