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What is your business' performance focus?

When you undertake continuous improvement activities it is easy to have a broad brush approach.

"We'll improve everything!"

Everything can take a lot of time, and doesn't mean that you'll get the best results as quickly as possible.

Having a narrow focus can help you to prioritise your efforts and ensure that you make tangible progress.

Having a 'performance focus' is a good way to do this. Consider the different performance approaches that you could consider, pick one and then keep focusing on that aspect of your business until you feel ready to move towards another focus.

These different foci could include:

  • Delivering on time.
  • Increasing responsiveness to customer demands.
  • Shorter lead times.
  • Increased profitability.
  • Reduced debtors.
  • Higher levels of new product introductions.
  • Customer satisfaction.
  • Better inventory control.
I'm sure that you could think of a few, right now, that would be meaningful for your business.

It's a pretty simple formula to adopt:
  1. List out the potential performance foci.
  2. Pick one and 'hammer it' from an improvement perspective.
  3. Stop at an agreed point in time and reflect on the progress made.
  4. Decide if you want to stick with your focus, or change.
  5. Go to step 2, and repeat.
This approach can take a lot of hassle out of managing a continuous improvement programme within your business.

Give it a go and see how it works out for you,


P.S. If you are looking for simple strategies to help you make improvements take place in your business more regularly and with greater impact, then check out my Making It Happen course - click here.

About the author
Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes.
Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement strategies course.