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Continuous Improvement

When the pace of change increases, it becomes harder and harder to performance manage people to achieve a plan or a budget, and it becomes less sensible to do so.

Because when things change, it could be that some people should achieve more than what’s in the plan or the budget, and some people should achieve less. Which is what’s caused the dissatisfaction with, and the abandonment by some organisations, of the traditional employee performance appraisal process. It’s harder to hold people accountable, it's demotivating for those involved and administering the process becomes a burden.

As the pace of change increases, a better way to deal with performance is to encourage people to continuously improve what they do. By reference to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Mindful of the things that are beyond their control. People work to achieve objectives. But they are reasonable objectives. Mostly shorter term objectives. That are set continuously throughout the year.

The Management Philosophy of Continuous Improvement

Professor W. Edwards Deming was a pioneer of the Continuous Improvement management philosophy. In his 1986 book ‘Out of the Crisis’, Deming stated 14 Points for management to follow to significantly improve the effectiveness of an organization, which included:

  • Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.
  • Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
  • Institute leadership. The aim of leadership should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of an overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.

Although focused on the US manufacturing industry at the time, Deming’s principles are clearly relevant to workplaces today.

Alertise is a system that helps your organization to continuously improve – by using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), by agreeing on objectives, and by assigning tasks.

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