While working with organizations to help them to learn how to improve their way of working (WoW), we’ve developed a technique that we call guided continuous improvement (GCI). Adopting an agile method such as Scrum, or a framework such as SAFe, may give you an initial start at improving your WoW you will quickly find yourself in “method prison.” The organizations that break out of method prison do so with a kaizen-based continuous improvement approach, or better yet GCI.
First, some definitions:
- A kaizen loop is an approach where a team experiments with a small change in their WoW, adopting the change if it works in their given context and abandoning it if it doesn’t.
- Continuous improvement is the act of applying a series of kaizen loops to improve your WoW over time.
- Guided continuous improvement (GCI) extends the kaizen loop strategy to use proven guidance to help teams identify techniques that are likely to work in their context. This increases the percentage of successful experiments and thereby increases the overall rate of process improvement.
In the article we go into the details of the technique, exploring:
- Why every team is unique
- Why agile methods/frameworks will only get you so far
- How to apply a kaizen-based improvement strategy
- How to improve kaizen loops with the DA toolkit
- How to break out of “method prison”
We hope you find the article to be a game changer for your agile adoption efforts.