How to Know What Areas Need Improvement

by Nimia Acebes on November 8, 2009

Whenever I call the attention of  some of the supervisors or subordinates on lapses in their offices, they always respond that things or processes were already there or were already done that way when they reported in that office.

It seems that , for some of them, since things were done that way years ago, is a justification for not introducing any innovation.

According to Louise Heath Leber “There’s always room for improvement, you know-it’s the biggest room in the house.”

This reminds me of the concept of productivity which is: “One can do better today than yesterday and better tomorrow than today.”

When we assume a new office or reassigned to another office, we must always identify areas that need  improvement.  Even though how efficient our predecessor was, always remember that no one is perfect. Yes, there are always better ways of doing things.

Here are the guides on how to know what areas need improvement and if improved will give the greatest outcome to the organization:

1. Focus on costs.  Whatever your organization is, whether you are operating for profit or with a budget, like a government agency, the good result of initiating with a cost reduction is great.

This doesn’t mean that we eliminate necessary services, such as income-generating activity, in order to reduce costs.  It means producing more products and services for every amount that the organization spends.

You must analyze and act assertively on how the present operating expenses can produce more products and services or or how the same volume or products and services can be produced at lesser costs.

2. Is it causing delay? Determine what causes delay in processes or in operations.  The cause of the delay is a rich area for improvement.

3. Is it stealing too much of your time? Identify if an activity is taking much of your time and preventing you from doing more productive work. This activity is a good area for improvement for it is perhaps costing the organization more than it should.

4. Has it slided unnoticeably in the wrong direction? For example, when quality of customer service is no longer given attention because the company focuses on increasing quantity of orders.  This is another fine area for improvement.

5. Is it keeping up with the current world changes?  When an organization does not keep up with current trend in technology, it will lag far behind.

6. Is there no innovation in the job or process? If a job or process is done the same old way as it was many or even a few years ago, then it is ripe for improvement.

7. Strategic Goals Must Accompany Efficient Operations.  To provide for innovation and control, the organization must have a regular review of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, the effect of the major trends to the organization, its missions and strategies.


A Manager is conducting a goal-setting with his employees

8. Watch what is being produced, Not Just Costs.  A business is described as a three major elements: inputs, activities, outputs.  The best manager must see all these three elements always and determine which of the elements need improvement.

9. Conduct Performance Planning and Review. This must be done at least every six months to get commitment from the employees in the attainment of goals and targets during the planning session.

During the performance review, the supervisor and the subordinates shall identify which goals and targets are not well attained and what are the areas that need improvement for each of them.

10. External Conditions Affecting the Business. The business is part of the community  where it is located, so its improvement is affected by the regulations, service, general economic health, educational, roads and transportation systems and many other characteristics of the community.

The corporate image of the business in the community also influences its improvement activities.  I suggest that the business entity shall conduct a customer satisfaction survey and use the result as a tool to identify areas of improvement.

American Author and Speaker Anthony Robbins says: “Commit to CANI! Constant And Never-ending IMPROVEMENT”

Improve and make a difference!

Your friend,

Nimia S. Acebes

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November 9, 2009 at 12:13 am
Focusing on Costs as an Area which Need Improvement
March 1, 2010 at 1:12 pm

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