Factors to consider when drafting a continuous improvement plan
Discuss about the Knowledge Management Capabilities.
A continuous improvement plan is an essential requirement for any organization that is aimed at ensuring that growth in an organization is enhanced. Latino Engineering management needs to ensure that there is a continuous improvement in place that makes sure that the company gets back to its feet. However, there are factors which must be considered when drafting a continuous improvement plan. First, there is a need to note that processes in an organization are affected by the operations and the management of the organization. Therefore, if an organization has no idea about the factors affecting its processes, it would not be in the best position to draft an effective continuous improvement plan. It is vital to identify the fields or departments where the organization is facing challenges with the intention of first dealing with the challenges before looking at the ways to improve the efficiency of the organization's processes. The paper will first look at how the company got into the current situation and then draft a plan that will make sure that the company retains its previous glory and also improves its processes and operations.
There are three major goals that the company is aimed at reaching. The first goal is to identify the causes of the declined quality of services and goods. The second goal is to identify the most effective methods of eliminating the major causes of the problem (Rothwell 2015). The third and essential goal is to identify the best strategy to ensure that there is a continuous plan which will help the organization to maintain the high quality of products and services. The three goals play a pivotal role in ensuring that growth and success are sustained in the company (De Oliveira 2013, p. 130). With the absence of one goal, the company will not be able to retain its lost glory. There is a need to note that the three goals will be achieved only through laid down strategies and structures (McFadden et al. 2014, p. 42). At the same time, it is essential to realize that contribution from the stakeholders as well as the allocation of resources will come in handy.
Latino Engineering Company had operated for thirty years before it started facing challenges. For the thirty years that the company was in business, it was apparent that its service delivery was of a higher quality than it is right now. With that in mind, it is evident that there are factors which have been working against the success of the organization. Therefore, it is essential to identify the causes of the challenges (Fleischmann et al. 2015, p. 90). The best way to identify the causes of the problem is to look at the areas which are more affected. After doing so, it is essential to look into the changes that have been made in the specific departments by the new administration (Gîfu et al. 2014, p 64). The reason for doing so is because a change in any given organization can affect the company positively or negatively. However, the management of the organization will also be looked into to make sure that the results are diverse and can point out to the possible causes of the challenges.
Organization's goals in creating a successful continuous improvement plan
By looking at the challenges which the case study has focused on, there are three possible causes of the problem. The first problem is related to the presence of a new management (Chambers et al. 2013, p. 117). From this perspective, there is a significant question that should be asked; might it be that the new management does not motivate the employees enough to encourage them to be effective? To answer the question, research on the relationship between the management and the employees and employees motivation will have to be conducted (Colledani et al. 2014, p. 780). The second possible cause is associated with the presence of new employees. The important question from this perspective is; should it be that the new employees do not possess the relevant knowledge and skills to be competitive enough to continue processing and designing products that are of high quality? In business, the removal of one employee and addition of another might bring a positive or an adverse change. To answer this question, employee evaluation, as well as performance appraisal, will come in handy.
The third possible cause is associated with the attitude of the employees. The attitude of an employee in an organization affects his or her performance in different ways. A positive attitude leads to increased morale which results in improved efficiency and effectiveness (Kilger et al. 2015, p. 270). A negative attitude leads to decreased morale which results in delayed processes and increased errors in operations. The best way to answer this question will be looking into different areas. The first area will be the trend in employee's performance. The second will be the working environment, and the third will be the availability of resources.
The main aim of identifying the causes is to identify the strategies which can be effective in each cause of the problems (Faizan et al. 2014, p. 670). However, the strategies under this section will not only look at the problems; they will look at the problems and the solution to the entire problem that is facing the company. The following are the strategies which will be used in dealing with the problem;
Employees cannot be effective if there is a barrier between them and the management. In the modern day management of organizations, there is a need to ensure that employees are valued by the management of the organization they work for (Calvo-Mora 2015, p. 1650). Research shows that a good relationship leads to employees giving more than required as a way of demonstrating their satisfaction with the organization. For example, when it comes to the design team in Latino Engineering, it is apparent that there are designs drafted by the management. If there is no close relationship with the employees, they are likely to only implement the strategies of the organization without speaking out even if it is evident that the implementation will have an adverse effect on the company (May et al. 2013, p. 100). However, if the management demonstrates a high level of respect to the employees, it is apparent that they would advise the organization when it tries to implement a strategy that might affect its success.
Identifying causes of the declined quality of services and goods
The company introduced new employees to the workforce. Therefore, it is apparent that some did not have all it takes to continue the successful trend of the company. It is then vital to ensure that the skills of the new employees are in line with the needs of the company (Rosemann and Vom Brocke 2015, p. 110). Such will be done by evaluating the employees, doing away with employees who do not meet the threshold and only hiring those who possess skills which are in line with the demand of the company.
Performance appraisals and working trends are the two important strategies which will help in dealing with employees who have been working for the organization (Fitzgerald and Stol 2014, p. 7). Employees who will demonstrate that they have all resources they need to be effective, have been performing well in the past and are currently not performing well will be given a chance to retrieve themselves or leave the company.
The working environment might also be one of the reasons why the company is performing poorly. The company will make sure that it provides the employees with all resources they need to be effective. At the same time, the new management will ensure that employees are motivated for them to be effective in their operations.
According to the case study, Latino Engineering was doing well for the last thirty years. Therefore, it is apparent that maybe the strategies of the new management are not effective (Nadeem et al. 2013, p. 390). To eliminate the problem, there is a need for the organization to look at the current strategies which have proven not to be effective and substitute them with the strategies utilized by the previous management.
The employees who have been working for the organizations have been involved in the process of success. Therefore, it is apparent they know about how to ensure that processes and operations in the organization lead to success (Colledani et al. 2014, p. 780). It is only wise to ensure that such employees are engaged in the decision-making processes for them to be of contribution to the elimination of the problems facing the company.
Before the entrance of the new management, there was a close relationship between the company and its customers. The reason for the relations was because of the established trust between the company and the customers (Brown et al. 2013, p. 880). The trust came as a result of quality services and the interest of the company to prioritize the needs of the customers. For the relationship to be rebuilt, a communication must be made to the customers. The customers need to be assured that the company is looking into ways of fixing the problem once of for all. By so doing, the customers will feel appreciated and as part and parcel of the organization, and that will enable them to give the company a second chance rather than seeking the services of the competing companies.
Strategies for dealing with problems related to management and employees
For the plan to be effective, the company will need to allocate different resources. By looking at the strategies, it is apparent that the improvement of the organization will come with additional costs. For the company to get back to where it was below, it must bring in a fresh workforce. A workforce attracts costs in two categories; skills costs and extra resources costs. Skills cost is the amount of money that the company will have to part with just to bring in professionals who will make sure that the company has skilled labor. The company will also need to bring in an independent body which should evaluate the employees with the intention of eliminating biases; selecting a panel from the organization might lead to the panel being biased (Savino and Mazza 2014, p. 180). Labor is an essential resource for the success of an organization. As far as the aspect of labor is concerned, the company will come up with a motivation program, and that will attract another cost from the company. The cost of resources is associated with the money the company must allocate only to purchase high-quality materials as well as machinery. To enhance production and to ensure that the working environment is suitable for the production team, the company will have to purchase the required materials as well as the machinery.
Putting a plan in place comes with measures which will help in ensuring that the plan is effective. The measures are part of the plan because they help to direct the employees and all stakeholders on what should be done and not done to ensure that improvement is inevitable. Having a continuous improvement plan without measures is not different from having an organization without policy; it is ungovernable.
A continuous improvement plan is not less powerful than a strategy whose aim is to facilitate the promotion of the organization’s processes from a level of stagnation to a level of excellence and success. Therefore, the plan ought to be taken seriously by every stakeholder who is interested in walking down the same lane with the company. It is for this reason that there must be set guidelines which emphasize the need for every stakeholder to be a participator in the implementation of the strategies highlighted in the plan (Calvo-Mora et al. 2015, p. 1640). The plan has developed a requirement list for every significant stakeholder in the company. The list is supposed to reaffirm the stakeholders that it is committed to achieving great results but only by their engagement and involvement in implementing the strategies. With that in mind, it is clear that the organization expects every internal stakeholder to take part in ensuring that the current challenges facing the organizations are issues of the past and never again should they be on the list of the challenges facing the company in future.
Strategies for rebuilding a relationship with customers
An organization that is aimed at reaching greatness and dominating in the business world must not condone input by the employees which might be motivated by lack of concern and which might lead to the downfall of the company. The reason why there are policies in organizations is that not every employee is ready to fold his or her sleeves for the sake of ensuring that the company is a success. There are three possible consequences which will befall the employees who chose not to live by the continuous improvement plan; not because they have limited capabilities but because they are not willing to be part and parcel of the team which will facilitate in ushering in the new dawn of Latino Engineering (Baumgartner 2014, p.270). It is fundamental to realize that the company has a reputation at stake and failure to reinvent itself it will be knocked out of the market once and for all. With that in mind, it will be unwise for the company to condone employees who are of no significance to the growth and development of the company (Kronick et al. 2015, S400). The three consequences will be lay-off, suspension, and demotion. However, the company is not willing to walk down the lane of letting go some of its employees, but, if they demonstrate that they are of no use to the Continuous Improvement Plan implementation process, there will be no other choice but to let them go and let in those who have a bigger dream for the organization.
When an entity drafts a continuous improvement plan, it is important to have an evaluation plan. An evaluation plan helps the company to know if the strategies drafted are effective and if they are addressing the problems the way they ought to. When it comes to evaluation, there are two major ingredients, and they are strategies and goals (Tyagi 2015, P. 210). The strategies must be an effective roadmap of reaching the goals. Therefore, if by any way they depict that they do not produce positive results, it is only proper for them to be scrapped, substituted or revised. The evaluations will be done based on a specific strategy against its intended goal. For example, the main aim of bringing back the strategies used earlier is to see if the organization will start achieving positive results (Aziz & Hafex 2013, p. 670). Therefore, if the implementation of the strategies will prove to work, then it will be apparent that the desired goals will be accomplished. However, if the strategies prove that there are no positive results, it will be clear that they are not effective in helping the organization to reach the desired goals. After every one week, each strategy will be monitored with the aim of identifying if there are positive results. The best way to prove if the organization is headed in the right direction will be by only looking at the strategy implemented and the far it has gone in helping the company to attain its goals.
Resource allocation for creating a successful continuous improvement plan
Latino Engineering is not a failing organization; it is just an organization that has lost track of its success path. However, that can be taken care of by just implementing the continuous improvement plan. The plan has focused on all aspects essential for the continuous growth of the company. An effective continuous improvement plan does not only look at the ways that an organization will improve, but it also looks at how the organization will get there. An organization cannot reach its goals without rules, stakeholders, and resources. With that in mind, it is apparent if Latino Engineering can implement the continuous improvement plan, it will not only regain its top position in the market, but it will reach greater heights than ever before.
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