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10 Steps to Continuous Improvement

Author: Oliver Jobson

Following these 10 crucial steps will help to create a Lean/continuous improvement organisation. They have been distilled from our breadth of experience in helping clients on their Lean journeys in many different industries.

  1. Define the compelling need. Develop your compelling need for change - this will drive you to make Lean work.
  2. Set stretching targets. Here we are talking a sizeable order of magnitude - 30% to 50% improvement, in both quality and performance.
  3. Have a clear route map. Be clear that you are embarking on a journey. If you only want a short term cost down initiative, then I would suggest Lean isn’t for you.
  4. Get fit for the journey. Understand what it will involve and own its success at the Board level – its not a programme to be delegated- it’s the deployment of the strategy.
  5. Find a partner who has done it themselves and can help you. Dan Jones the great Lean guru explains the importance of this and how organisations can minimise the risk of failure by using partners who have done it and not just talked about it.
  6. Engage People & Develop leaders at all levels. Communicate, communicate and communicate again and make sure you set the strategic context.
  7. Build in house capability. Build a team of Lean in-house change agents to drive home the new ways of working.
  8. Find a place to see it working. Create “go see” areas of success just like HMRC have done at a number of their sites.
  9. Go at a sensible pace. Implement at a pace which guarantees success – often we see clients who are seduced by the benefits, running before they can walk; this will never bring the cultural change that delivers sustainability. Create “go see” areas of success just like HMRC have done at a number of their sites.
  10. Make breakthrough decisions. Be prepared to make the breakthrough decisions that are required. When problems are identified in the process, solutions will need to be found. This will galvanise the organisation around the success found in the new ways of working.
The Unipart Way: performance improvement that sustains

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