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Sustaining Continuous Improvement


Making a good start with a change programme such as continuous improvement is the easy part. Sustaining the programme is a lot more difficult. There are many reasons why a change programme may fail. Here are some questions and challenges for the most common:

Sustained commitment from leaders. Do they attend reviews, this site encourage and support improvement teams, provide coaching and mentoring, challenge poor performance? Just as vital, do senior leaders “walk the talk”, do they use the tools themselves? It is all too common for senior leader commitment to wane, usually due to the pressures of running a business and new challenges presenting themselves. However, this can be a slippery slope for an improvement programme.

Sustainability plan. Is the continuous improvement programme aligned to business strategy? Is progress measured (results and behaviour changes)? Is there a defined road map? Do progress checks exist (where the next level up uses audits or “go sees” to check progress )? Are train-coach-review cycles evident?  Are successes celebrated?

Governance structure.  Is there a steering team? Do team members have sufficient influence in the business? Does it meet regularly (with full attendance)? Is it effective? Are outputs from the steering team shared and visible to all? Is there evidence of regular updates to communications plans, key measures, risk logs, etc?  If the governance of the programme is weak, the programme will be ineffective.

The most important word in all this is SUSTAIN.

If you would like any further information or help with your change programme, please contact Alan on 07825-971371 or at alan@pathfinderassociates.co.uk

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