Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) News 

January 30, 2017

How to Implement a Continuous Improvement Plan in Your IT Department

Posted by Tom Strong

A company is like a shark: it needs always to be moving forward. If your company is not growing or improving it can quickly become stagnant and stop generating the revenue that you need. But if you are satisfied with your business processes and the products or services you offer, how do you keep moving forward?

One way forward is the implementation of a continuous improvement process.

The Tenets of a Continuous Improvement Process

The continuous improvement cycle is a way of thinking about business processes that involves constantly testing solutions and improving efficiency.

While the concept of continuous improvement itself is broad and easily understood, to implement a continuous improvement process, it is important to enact a concrete plan. The easiest way to introduce a continuous improvement cycle is through the Plan Do Act Check methodology.


First, identify a problem or inefficiency in your business and construct a plan to solve that problem. For instance, perhaps you have seen a recent uptick in customer churn through your VoIP CRM integration.

Utilizing the “5 Whys” of the Toyota method can be helpful here if you are struggling to find an easily measurable and testable solution. Start with the end failure, such as the above-mentioned churn. Using this example, we ask:

Why? Customers are unhappy with the delivery process
Why? Customers in a certain region are not receiving packages on time
Why? The regional delivery service is providing the wrong delivery windows
Why? The delivery service software had an unidentified glitch for a certain time zone
Why? The delivery service decided not to renew the license on their existing software and changed to a lower priced service

From here, you can develop a solution for the problem you identified. In this case, you may decide you need to negotiate a contract with a new delivery service within the next 90 days to prevent more customer churn.


When you have identified a root problem to try to solve, you need to put your plan into action as a test case. In the example we have used, you might either assess previous delivery service research, put out an RFP to national services, or expand a contract with another service that you use in a different region. Whichever you choose, now is the time to put it into practice on a small scale to get your results.


At this point, you can check if your plan accomplished what you set out to do. Were you able to secure a new service contract and stem customer churn? What obstacles did you encounter? What can you do differently next time?


Going forward, you now have the information you need to implement a process that works. However, the continuous improvement methodology is a cycle, so this is not the end. Each time you implement a new change, you will go back and check if it worked and assess how you can improve.

Applying Continuous Improvement to IT

We have now seen how continuous improvement can work in one example of business processes, but how can you apply this methodology to your IT department?

The first thing that is important to understand is that once the continuous improvement cycle is adopted, it should become a company-wide policy.

To apply this type of process specifically to an IT department, you will use the same steps as outlined above. Every department including IT will have a wide range of places to find efficiency and improvement. The idea behind continuous improvement is to start by finding quick wins that will build momentum for longer term challenges.

Examine the state of your IT department currently and look for places where you could apply a little effort and get a lot of difference. For example, if your IT department is struggling to find enough time to support all of your technology needs, you may need to look for investments you can make to free up time for more strategic goals. During the planning phase, you could investigate new equipment, outsourcing, or perhaps augmenting your team.

Then, simply make your way through the continuous improvement cycle and see if you have affected change in the department.

The continuous improvement methodology can be hugely helpful in organizations that want to be more efficient and that strive to provide the best possible experience for their customers. Whether in IT, supply chain, or any other department, it is a methodology that has countless success stories, and that is worth investigating.

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