The conundrum….  which improvement methodology and tools to use?

Posted by Roxanne Chugg

So many clients ask me "what are the best tools to use to continually improve and transform our business?"

Different methodologies and tools have been developed over time to achieve improvement outcomes; PDSA, Lean, Six Sigma and Total Quality Management (TQM) and ISO9001 are some of the more better known and used methodoogies.  Many of these methodologies are proven and successful in achieving results.  Other organisations use technology or project management to guide their improvement efforts.

This presents a range of really confusing choices and the answer to the above question is "there is no one answer".  YOU decide on what works best for your organisation.  Customise the methodology and tool kit so that it makes sense and is valuable to your people to help them make improvements that really make a difference to the business and the way they work.

PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) is a methodology that is proven, that we use a lot with clients.  It requires you to think about:

  • your objective; what you are trying to achieve
  • the current situation; you cannot improve what you don't know
  • causes; what are the causes of any problems
  • potential solutions; consider all of the possibilities and opportunties*   implement the solution; as a pilot
  • results; conduct a review of what worked and what didn't with the pilot and make adjustments as necessary
  • standardise;  fully implement the new way of doing things and make the changes stick

The principles of change management are useful here.  You can check this out in last month's blogs here at our website.

Stay tuned for more on continuous improvement next month…..