Accurately measuring a company's performance and progress for continuous improvement is no easy task and understanding that data and how to use it can be even more difficult. In this article, I want to cover what continuous improvement is, how to implement key performance indicators (KPI’s) as well as how to measure that data in a way that will drive real change and provide continuous improvement in your organization.
What is Continuous Improvement:
Continuous Improvement or a Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) is a process that a company implements to continuously measure, assess, and improve the said area. Traditional improvement relies on managerial reporting, profit and loss (P&L), and other data points that can take a quarter or even a fiscal year to measure, assess, and make the necessary changes. With Continuous Improvement, change can be made week to week, day to day, and even in real time if implemented properly.
Key Performance Indicators:
The first step to implementing a Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) is in knowing what improvements you’re seeking and how to measure it. If you want to increase sales you could implement KPI’s on your inbound leads, leads contacts, leads converted, sales closed in both dollar amount, and the number of closed deals.
Expert Tip: The technology to measure and implement most KPI’s are usually already in place at most organizations.
Measuring Data & Implementing Change:
Using this data to make real change in an organization is the hardest part of implementing a Continuous Improvement Process (CIP). In order to successfully make the change you start by knowing what change you want to make, then you identify the pieces of data that matter for improvement.
Make sure you assess your KPI’s and data frequently. Informally this can be done daily but ideally, this is something reviewed together weekly by the entire c-suite. The data and KPI’s can be easily measured in a spreadsheet and used to track current performance.
Once the key data points have been identified we can get a baseline line and implement the KPI’s to start measuring for improvement and start adjusting your process as needed. Through this repetition of process adjustment and measurement is how you will gain real transparent progress in your business.
Additional Tool: The IDS Process
IDS an Entrepreneurial Operating System™ (EOS) process stands for Identify, Discuss, and Solve (IDS). This process is an awesome addition to your Continuous Improvement Process (CIP). The IDS is simple, you identify an issue and put it on your IDS list, then you discuss the issue, and identify a solution for solving it. Once a solution has been identified it gets assigned to a person to solve. Once the problem has been solved you review the issue in 30 days to ensure it has been successfully resolved and remove it from your IDS List.