• Dr.Bahtiyar EREN

5. What are the factors and stages of corporate continuous improvement?

Updated: Nov 14, 2019


Organizations should be aware of their level and status very well when setting organizational goals and objectives for any management levels. Otherwise, they cannot fully agree on how much progress has been made. As Peter Drucker said "What gets measured, gets managed" in his 1954 book titled "The Practice of Management".

In order to explain this situation better, it has been explained by associating the subject with the diet program which is frequently applied by people who are not happy with their physical appearance. (Some people go on a diet due to the poor health conditions.)


The relationship between cost and profit

For example, a person who starts a diet is definitely aware of his weight (and blood glucose value). Most people who start diet also know their target weight. If you happen to meet someone who goes on a diet will tell you that I started at this kilos of weight, I will continue for two weeks/months and be at this ... kilos.


In this example,

“Initial weight" represents "your current status”,

“Target weight” represents "your vision/target”, and

“Weight criterion” represents "your measurement criterion ”.


When it comes to the organization perspectives,

✑ One (weight) criterion change into "eight types of criteria". It is called overarching determining factors of strategic management in the literature.

✑ Two (current and target weight) criteria change into "five types of criteria". It is called stages of enterprise (Aartsengel ve Kurtoglu, 2013:29) [1].


Let's see what are these:





Determining Factors of Strategic Management

(1) Leadership,

(2) Culture and Values,

(3) Strategic Planning and Management,

(4) Performance Measurement,

(5) Performance Management,

(6) Alignment and Commitment,

(7) Process Improvement and Management,

(8) Sustainability


Stages of enterprise


(1) Stage 1 (Ad Hoc and Static stage): Disaster

(2) Stage 2 (Reactive stage): Learning Tools

(3) Stage 3 (Structure and Proactive stage): Tools Master

(4) Stage 2 (Managed and Focused stage ): Transformation

(5) Stage 2 (Continuous Improvement stage): Winning Team Culture.


The order or weight of criteria may vary from organization to organization.


For example, while "leadership", "strategic planning" and "sustaining" factors may be more important than the others in government institutions, "performance measurement", "performance management” and “continuous improvement" may be seen more important than the others in commercial institutions.


Furthermore, it is not always possible for each factor to be at the same level. For example, an organization may be at Level 3 for all factors or each factor can be at different levels.


For example:

a. "Leadership”, “culture and values​​”, "strategic planning and management” factors at Level 2,

b. “Performance measurement” and “performance management” at Level 3 and

c. “Adaptation and participation”, "Process Improvement and Management" and "Sustainability" at Level 4.


All factors can be improved and jump into the next level at the same time, or time of changing levels for each factor can be at different time periods.


Here are some of the sample questions should be asked in order to evaluate the factor levels of the organizations:


Leadership:

Question 1: What are the roles and responsibilities of the managers in the organization?

Question 2: Is there any problem if the managers are not at the office/organization?

Question 3: Do the managers read and evaluate the reports submitted by subordinates?

Question 4: Do the managers follow up the reports that they evaluated?

Question 5: Are there any processes that link the activities to the goals and objectives of the organization?

Question 6: If the organization follows up those activities in Q5, which unit and how are they controlled?

Question 7: Are the managers transferring of their authorities into subordinates? If so, how frequently do they do?


Culture and Values:

Question 1: Is there any approved vision and values statement?

Question 2: If there are, are they understandable and applicable?

Question 3: Which unit is prepared the vision and values statement?

Question 4: Are they a part of daily life activities?

Question 5: Are they compatible with the organizational culture?


Strategic Planning and Management:

Question 1: Is there any approved strategic plan and related goals?

Question 2: If there are, are they understandable and applicable?

Question 3: Which unit is prepared the strategic plan and related goals?

Question 4: Are they a part of daily life activities?

Question 5: Do you have any processes in order to evaluate the correlation between strategic plan and decisions taken on projects?


Performance Measurement

Question 1: Do you collect personel performance data?

Question 2: If yes, which unit is responsible for this process?

Question 3: Is the data collected related to strategic plan?

Question 4: Is the data collection plan effective and result driven?


Performance Management

Question 1: Does the performance data have an impact on the decisions?

Question 2: Does the performance data spread enough for effective evaluation?

Question 3: Do both the units and individuals have performance records?

Question 4: Which unit is responsible for this process?


Alignment and Commitment

Question 1: Does the organization have a tendency to align the processes regularly?

Question 2: Does the organization have a process to collet the customer inputs?

Question 3: Do the customer inputs effect the vision and strategic plan?

Question 4: Does the strategy effect the reorganizational change/transformational decisions?


Process Improvement and Management

Question 1: Does the organization have a record of processes?

Question 2: Does the organization have a process for determining process duplications?

Question 3: Does the organization have a process improvement model?

Question 4: Does the organization manage the key processes in depth?

Question 5: Which unit is responsible for this process?


Sustainability

Question 1: Does the organization have a team/individual for problem solving related to process management?

Question 2: Does the organization have a team/individual for determining the strategic plan, goals and objectives?

Question 3: Does the organization have a tendency to think in long-medium and short term benefits and profits rather than only short term?

Question 4: Is the organizational culture suitable for continuous improvement processes?


Corporate Strategic Factors and Their Stages

As a result; regardless of being an individual or an organization, anyone/any organizations should determine its target and current status in the beginning of the continuous process. There are 5 stages and and 8 factors associated with these stages. These stages and factors can be found in different names and shapes in the literature. It should not be forgotten that there is no magic way to any stage to the final stage in a very short time. Getting to the final stage may take time and it happens gradually.


Learning is not compulsory; it's voluntary.

Improvement is not compulsory; it's voluntary.

But to survive, we must learn.     


W Edwards Deming


For the video about this blog article on the YouTube, please click the video :




You can find more videos about Lean Management both in Turkish and English on my YouTube Channel "Dr.Bahtiyar EREN"

Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxMmXLJBx712F9bo0AhvWrw


You can find the detailed information about Lean Management in my book "Lean Management and Techniques: Questions and Answers" published by Yazardan Direkt Publishing House. Please note that the book is in Turkish. You can order the book from www.amazon.com.tr and http://www.heryerdekitap.com


Please check my webpage www.freeleansixsigma.com for mor information about Lean Six Sigma both in Turkish and English.



Quality is not an act, It is a habit. Aristotle.



Dr.Bahtiyar EREN

[1] Aartsengel, V.A., Kurtoglu, S. (2013). A Guide to Continuous Improvement Transformation: Concepts, Processes, Implementation. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.


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