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Do Your Business Feedback Loops Work?

If you have ever struggled to get a change to take hold in your business then you might want to look at the feedback loops in your business. A good feedback loop, or mechanism, can make the ongoing management of your processes a whole load easier?


Do you have them defined in your business?

  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are one of the most obvious. Having a split between output (what happened) and process (what is happening) KPIs makes controlling the end results more achievable.
  • Management meetings that ask a series of well thought out questions can work really well too. The questions should stimulate action when required and reinforce accountability in those attending the meeting(s).
  • Audits are another method to find out what is going on. Are people still using the new method? Is it working the way it should?
  • Visual management is possibly one of the most effective methods. Can you devise ways to see the activity without having to interpret results and data? Being able to glance at a process and understand both its effectiveness and compliance makes for an incredibly effective feedback loop.
  • Routines help with visibility also. Defining what needs to be done when (not necessarily as rigid as a school timetable!) can help to shape the right kinds of behaviours by defining what they should look like in the first place. A routine also provides an objective base for reviewing performance, developing the process and communicating with other teams.

A good, solid, reliable feedback mechanism can tell you what is going on. This information can then help you to run your business more effectively. If you don't already have some good feedback mechanisms in your business then choose your methods according to how your business operates and then wait for the feedback!


Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering