Recessions and tough economic periods in general tend to stimulate in organizations the need to look inside and understand how they can become even more profitable and competitive. This clear objective makes it so that, increasingly, businesses implement continuous improvement strategies, which must be faced as an ongoing process.
In other words, applying continuous improvement is crucial, and keeping up with its evolution is just as important. In order to be successful on both counts, auditing and evaluating if the defined activities are being efficiently implemented according to the designed goals is essential.
Below are some steps that should be followed to put in motion an efficient auditing system oriented towards the continuous improvement of processes.
1. Why implement an auditing system to continuous improvement efforts?
An auditing system will allow to compare the application and results of continuous improvement in the different areas of an organization. It also speeds up the learning curve of teams through the sharing of good practices.
2. What should be audited?
Essentially, four things: principles (verifying the learning of KAIZEN™ culture), tools (implementing methods), processes (structured methods to evaluate tools) and the results (getting results that are aligned with the continuous improvement strategy).
3. When can the audits be carried out?
Audits can be carried out in any maturity state of an organization’s continuous improvement. Audits should be periodically revised considering the initially designed model to guarantee it is adjusted to the needs of the organization.
4. What are the practical results of auditing?
Adopting this technique helps compare and share best practices of implementation between different areas and teams within an organization, from a benchmarking and healthy competition point of view. It identifies action plans oriented towards the real continuous improvement needs of teams, allowing for a focused and guided growth. Another advantage is that it gives the internal team an opportunity to observe the best practices being developed within its organization, also inspiring the levelling of knowledge among teams.
Consider the audit as a m way to get your company that extra competitive edge.