Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Improvement Practices

The magnitude of improvement and the impact it has on the organization, short term, long term, effectiveness, and profitability all depend on the vision and the competence of management leadership.

With overwhelming growth of information and frequent disruptions, it is a continuous journey to adapt to the new world of businesses, faster, always on, hyper-connected and fiercely competitive. Business leaders have to look beyond today and ask open-ended questions for future orientation, such as: What can we do better tomorrow or what do we think are the likely scenarios that could unfold in the mid or long term!

 Improvement in practice can be achieved through many different means -reflection, best/next practices, comparison with a reference model (framework) In fact, making continuous improvement is a mantra to run a progressive digital organization. The breadth and depth of business management improvement include process optimization, people development, workflow streamlining, culture evolution, and competency development, etc.

Process optimization: Business processes underpin capability, and capability underpin strategy execution, with effective and efficient processes, you state in delivering better organizational results. Strong business processes have a better chance to deliver better results. Process management effectiveness and efficiency achieved through standardization and optimization directly impact strategy management success and business performance. Therefore, process management is not a one time project, but a tough journey of business improvement that the senior executives should understand and navigate through. So it’s worth the effort to gain top down buy in and bottom up adoption.

Business management who understand the strategic value of defined processes and, therefore, the value of getting everything in the triangle (value/cost/risk) correct are in a fabulous position to deliver high performance. Technically, business processes are a group of business activities undertaken by an organization in pursuit of a common goal. It usually depends on several business functions for support and focuses on "how" the business is run. The transparent processes help to dig through the root cause of failures, and have a better controlling system, keep the learning attitude to improve, and focus on problem-solving, not finger-pointing.

People management: Continuous improvement is performed in collateral activities, meaning that people step out of their daily job to perform specific improvement activities, and improvement is the reward for being willing to change. Continuous improvement is more likely to be sustained if there is a framework which includes consideration of organizational values. The true value of an employee is demonstrated when the employee acts as an innovator or customer champion of the organization. To make proactive workforce planning and master people management, business management must first assume the goal is to find the right person who not only fulfills the required needs of the work at the moment, but also has the potential to lead organizations up to the next level of growth and maturity in the future.

Improvement can only be there if people accept change, and make the most out of it. The best fit professionals can bring the advanced mindset, right attitude, updated knowledge, solid skills, and differentiated capability and creativity that translates into expected performance outcomes. Making an objective assessment of people’s performance and potential by using data not just to monitor employees’ behavior, but to ask and answer some hard questions that are at the heart of how employees contribute to business success. The multifactor workforce productivity analysis would examine the process to determine what elements of production made the employees more productive to achieve the expected performance results, and make continuous optimization. performance is a byproduct of engagement. When one is so correlated to the other that with engagement, comes improved performance, and hyper-performance.

Workload streamlining: Contemporary business management is more science than art. High performance organizations leverage information technology to lower costs, improve operations and increase revenue, integrate varying applications and enable workflows between them, To keep the business function smoothly, take a proactive approach to figure out what the business need, share unique business insight as to what capacity can provide, work out if it makes financial sense, continue tuning business systems, shorten business application development cycle, keep improving performance and repositioning itself as the premium provider of competitive business solutions.

To break through business systems bottlenecks, it’s important to understand every island of operation and every workflow process to optimize the organizational competency and capacity. Capacity planning will not lower the workload, but give management a true picture of activities so a decision can be made on the ideal workload. On the other hand, with ever-evolving business dynamics, the process of preplanned change shouldn’t be too rigid or overly prescribed, otherwise, it could create the bottleneck for streamlining change scenarios. For any company to succeed, it is essential for the entire company to develop a holistic capacity planning to improve business efficiency and maturity.

Culture evolution: Culture is certainly part of the environment in which an organization operates, it represents the 'box' in which decisions and actions occur. In fact, the culture of an organization is an indicator of the competency parameters at their best. It is the policies, procedures, rewards, and retributions that drive behavior and it is the employee attitude and behavior that expresses “culture.”At the societal level, cultural behavior is the end product of collected wisdom, filtered and passed down through hundreds of generations as shared core beliefs, values, assumptions, notions, and persistent action patterns.

The culture of continuous improvement means to continue to discover that "there are always better ways." Practically you cannot impose a culture of improvement, but definitely, you can apply the framework to integrate the right elements such as leadership, trust, time and process, talent to shape a high performance working environment for boosting learning and improvement. In order to move up to the next level of organizational maturity, companies need to build culture as a corporate competency and the cultural aspect is an intrinsic factor that drives the organization's business longevity.

Competency building:
Digital management is fundamentally an iterative cycle to design, build, scale and optimize business competency and achieve the desired effect under specified performance standards and conditions. The often described attributes of business competency include such as innovation, robustness, adaptability, intelligence, resilience, etc. Highly competitive business has two sets of competencies: The necessary competency to run the business as usual to “keep the lights on,” and also the differentiated business competency to stand out as the industry leader with the strong business brand. The business management needs to ponder: How did you have a clear vision about where you are going? What will your systems be like and how will they work? Which competencies shall you need to build?

Digital organizations need to spend more resources on creating unique competency for driving business growth; truly understand stakeholders’ expectations, and propose a products/services/solutions portfolio that corresponds to both demand and cost drivers with a focus on business priority and achieving strategic business goals. It's important to create an organizational roadmap for competency building in order to implement the strategy smoothly. It takes strategic guidelines for designing a logical scenario, estimates the cost and methodologies to develop those competencies in a stepwise manner.

So, continuous improvement is more likely to be sustained if there is a framework and takes a whole system-based approach. The magnitude of improvement and the impact it has on the organization, short term, long term, effectiveness, and profitability all depend on the vision and the competence of management leadership. The leading businesses across the vertical sectors are the ones that can make a smooth digital paradigm shift and adapt to the digital new normal via continuous improvement and proactive business continuum.


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