When starting a new project or initiative, it's helpful to call an expert. Sports coaches, tutors, and even chefs, offer their services to both beginners and experts to help guide and lead them to success.
One thing that great coaches do is talk about the right tools. A baseball coach can’t teach batters how to hit with a shoddy bat and a chef can’t be effective with a cheap knife.
The same goes for improvement coaches and consultants. Consultants are brought in for help because they provide the knowledge and skills to create, spread, and maintain a culture of continuous improvement. Lean coaches accomplish these goals in a variety of ways, often teaching problem-solving techniques, sourcing ideas, and promoting open dialogues.
A consultancy may just be one person or a team of people, but they can quickly become stretched thin without the proper tools. What is the right tool for an improvement coach? How can they be extended and more effective in their work?
A consultant is at their best when they can see who is participating and who isn’t, identify any ideas that aren’t being responded to, and can track and measure the impact of each and every idea. Knowing which teams to praise and which need a little extra help makes a huge difference in how a consultant spends their time. It's critical to eliminate the waste of over-processing by spending too much time with staff that don’t need as much help, and eliminate a waste of transportation by visiting and coaching at sites with lower participation rates.
Every consultancy is different, but they all can be helped by a central knowledge repository so that they can search for ideas and help spread them across the organization, active notifications, which allow them to hold staff members accountable, and a visual management component to see any board from anywhere.
What tool for consultants can do that?
Introduce your consultant to continuous improvement software that captures improvements, helps implement them, shares them across the organization, and reports out on the impact. Give them the ability to search for any improvement, see the progress of any team, and measure every impact.
Give your consultants the tools to make them more effective with continuous improvement software and help them help you. You'll get more out of the engagements you're paying for, and your consultant will thank you.