Assessment Tool 3 (AT3): Project
Implementing Continuous Improvement to Facilitate Organisational Success Continuous improvement is a perpetual quality management process that relies upon all stakeholders to participate in a process or activity to enhance efficiency, sustainability and quality outputs by systematically introducing small effective changes that result in improvement. By involving all stakeholders in the practice of identifying areas for improvement, the overall quality output of an organisation should gradually improve over time. Organisations should encourage their staff to participate in the process by encouraging them to undertake regular self-assessment, track their performance against organisational goals, identify opportunities for improvement, and by benchmarking performance against both internal and external performance measurements. Engage, Encourage & Support
An organisation whose employees are challenged by personal improvement will be motivated to achieve higher levels of productivity, be empowered by a sense of self-determination and will be encouraged because they believe that they are actively contributing to the overall success of the organisation. To support their employees an organisation must empower staff sufficiently to enable them to make improvements, by providing the necessary authority to be effective in implementing change. Management also needs to recognise and reward contributions of their employees and encourage lateral thinking. This allows for the identification of opportunities for improvement and encourages staff to actively contribute as staff feel secure in their role to exercise initiative and resolve quality issues. Decision Making
Group decision making enables organisations to make the best use of their employees by fostering teamwork. Organisations that build successful teams are able to leverage upon diversity, lateral thinking and creativity, and innovation when relying upon their staff to identify problems and opportunities to resolve issues. Group decision making also encourages employees the opportunity for self-improvement through personal performance monitoring. Employees also come to believe that their ideas and contributions are valued and are more willing to actively contribute towards improvement and the success of the organisation. Providing staff with the opportunity to engage in decision making ensures that problems can usually be dealt with effectively and efficiently, improving the overall performance of the organisation by minimising time it takes to implement change. Both teams and individuals that contribute to the decision making process take responsibility for their choices and subsequent outcomes, thus providing the motivation to achieve successful outcomes. To encourage employees to be involved in the decision making process organisations should inspire employees to question organisational norms, delegate authority, provide regular feedback and supportive reinforcement for ideas and suggestions, and ensure that employees have a medium by which their opinions and ideas heard. The decision making process should be structured in such a way that participants will seek to actively contribute to the process and outcomes need to be seen to be implemented effectively. There are a number of ways for the decision making process to be implemented to achieve this. Acceptable approaches include decision by consensus, majority vote, or by consensus to a two-thirds majority decision. The decision making framework should support a methodology that facilitates the process to gather momentum and achieve initial outcomes quickly. This ensures that all participants rapidly gain faith in the process and support the need for improvement through change, and are unlikely to become resistant. Momentum is also readily achieved when initial focus is provided to smaller activities that are on the critical path and...