Continuous Improvement: Process, Training & Facilitation

What is Continuous Improvement?

Continuous Improvement is an ongoing cycle of positive change and employee involvement. the TeamWorks philosophy is that Continuous Improvement should become an integral part of the constantly changing culture of an organization; and successful implementation starts at the top level. Continuous Improvement is the subsequent phase of all TeamWorks training programs. All training & development should be placed firmly within the context of Continuous Improvement in order to gain the most benefit, today and well into the future.

Why Implement Continuous Improvement (CI) in Your Organization?

Because implementing the Continuous Improvement Philosophy across people & processes breeds organizational success.

If facilitated in the correct manner, Continuous Improvement will result in:

  • Significantly improved teamwork & enhanced communication at every organizational level
  • Increased efficiency and process improvement
  • A much stronger bottom line.

In addition, successful action plans as a result of Continuous Improvement will greatly assist leaders of organizations in achieving strategic initiatives and developing trainable and measurable operational processes. TeamWorks has designed a flexible and powerful 3-Phase Training Progression for understanding and implementing Continuous Improvement.

The Continuous Improvement Training Progression Outline:

Phase I — Setting the Stage for Continuous Improvement

  • Desired outcomes and return on investment (ROI) criteria are established with the training coordinator and organizational leaders.
  • All Continuous Improvement initiatives will be aligned with the organization’s Vision — Mission -– Core Values, Philosophy, & Strategic Plans.
  • Continuous Improvement Teams are created. CI Teams can be departmental or cross-functional teams that include representatives from more than 1 department or unit. CI Teams are a decision making forum of 15 people or less and should include at least 1 Supervisor, Manager, or Team Leader.
  • CI Leadership Teams: Leadership Teams will be comprised of leaders who represent various operations within an organization.
  • All CI Training will require leadership support and continuity in order to be successful.

Phase II — Progression of Training, Education & Facilitation for CI Teams

Continuous Improvement Team Training is powerful, practical & universally valuable at all levels of the organization. CI Team Training focuses on:

  • Effective team interaction
  • Constructive communication
  • Decision making processes
  • Creating an environment that is safe for open and honest communication
  • Advantages & inhibiting factors with respect to the CI progression
  • Meeting Management
  • Process Evaluation, Development, & Measurement

Phase III — TeamWorks Facilitation: Continuous Improvement Training On-Site

A TeamWorks facilitator can be the most valuable asset to your organization’s Continuous Improvement Training Plan. Having an objective expert facilitator directly involved in your CI implementation can ensure that CI Meeting Ground Rules are established from the beginning. Your teams will have regular access to expert assistance as they define organizational needs and illustrate the importance of Continuous Improvement throughout your organization.

Team members will be encouraged to define and address Strategic Initiatives that relate to:

  • Increasing operational efficiency
  • Improving collaboration & communication
  • Promoting teamwork
  • Creating an enjoyable work environment

Team members will share their perceptions of recommended operational improvements through conventional and unconventional brainstorming. Team perceptions are listed and, through true consensus and other decision making/problem solving techniques, priorities are assigned to the brainstormed list as the very first CI action initiative. The cycle then continues.

The SMART System

The SMART System drives the philosophy of Continuous Improvement to work so successful outcomes can be produced continuously. Successful outcomes are the very reason why we implement Continuous Improvement initiatives. So, how do we ensure success?

All action initiatives must follow the SMART System:

Specific — All action initiatives must be specific with respect to purpose and desired outcomes.

Measurable — Measurement criteria is determined for goals and objectives.

Action Driven — All action initiatives need to be driven to action between scheduled CI meetings.

Realistic — All action initiatives need to be realistic, reliable, and sustainable.

Time Specific — All action initiatives need to be assigned a leader (not managers, supervisors, and team leaders) to oversee action plans, coordinate and encourage others to get involved in the action plan (teamwork), and commit to a reasonable but challenging time frame (specific date) to complete or reach milestones.

Note: The key to the SMART system is not only the commitment of the facilitator, it is essential that organizational leaders become the true champions of Continuous Improvement. The goal is to create a CI culture in your organization and to encourage the committment of the participants.

About the Role of Continuous Improvement Facilitators

  • The Facilitator’s role is to engage and to be aware of the interactive styles of the CI participants
  • The Facilitator needs to facilitate meetings in a manner that does not frustrate the dynamic of the group
  • An Agenda, Minutes, & Action Plan Form that will be used at all meetings
  • The Facilitator will make sure that the CI team’s meeting ground rules are followed

Note: Continuity of Continuous Improvement is the key to success. Meetings should take place weekly or bi-weekly and meeting duration should not exceed 1 to 1.5 hours.

Facilitation programs through TeamWorks require thorough planning, and allow organizations to benefit from the training initiatives. Please Contact Us if your organization can benefit from an experienced and knowledgeable facilitator.