If you’ve decided to make 2019 the year you get serious about tracking your organization’s efforts to sustain a culture of continuous improvement, congratulations! Dedication to consistent positive change is what can give your team a leg up on the competition and help you reach your most important strategic goals faster and more efficiently.
Continuous improvement tracking software will help you manage every project and measure employee activities and engagement. The best solutions include each of these fifteen crucial capabilities.
Organization-Wide Opportunity Capture
One of the fundamental ideas behind continuous improvement is that anyone in the organization can identify opportunities for improvement. Sometimes opportunities are defined by front-line employees, other times they start with the C-suite. Choose software that lets anyone recognize and act on opportunities for positive change.
Impact, Activity, & Engagement Reports
One of the most important responsibilities of continuous improvement leaders is managing the health of the continuous improvement culture throughout the organization. Improvement tracking software should give instant insight into the individuals, teams, and departments that are engaged in improvement. It should be easy to calculate and report on the impact of those efforts.
Improvement efforts should be tied to the strategic goals and objectives of the organization. The best improvement management solutions give leaders the ability to cascade the strategy down through the organization so that everyone understands how their work impacts the big picture.
Role-Based Views and Boards
The needs of people vary based on their role and responsibilities. Executives, managers, and individual contributors require access to different dashboards and data. Look for improvement tracking software that configures the experience to meet the needs of each user.
Visual Improvement Tracking
Humans are able to process visual information far more quickly than text. Visualizing improvement projects and impact ensures that people stay engaged in the work. Everyone should have access to the information they need no matter what time it is or where they are located. Whenever someone needs information about the state of a project or process, it should be available on any device in a view that is easy to understand.
Configurable Charts and Data Tracking
If the data collected by your improvement tracking solution is difficult to manipulate or understand, adoption will be low. If you want widespread engagement, look for software that provides helpful charts and graphs that give each person quick access to the data they need related to process operations and improvement work.
Active Notifications and Alerts
Notifications and alerts via email help keep people on target with their improvement projects. Alerts let managers know when new opportunities need review, tasks are completed, or deadlines are missed. The goal is to sustain improvement momentum and make sure that no tasks or opportunities fall through the cracks.
Customizable Improvement Tracking
There is no “one-size-fits-all” for tracking improvement projects. Different organizations approach improvement work in ways that are uniquely suited to their industry and operations. What’s more, the right way to manage improvements can vary from project to project. You can insist on a solution that is flexible enough to meet every need.
Advanced Search Capabilities
Your improvement tracking software will become the organization’s repository of knowledge. It should be easy to find information about past improvements based on keywords or project categories. This will allow your team to build on past successes and avoid dead ends.
Many of the improvement projects that give you the biggest bang for the buck involve cross-functional collaboration. That’s because process errors and inefficiency often happen when work is handed from one team to another. Look for improvement tracking software that supports collaboration across departments and unifies the organization on one common platform.
Data security should be a top of mind concern for any software solution you consider. It is especially important for improvement tracking software because it will almost certainly contain sensitive data that you want to keep confidential. Look for a solution that uses secure web pages (SSL) and data encryption.
Idea Submission via Email
It is the best practice to encourage employees to log into your improvement tacking software platform as often as possible, but sometimes it makes more sense for someone to submit an idea for improvement via email. It is smart to select a solution that takes the friction out of collecting opportunities for improvement.
Improvement work is not confined to the desktop. Your improvement tracking software shouldn’t be either. Consider a solution that offers Android and iOS apps that will work seamlessly on the mobile devices that your employees love.
Online Support and Learning
These days, most users prefer a self-service approach to support and education for their software tools. The best improvement tracking solutions come equipped with an intuitive knowledge center that includes with video training so that you can bring your team up to speed quickly and onboard new employees easily.
Improvement culture thrives when leaders celebrate and announce success. Success broadcasting is a feature you’ll want to be sure is included in any solution you consider.
We hope that your New Year is off to a great start. Finding and implementing continuous improvement management tracking software with these fantastic features will make it even better.