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Blog | Consulting, Intelligent Automation

5 Tips to foster a culture of continuous improvement

Dec 2, 2022 | 3 min read

In this blog from our Lean Methodology Series, we explore how to foster a culture of continuous improvement. At Roboyo we’re renowned for our Human+ approach to hyperautomation and everything we do starts with people and processes.

Learn more about our consulting services that fuse people, technology, and performance to create harmonious, human+ workforces, or read on to discover our five top tips for continuous improvement.

1. INVEST IN TRAINING PEOPLE

Business process improvement is a skill like any other. It doesn’t have to be expensive to train your teams to have the right skills, knowledge, and mindset and the return on investment will far exceed the training cost. Having a Lean Six Sigma training provider deliver the training at your workplace can also save valuable time.

Here at Roboyo we pride ourselves on delivering the best Six Sigma training solutions – visit our Roboyo Academy to find out more.

We are subject matter experts, with experience in strategy, implementation and delivery with courses guaranteed to be practical and relatable. We can also provide bespoke courses perfectly suited to your business needs.

2. GIVE PEOPLE THE TIME TO WORK ON IMPROVEMENTS

If you’re an organization that has invested in some Lean Six Sigma training (that’s great!) but where it often falls apart is after the training – staff don’t have enough time to put what they’ve learnt into practice. Plus, it’s likely to take them longer than an experienced professional because they’ve only just been trained.

Too often, Managers or Support Staff are trained in improvements, but then they return to their full-time job and don’t have the mandate to make the required changes. They’re expected to create time to work on special projects whilst still managing all their usual work.

We always advise our clients to schedule specific hours, goals and plan projects in detail to create a culture of continuous improvement.

3. GIVE PEOPLE THE AUTONOMY TO MAKE CHANGES

So, your team has enjoyed some Lean methodology training and you’ve made the time available for them to work on improvement projects – but have you given them the opportunity to make changes?

Do they have the autonomy to make decisions? Or is there an unfortunate approval bottleneck which is creating an obstacle?

If your employees are not senior enough to check and approve their own process improvement implementation, a rapid approval/decision-making process should be put in place, so they can move their improvements forward at pace.

We’ve seen many good projects fail through a war of attrition while getting through the internal approvals process.

4. GIVE THEM A BUDGET FOR IMPROVEMENTS

If you want improvement work to happen, it will usually require budget. Employee resources, maybe some Lean Consultants, perhaps some IT spend, other 3rd party suppliers such as application software licenses might be needed. When it comes to making meaningful changes within an organization, it will usually cost money upfront before you see return on investment (ROI) from the process improvement.

Ensure that you clear a dedicated budget for continuous improvement and treat it as a long-term line item in your balance sheet. Many organizations want to prove an ROI before work has even started, but preliminary assessments (which can cost money) are necessary to determine what the ROI will be.

A good Lean Six Sigma project will set out what your business expectations are for the process, project or company-wide improvements, but usually, there is no real way of proving this will occur, as it’s only a well-formed hypothesis until you actually start operating a process differently.

5. YOU MUST MAKE IT SAFE FOR PEOPLE TO FAIL

This can be the most important thing on the list. Iterative work and experimental work always come with a large volume of experimentation, learning and optimization which means some degree of failure. Because failure is an inherent aspect of any change management project, where processes will be reviewed and altered, it’s important to accept failure as part of the improvement process.

Without open and well-communicated acceptance of failure, a fear of failure can stunt the appetite for change. Growth requires risk – look at any investment portfolio. The same goes for continuous improvement within businesses – growth always requires risk.

The leaders of an organization must work hard to instill an attitude where failure is accepted and learned from. At Roboyo we strive to create an environment where people are not afraid to take well-calculated and measured risks and we encourage our clients to do the same.

APPLY THESE INSIGHTS

At Roboyo we use a combination of proven business methodology and hyperautomation technologies to see exactly where and when, within your business workflow, opportunities for continual improvement can be leveraged.

Our consultants and automation engineers are ready to help your business create meaningful efficiencies and take it to the next level – book a meeting today.

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