Maintaining Process Improvement Initiatives for Long-Term Success

Learn how to ensure successful process improvement initiatives by following specific steps and using tools such as Kanban boards and dashboards. Find out how to prioritize implementation of improvements and provide staff with support.

Maintaining Process Improvement Initiatives for Long-Term Success

Achieving success with process improvement initiatives is essential for any company that wants to stay ahead of the competition. Formal processes are especially important when they involve employee or customer safety, legal issues, financial considerations, and other sensitive criteria or functions. To ensure that these processes are properly maintained over time, it is important to follow specific steps. Formal processes, also known as procedures, are documented and have well-established steps.

For example, a company may have procedures for receiving and sending invoices or for establishing relationships with new customers. It is important to identify a feasible number of measures that address the most important aspects of the improvements you are trying to achieve. Too many measures could burden staff and cause a loss of attention due to information overload; if too few measures are taken, you may not be able to track important aspects of the changes that are being made. Once you have a plan to improve each of the weaknesses you've identified, it is best to implement the changes gradually.

These small improvements will help you achieve your overall goal in the end, but they will also help your team see the improvements right away. To ensure that the quality improvement process moves forward successfully, it is important to use tools such as Kanban boards and dashboards to track metrics. It is also important to communicate with staff about why the measures are collected and how this data will help improve their quality of work life and the patient experience. Continuous improvement activities such as employee training, skill development, cross-training programs, educational benefits, and courses can also be beneficial.

As a team, it is important to discuss how to prioritize the implementation of improvements so that you can effectively address the most pressing issues first. Leaders should also encourage team members to set aside time for process improvement initiatives. Other companies have linked process improvement to the results and expectations of personal and team performance, including KPIs, job descriptions and personal development programs. It is important to be prepared for obstacles when focusing on improving processes and strive to maintain a positive attitude toward improving processes.

Analyzing them can be a good start when you're working on the process improvement stages. Other facilitators include choosing an objective that is part of the organization's strategic plan or one that improves other objectives that interest staff, such as clinical outcomes. Providing staff with the support and resources they need to achieve their own personal goals will be crucial to ensure continuous improvement.