We were asked the following question by a client recently: “What are the key elements we need to consider in starting a Business Improvement Program”

There is a ‘recipe’ that we use to guide any new Business Improvement initiative or when we are starting out with any new client that has requested that we reinvigorate a less than stellar Improvement effort. The recipe has been used in numerous deployments or initiatives and works well. If the company doesn’t have the answers for any question then a gap exists and needs to be given consideration in an implementation plan.

Those questions are:

  1. HISTORY & LEARNINGS: What is the companies history with Business Improvement and what have they learned to this point? What has been their approach to deployment?
  2. LEADERSHIP & COMMITMENT: How committed is the Leadership? Is the initiative President/GM driven or bottom up or something else?
  3. DEPLOYMENT APPROACH: How is the company wanting to deploy the initiative? Full scale deployment or pilot based?
  4. OBJECTIVES: What are we trying to achieve with the deployment? What do we want to institutionalise within the business? What expectations do we have in terms of Throughput, Inventory/Investment, and costs.           
  5. BENEFITS: How will benefits be calculated, classified and verified?
  6. PROJECT SELECTION: How will projects selected for the project pipeline? How will the projects enter the project pipeline? How will we prioritise which projects to work on?
  8. REWARDS: What rewards are available (if any) that will support the initiative?
  9. STRUCTURE: What structure will we use -centralised or decentralised?       
  10. TRAINING AND COACHING: What training is required for Leadership? What about the Improvement Team facilitators? What about the Deployment Leaders? How many Black Belts or Green Belts will we have? How will we support or training Process Owners?
  11. SUPPORT: Who will be on the Steering Committee? Who will lead the Steering Committee? How will we support the unitive in the regions?
  12. CHANGE MANAGEMENT: How will we communicate and manage the change?
  13. BUDGET AND COSTS: What are the expected costs and expected benefits of the initiative?
  14. METRICS: What metrics will we use to drive and manage the initiative?
  15. 100 DAY PLAN: What does the 100 day plan (or longer) look like?

Every successful deployment we have been involved with has answered the above questions comprehensively with significant thought and consideration . The more successful the deployment the more ALL of the elements have been considered. Sometimes we have found that this plan evolves over time or requires modification but does provide a roadmap.

We would suggest you compare your deployment against the fifteen elements and look for opportunities to improve your deployment. If we can be of help click on Contact us above.