It’s the first week of 2017, which means that self-improvement season is in full swing. For the rest of the month, many of us will struggle to find a parking spot at the gym and will have to queue up for a spin on the elliptical. A new year is always full of potential and ripe with possibilities, which is why we feel inspired to make dramatic resolutions.
But many of these personal goals fizzle out come February. The gym becomes a drag, old eating habits return, and we go back to our familiar ways. Why is this? Maybe because it’s easy to set goals, but much harder to put together a systematic plan that guides and supports your efforts. If you’re an accreditor or a quality professional in the manufacturing space, you know firsthand the critical role process management plays in ensuring excellence and upholding quality, and you’re way ahead of the New Year’s Resolution crowd when it comes to building processes that support your goals.
In short, you are #winning the self-improvement game, and we can all learn from your example.
Applying Continuous Improvement to Our Personal Goals
Accreditors and quality professionals understand that organizations can and should improve their business processes over time. They know that progress happens incrementally, and the best way to coax improvements out of your organization is to create a plan and apply it systematically. Whatever form your org’s continuous improvement takes—the PDCA cycle, Six Sigma, Lean, Total Quality Management, or your own custom effort—it exists to help you reach your quality goals, even as they grow and change over time.
What can we take away from these continuous improvement models as mere mortals wrestling with our personal New Year’s Resolutions? Here are a few examples.
Let’s say you want to run your first marathon this year, but you’re a novice runner who can only log about two miles at a time. By following the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) Cycle, you can create a training plan for the year, start training, and check your progress each week to make sure you stay on track. If you fall behind schedule, you can make mid-course corrections such as joining a running club, finding a mentor, or adjusting your schedule so that you run when your energy is at its best. The regular check-ins keep you honest as you work toward your goal.
Lean’s focus is on eliminating waste from the business. You can apply this to your own life by recording how you spend your day—are you scrolling through Facebook for hours, and then struggling to find time to go to the gym? Lean can help you identify those time-wasting habits that stand in the way of your personal progress.
These are simple examples, but hopefully they inspire you to try some of your continuous improvement techniques at home.
How ARMATURE Supports Continuous Improvement
From our 15+ years of working in the accreditation and quality management space, we know that no two organizations tackle quality in exactly the same way, and each individual organization changes and improves its processes over time. That’s why we built our software to be highly configurable—so you can change your processes with just a few clicks.
This flexibility is key, and our customers love how it supports their continuous improvement efforts and empowers them to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to refining their processes and reflecting those changes in the system.
Quality management professionals take on complex and ambitious goals. Whether it’s upholding educational excellence across a huge swath of institutions, or managing risk for a large manufacturing organization, your goals are big, and your dedication to continuous improvement is an inspiration to us all.
Here’s to a year of great accomplishments, both personal and professional!