How To Use The Continuous Improvement Model In Your Everyday Activity
Whatever your situation – managing a department, Chief Executive, Nurse, Teacher, Window Cleaner, Retailer, Entrepreneur, the list is endless – your aim should always be to do things better, more effectively, more efficiently and with greater results or measures of success.
The simple Plan – Act – Monitor – Review model of Continuous Improvement is a proven means by which to systematically change your approach and success regardless of the context.
- Plan: decide upon the area(s) that you need to improve or develop to get to your target. Identify exactly how you will measure this when it happens making sure that your description is detailed and is clearly set out using specifics. An example would be “To increase sales by 10%” which can clearly be measured and then evaluated. What goals can you set along the way to this target and what developments are needed to achieve this e.g. entering a new sales territory to get to the increased sales figure of 10%. Be specific.
- Act: what are you now going to do? Implement your plan and stick to what you set out to do. This may involve some challenging personal development and, if so, this can only be a good thing as it shows that you are determined to get to the position outlined in the Plan!
- Monitor: on-going performance management. Measure performance against planned outcomes and recognise where improvements and change are needed. Provide feedback to staff and arrange coaching and training where needed to make sure that everyone is focused on the goal. In this stage you MUST tackle and deal with those members of staff who are underperforming as this will seriously weaken your chances of achieving your target.
- Review: how effective was your performance? Did you actually reach your target and achieve your goals? What feedback can you now give to your team and the wider organisation on your success? Identify your strengths and weaknesses at this point and carefully builds upon the strengths while trying to eliminate the weaknesses that you have identified. What areas for further development come out of this and how will you then use them to improve effectiveness and efficiency going forward?
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