Skip to main content

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

Popular posts from this blog

Where to start with Kaizen, if you just aren't sure

Kaizen is a great word. It is a word that can unleash the potential of both a business and an individual. Kaizen means more than just continuous improvement. It is a word that is linked to: Confidence Growth Exploration Courage Many people I speak to, that are new to improvement projects, aren't sure if they are on the right path when it comes to embracing the spirit of Kaizen. If you are also one of these people then let me share with you a few thoughts that can help you feel at ease about starting and leading change. Start with your concerns A great place to start your improvement life is with anything that isn't right. Getting your concerns out into the open really is the first step for most of us. If you aren't happy with something, raise it. This isn't only a great place to start, but something that you shouldn't give up. Whenever a standard is not being met, or not even defined, get vocal and then do something about it. Start small The intention of Kaizen is

Stimulating Kaizen opportunities - the 'mechanical' way!

I often end up in conversations about how to stimulate Kaizen ideas and opportunities. If you have read my other posts, you will know that I split the improvement journey into two halves. For many people, the initial Kaizen focus is all around fixing things that are wrong / not working properly. Once you get past this point you need something else to focus and motivate you to generate improvement opportunities. The two halves of the Kaizen journey The discussion that I often end up in, is the one around the imagination quandary. People talk to me about not being creative, or not being inspired to come up with improvement ideas. Do you ever feel this way? It seems that there is a popular view that some people are creative and some aren't. Great Kaizen ideas are not just the product of 'creative' people. There are lots of ways that you can generate improvement ideas without having to sit on a mountain top cross legged waiting for inspiration. Finding a 'mechanical' w

Kaizen projects: being honest about being off track

Projects, especially improvement projects, have a tendency to get off track. There is often a clear distinction between projects for customers and projects for ourselves. If our improvement projects fall behind then our customers won't be barking at us; it is no wonder that if something is going to slip it is our Kaizen endeavours. For some people this can be a tough conversation to have. No one wants to be a 'failure' and pride often gets in the way. In my experience it seems that it is believed to be far more credible to ignore the requirement to improve than to admit that we aren't making progress. So, if you find yourself (and your business) in this situation, what can you do about it? Let me share with you two options to increase the visibility in your business around progress with projects and four options to help get your projects back on track. Increasing visibility Ok, no more hiding the status of Kaizen activities . This also means no more being precious about