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  • Alexis Snelling

Innovation Platform Drives Continuous Improvement

Most successful organizations empower a culture of continuous improvement. It's easier said than done especially in today's remote work environment.

Business Process Guides are performed to arrive at specific conclusions. Business process guide details each sequential step, lists the employees who performs each step, identifies the required forms and references the appropriate policy.

Standard Operating Procedure allows employees to function with little supervision and increases accountability since all employees have access to the SOP and should be similarly well-informed. The SOP is generally wider in scope to provide direction, influence behavior and ensure that standard tasks are completed in alignment with policy. The SOP, in combination with policy, defines the organization.

While the SOP standardizes work processes to ensure that policy is followed, some types of businesses standardize processes to control large, complex operations. It's primarily a top down approach. While business processes also help analyze and improve business systems. Business process guides are helpful with projects that require planning to control to coordinate the work of multiple locations, personnel, business partners and resources. Business process guides often include pre-determined drawings or diagrams that depict the flow of activity as approved by the organization.

It's impossible to have a SOP for everything. Standardization can also lead to stagnation for an organization also create new problems such as becoming out of date, out of touch, or lose their uniqueness in the market. There's a balance between following and adjusting the playbook and evolving to be better.

Every organization needs to improve - to stand still is to go backwards. But change is hard, people don't like it. Continuous Improvement needs to be implemented as just business as usual.

Generally speaking, continuous improvement aims to:

  • Increase Efficiency

  • Increase Quality

  • Reduce Costs

Organizations which implement continuous improvement achieve this by making small, gradual improvements over time.Baby steps can be taken to continually improve SOPs, products and services. As the majority of changes are small, there is often less resistance to change, which is ideal for improvement professionals who wish to:

  • See results fairly quickly

  • Negate resistance to the change initiative

  • Create a more agile improvement project

  • Get senior management on board with a results led argument for change

  • Create a culture of improvement in the business

An Innovation Platform is vital to cultivating a culture of improvement providing a structured space to foster strategic collaborative engagements to foster innovation across the whole organization. Implementing a scalable infrastructure of safe collaboration zones to empower members to cultivate, experiment and refine their collective goals and continually improve themselves is easier said than done. This takes a bottom up and top down approach simultaneously in real time that empowers members to take initiative and ownership to evolve ideas, better solutions and thinking critically while maintaining a shared

set of values or mission.

5 Crucial Aspects of an Improvement Plan

  1. Improvement is Based on Small Changes - that are each able to be implemented within a fairly short time frame

  2. Input From the Entire Workforce is Necessary - (employees performing the process need to be involved in change decisions) - as Panasonic founder, Konosuke Matsushita once said, "continued existence depends on the mobilization of every ounce of intelligence"

  3. Employees Must be Allowed to Take Ownership of Improvement Decisions - and will be more invested in the changes that they came up with in the first place

  4. Communication Regarding the Change is Crucial to Ongoing Success - the bigger the organization the harder this becomes - this is where software tools can really help

  5. The Improvement Must be Analyzed - to see whether it really is effective - again where software tools can really help

To successfully and sustainably continually improve together requires constant alignment and feedback loops for the organizations on all levels. This is where AI + human powered solutions can serve organizations and even scale to entire ecosystems to continually improve together on shared missions.

We'd love to show you how our powerful innovation platform will foster your next innovation and increase your ROI as an organization.

Article references:

30 April 2021 by Emma Harris

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