We are often asked, “What kind of businesses need a continuous process improvement platform?” Our standard answer is that organizations in every sector, including healthcare, construction, high tech, engineering, and higher education, benefit from improvement technology. And that’s true, but the industry is only part of the story. Improvement is essential for every type of organization, but there are certain conditions under which software support can have an enormous impact.
Organizations with Multiple Locations or Remote Workers
These days people frequently work remotely, and many organizations have multiple locations or job sites. One of the most significant benefits of improvement software is that it makes it possible for people to contribute to improvement and collaboration from wherever they are. Tools like physical huddle boards don’t work well for distributed workforces, but with process improvement software, they can be effectively used without the need to get everyone in the same place.
Organizations with Ambitious Long-Term Goals
The secrete to achieving breakthrough goals, the type that really change the game (usually in the three to five-year time frame) is organizational alignment. Every person from the CEO to the front-line employees must understand the strategic objectives and know how what they do supports the goals. Decisions about which improvements should be implemented should get be made with the goals in mind. Improvement software helps leaders to cascade goals down through the department, team, and individual levels. It also gives everyone insight into where the organization stands concerning the long-term direction.
Organizations with Tight Margins and Tough Competition
When margins are razor-thin, and the competition is always standing by to take your customer away, survival depends on eliminating waste. Retail, construction, and manufacturing organization often fall into this category. Process improvement software helps employees target wastes like transportation, motion, over-processing, over-production, waiting, inventory, defects, and wasted human potential. The goal is to create a production system where every resource and task adds value to the customer. Improvement software allows every worker to identify opportunities to improve daily and reduce waste.
Quickly Growing Organizations
Improvement practices that work well for small teams can quickly become unwieldy when the organization starts to grow. Improvement management technology provides a platform to create consistency and alignment, no matter how big the team grows. It also helps growing businesses ensure that new employees come up to speed quickly and get engaged in improvement from the beginning.
Organizations with a High Cost of Failure
Sometimes referred to as “Highly Reliable Organizations,” these are organizations where defects and process failures risk more than a financial hit. Healthcare, energy, airlines, and emergency services are all examples of organizations that must perform consistently, or people’s lives may be endangered. These organizations take extreme measures to avoid failures and to implement corrective action in the rare event that they occur. Improvement software organizes preventative and corrective actions, ensuring that systems and processes work as expected every time.
Organizations that are Serious About Employee Growth
One thing we love most about improvement software is that it allows every employee to be a leader. When employees submit ideas for improvement and becoming engaged, they can expand their skillset and step out of their comfort zone. With many improvements to manage, more people can be given a chance to head up a project or facilitate a continuous improvement event. Another advantage is that leaders can easily broadcast successful improvements and recognize people who are contributing to positive change.
We don’t mean to sound glib when we say that almost every organization can benefit from improvement management software, but there aren’t many that don’t fall into at least one of these categories. If you recognize your organization in these descriptions, we’d love to chat about how improvement software might be right for you.