Improving efficiency simplified
Produced in partnership with Beth Pipe of Bellis Learning Solutions Ltd
Improving efficiency simplified

The following Practice Management guidance note Produced in partnership with Beth Pipe of Bellis Learning Solutions Ltd provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Improving efficiency simplified
  • What is continuous improvement?
  • Five steps to improving efficiency
  • Step 1—identify and define the problem
  • Step 2—measure the problem
  • Step 3—analyse your data
  • Step 4—improve the process
  • Step 5—make changes and get people on board
  • Measuring success

What is continuous improvement?

The definition of 'continuous improvement' (CI) is often over-complicated and buried in jargon, but it means exactly what it says: continually looking for ways to improve processes, methods and procedures to:

  1. remove blockages

  2. make them as efficient as possible and therefore

  3. save time and money

Improvements do not have to be major changes; a number of small but effective changes soon add up.

CI tools and methods can help you fix processes that are no longer effective and review processes that may appear to be working but could still be improved to deliver greater efficiencies and cost savings.

Above all, CI is about engaging with individuals and pooling ideas, challenging the existing habitual ways of doing things and identifying a method of measuring the success or failure of new initiatives.

See Practice Note: What is continuous improvement?

Five steps to improving efficiency

The simplest framework for making process efficiencies has five steps:

  1. Define—identify the issue or problem

  2. Measure—measure the cost and the impact

  3. Analyse—go through the data to fully understand what it’s telling you

  4. Improve—generate, evaluate and implement solutions to the problem

  5. Control—remeasure to demonstrate effectiveness and embed into everyday activities

This is often referred to as the DMAIC model.

Practice Note: Improving efficiency—tool selector will help you identify the most appropriate tools to use at each stage.

It is important