6. Continuous Improvement

Focus has also introduced a set of tools, which - even if you are not looking to change anything in your team processes - can help improve team morale, team efficiency and team results.  

Daily Update

A Daily Update is a 10-15 minute team check-in, with the aim of keeping everyone in the loop, tracking progress and raising any issues so these can be quickly addressed – without waiting until the next team meeting. The completed documents are useful Visual Management for anyone who wasn’t able to attend, or for new team members. The Daily Update can be held in the office – when team members are co-located; or online - when working remotely.

Office Based

Once you’ve decided which of the parts of the template work for you:

  • Print out copies for the office wall.
  • Agree a timeslot for the catch up – 1st thing in the morning is good if everyone starts around the same time of the morning. Agree a time slot for the update and send everyone a meeting invite so the time is in their diaries.
  • It is good practice to take turns with leading so everyone gets involved.
  • Whoever is leading the Daily Update on a day, simply talks through the different sheets, the leader adds comments/updates from the team; Individuals can move their chosen icons up or down the scale as required.

Remote

Once you’ve decided which of the parts of the template work for you, instead of printing out copies for the office wall, save the template somewhere where everyone in your team has access, e.g. Sharepoint or within Teams.

  • Agree a time slot for the update and send everyone a Teams meeting so they can join the Update remotely.
  • It is good practice to take turns with leading so everyone gets involved.
  • Whoever is leading the Daily Update on a day simply opens the template and shares their screen with everyone in the call/meeting. As they talk through the different tabs, the leader adds comments/updates from the team; or in the case of the barometer, moves the chosen icons up or down the scale as required by the individuals.
  • At the end of the session save the changes and it is ready for the next day.

The POST Agenda

Are meetings too long? Do you not manage to get through everything? Does the focus of the meeting get lost?

The POST is a more structured agenda which whilst it may involve more time to put together before the meeting, it can help guide/control a meeting particularly where there are lots of people involved, lots of agenda points and limited time. By sending out the POST in advance of the meeting, any queries/concerns can be raised before the meeting, leaving more time in the session.

Visual Management

Key to continuous improvement is a common understanding of how things work and access to performance data. Sharing key information through visual management is important to ensure that everyone can support each other and pull in the same direction.

Visual management is also key for the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

Stop, Start, Continue

This is a simple format to gather feedback from an individual or group regarding a specific area of activity. It gives an insight into what is working well now and what needs to be improved, along with ideas on how to improve. It can be used with your team members to improve an internal operation or with your customers to improve an aspect of your service. The end goal is to have an action plan to take forward. 

Stop, Start, Continue is a helpful tool in continuous improvement since it combines reflection on a current situation with ideas to tweak it - while focussing on a defined / manageable sphere of activity (rather than overhaul a big complicated process). For example, you could ask: "What do we need to 'Stop, Start, Continue' in how we run team meetings?"