The concept of “continuous improvement” has been around for many years. It is based on a simple cycle of activity:
This remains an excellent way of approaching a whole number of issues yet many businesses and organisations are still not doing as well as they could be. One of the main reasons for this is that, while a lot of time and expertise goes into the Planning and Doing, relatively little attention is given to the Focusing and Reviewing.
This results in workplaces where it can sometimes feel as if there is too much firefighting, the same problems keep happening and progress is slower than it should be.
Michael Woodgate offers support to help managers at all levels Focus and Review more effectively, especially when it comes to improving the way people do their jobs. This involves more than just buying good training – it’s about making sure there are good performance management processes in place and that managers are able and willing to use them.
Understanding what is needed – support to look at the overall needs of an organisation/business or a particular department /site within it. This will then identify how improving the way people do their jobs can improve the performance of the organisation/department as a whole.
Training Needs Analysis – looking at what skills need to be developed, how those skills can be developed and what training might effectively support this. This approach can empower the customer to be as discerning and demanding when buying training as they are when buying anything else.
Training evaluation – measuring the effectiveness of training and calculating a financial return on the investment (ROI) by identifying beforehand the improvements any training is designed to achieve.
Measuring performance – ensuring managers know how well their operation is doing, not by generating a blizzard of Key Performance Indicators, but by identifying the key issues and ensuring there are simple, timely measures in place.
Effective review processes – establishing straightforward processes and disciplines to ensure that information about operational performance is captured and reviewed in a timely manner. In this way managers can address the causes of under performance rather than simply deal with the symptoms.
How to look at information and act on it - most organisations produce a vast amount of information nowadays. The challenge is how best to use it so that management decisions can be based on evidence rather than hunch or “that’s the way we’ve always done things”.
Support to managers – to manage people and processes and so sustain improvements in the way things are done. Money invested in training is largely wasted if it is not backed up by simple, sound management processes and managers ready, able and willing to use them.
Bringing management teams together – good management is almost always a collective endeavour. It is often worth taking time out to pause, reflect, agree common goals and ways of working as well as ironing out any niggles, disputes or fundamental differences.
Strategic review - in many busy organisations there is often little time (or inclination) to stop and think. But the best organisations do this on a regular basis and fully understand where the organisation is going and what it needs to do. This understanding is best articulated in the form of clear, written goals and objectives that all can buy into.
Designing competency frameworks – identifying the skills, knowledge and attributes people need to do their job well. Having all this written down is invaluable when it comes to recruitment, appraisal and effective training procurement.
Writing National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Qualification (QCF) units - experienced in writing new NOS and qualification units. For an example of NOS see here and of QCF units see here. (These links currently broken)
Support for learning providers to make “demand led” more than just a slogan. This requires the provider to empower the employer, supporting them not only to take control of the commissioning of learning but also to ensure that the workplace is able to sustain the improvements generated by the learning into the medium and long terms. Because while “please train them for me, then they’ll be better at their job” may suit all parties in the short term, before too long the benefits of the learning will wither, the training will be blamed – “didn’t seem to do much good really”- and repeat business becomes less and less likely. This service is as much for internal training departments as it is for external providers