Continual Improvement Process
Life Science organizations are constantly looking for ways to achieve cost savings in an increasingly competitive landscape. One of the most effective approaches is through the implementation of an effective Continual Improvement Process (CIP).
By introducing this type of process, business performance will improve through the elimination of wasted time, effort and energy - as well as long-term cost savings. Usually CI’s achieve incremental improvement over time or occasionally see a breakthrough improvement all at once.
The key to having an effective CIP Programme is to implement a strategy that informs the CI initiators on how the CIP will work. During implementation, there are a number of key points to follow:
- Buy in from everyone in the Business including Management.
The CIP must be embraced by the whole organisation. If one team in the business unit is exempt it will have detrimental effects on the overall strategy.
- Draw up common guidelines for CI Projects
This common approach will help the CI initiator and will make sure the projects stand up to any internal or external scrutiny or audit. Here are guidelines of how it should be structured:
- Project Scope and rationale
- Predicted benefits
- Actual delivery
- Actual benefits
- Opportunities for implementing the improvement in other areas of the business.
- Measure the Outcomes
The best way to do this is to set up a cross functional review board. This will ensure projects are judged correctly and consistently and will also ascertain if the CI brought a benefit to the business. The review board will look at the following:
- Was the Project successfully completed?
- Had it delivered the benefits claimed?
- Was there a genuine improvement derived from implementing the project?
- Recognition – Incentivise the CIP
Have clearly defined thresholds of reward linked to the savings achieved. This can be tied to a bonus system which should encourage employees to buy in to the process, motivating them to ensure that all deliverables are achieved or exceeded.
Stericycle GxP have worked with several customers on the implementation and delivery of a CIP that is aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of their compliance and validation departments. In our next blog, we will discuss the kind of metrics that can be used to benefit a validation department or compliance function.
Conrad Golden, Business Development Manager, Stericycle GxP