Continual improvement and the real world

Continual improvement and the real world

CSI always seems like the most romantic aspect of ITIL to me. It’s something we all want to do, but don’t always get a chance to, because of it’s noisier cousins (Pipe down, incident management!). In my experience, it’s probably one of the most neglected ITIL processes.

But, that doesn’t mean we can’t always improve other aspects of our business too. There are some ways you can still feed continual improvement into all of your teams on a regular basis to achieve regular upgrades and power-ups!

If you’re not doing these. You need to start. This is the most simple thing! I believe these should happen in every team in your business. It’s a well known process for development teams. But why stop with development teams? Why aren’t sales having a retrospective meeting? Why can’t finance talk about what’s not working and what is? This meeting will act as a less empirical way of measuring how well your team is working!
Tip: Try having a regular retrospective meeting in your team. Pain points and suggestions for improvement will get mentioned. This is a chance for teams to share frustrations and agree improvements.

Have a stand up meeting every day. Go around and talk about what each person achieved the day before and any blockers, before discussing what you’ll be working on that day. Why? Small wins are to be had here, there may be someone who has worked on something similar already who can share experience and knowledge, maybe someone can help unblock some work for you.
Tip: Try and keep your stand-up meetings to 5 minutes or less. Pick up longer conversations away from the stand-up meeting.

Innovation time
Chances are your teams don’t always get to work on the things which are the most important thing to them. They get to work on the things which are deemed the most important to the business by product management teams and business goals.
Now that’s cool and everything, we all understand why this is the case, but we should give our teams some time, regularly, to work on the things they want to work on. This helps your business by proxy. When people work on things they want to, it’s often to solve things which make their work lives harder.
Tip: Use innovation time to keep our employees happy and increase productivity by allowing staff to work on the things they want to.

Resources and conferences
Spend your money! I’ve been very lucky in that I get to attend the conferences I want to and I get access to some awesome online training resources. But in that, I learn new things from keynotes, new ideas from speakers, and about tools that could help my business from vendors. Also, I’m more bought into my business because of their support and backing.
Tip: Encourage new ideas and learning in order to bring improvements into your business, through your staff.

In conclusion, CSI in the title of this blog post might have been a bit misleading. But hopefully, even if your business doesn’t have the time to look at CSI, you can still encourage “CSI by proxy”. By utilising continual improvement within your teams, listening to their feedback and providing autonomy, you can still improve on your services and processes.

Up next? Running successful retrospective meetings within your teams and what to do with the output from those. Until next week…..!