Page 3: Building an improvement strategy
An organisation's strategy is the plan to achieve desired objectives. A continuous improvement strategy is one that involves constantly seeking to make improvements, however small.
The organisation that continually makes improvements keeps ahead of its rivals. Homebase emphasises continuous improvement - seeking to identify and then deliver new and better ways of meeting customer needs. The review/plan/do approach is used at every level in the Homebase organisation.
The review stage involves looking at current performance, identifying what the organisation and its people need to keep doing and what needs to be changed.
The planning stage involves first being clear about what should be achieved and then organising thoughts, actions and people. Planning is systematic rather than a random process and must be fitted into a clear time frame.
Finally, the do stage, involves carrying out the plan. The skills of the organisation and its people must be organised to make each part of the plan work. Once the plan is being implemented it is possible to carry out further review stages - creating a further improvement cycle.
The next stage of review, therefore is to:
- compare what was achieved (results) against the plan
- decide what the organisation and its people would do again/not do/do differently
- include these decisions in future plans.
The review/plan/do cycle helps Homebase to achieve results and drives continuous improvement. It embeds the values of the organisation in every one of its stores. It is important to have a clear sense of direction, time spent planning is time well spent. Reviewing is important, if ongoing improvements are to be made.