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Continual Improvement as a tool towards sustainability

Posted on February 10, 2012 in Articles

Continual improvement tools can be applied in various industries depending on their respective organisational needs. These tools are not only geared towards providing breakthrough improvements in an organisational process and operation but also a sustainable “Greener”  growth. Tools on cost management can help organisations optimise their resources respectively while not compromising quality. Such efficiency in utilisation of resources can aid organisations in gaining competitive advantage; in line with this, cost management tools can be partnered with output management and problem solving techniques which would ensure long term business survival and sustainability.

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Going Beyond Standards
For the most part, continual improvement tools can serve as a barometer for improvement and with the shift of business paradigm towards competition, changing for the better, while sustaining such improvements  is probably one of the most difficult goals to accomplish. ISO’s main game plan lies on the standards which organisations can capitalise in order to active operations efficiency. Such standardisation had evolved over time and gave birth to the question of how such improvement can be sustained over time across all affected business units. Such demand for marginal/breakthrough improvements overtime in order to sustain growth gave birth to what is now know as continual improvement. Through continual improvement, organisations have now shifted its business paradigm from just having standards to having sustainable standards which would serve as an alley towards operational efficiency.

Continual Improvement does not compartmentalise organisations, it’s a team oriented approach which would include the commitment of top management in order to align, monitor and control the organisations key performance index. Alignment of these indices while achieving marginal/breakthrough improvements also provides a framework that helps organisations translate their specific strategies and tactics beyond management systems. Improvement tools such as balance scorecards and business process management are key metrics which can enable organisations to align their goals to project initiatives such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Governance and Business Continuity Management.

The growing need to business survival became more and more evident as organisations face stiffer competition. As a result, a customer focused continual improvement efforts are deemed to be necessary in order for organisations not just to align its objectives with its project initiatives, but also, to sustain  improvements efforts in order to go beyond standards TO continual improvement then TOWARDS operational excellence.

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