Without a doubt, a lean consultant’s most important job is to help plant and a grow a culture of continuous improvement in an organization.
Planting a seed takes careful nurturing and dedication to actually grow the plant. Once a plant starts growing, it cannot be abandoned. A plant gives warning signs if it is in trouble. If a plant starts to brown, it might need more sunlight. If the plant starts to wilt, it might need more water.
Speaking with many consultants, I find that one of their biggest worries is that when they finish an engagement, they will come back a few months later to find that plant that they worked so hard to grow is wilted and dying.
An improvement culture cannot be created with a “drop and grow” approach; it needs careful maintenance to grow strong. However, it isn’t easy to measure the health of an improvement culture with spreadsheets or SharePoint files. While a plant gives warning signs in multiple ways, a spreadsheet does not. The only way to know if a culture is failing is that the spreadsheet won’t get filled out.
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For consultants, bringing a continuous improvement software platform into their repertoire gives them the ability to conduct health checks on their clients without even being in the building. Software keeps track of due dates, engagement and participation rates, giving consultants and improvement leaders added tools to keep growing their culture.
Specific boards and reporting capabilities partnered with powerful filtering features within continuous improvement software give the ability to see not just an entire organization, but to dive down into specific department or location levels.
Here are three examples of the powerful tools at your disposal: