Technology | Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement and Evaluation in Atlas Play

Defining Business KPIs

Regardless of the business, there will be a measure for success. Defining key performance indicators (KPIs) for a business is the cornerstone of measuring success and ensuring continuous improvement.

A business KPI needs to be something measurable, something the whole company can understand and something that you can forecast from. That might be:

  • Total sales figures for a given period
  • A percentage growth in sales
  • Qualified leads
  • An increase in your subscriber base

It’s more than likely that any business will have a number of KPIs that it will measure its success by. Understanding which are the most important will help you make plans for how to improve a company’s processes and will aid in measuring business performance.

Assigning KPIs to business processes

With KPIs evaluated and agreed upon, you can map business processes based on the goals they represent. As your mapping business process, think about how they’re going to help with continuous improvement. Ask yourself, as one Olympic rower said, ‘will it make the boat go faster?

  • Does this process move us towards achieving our KPIs?
  • Is this process using resources that could be better used elsewhere
  • Will we commit users to this that can excel better in other areas?
  • Does this process make the boat go faster?

With agreed KPIs in mind, every business process that you map in Atlas should help you improve business performance. But mapping business processes is only one step in the journey. Once they’re being run, you need to know if they’re helping.

Delivering a solution

Now that your business processes are mapped around achievable and agreed upon goals, your aim is to deliver the solutions you’ve built. This means testing and evaluating how effective your mapped processes are based on the KPIs you’ve set out.

You should design a testing sheet to test out your process and record the test results. Moving outwards from that you can put your test process in the hands of users, seeing how real world application of your processes would help achieve your KPIs.

Then you need to be reviewing these potential solutions. Are they effective? Does the solution work for the user? How does feedback from the user affect your concept of these solutions?

By following these steps, you can prototype and test, quickly and simply, producing rapid results and iterative development. All of this can happen within Atlas Play, with the resulting solutions being deployed to the right users quickly and efficiently.

Monitoring data using dashboards

The big picture you’ve drawn with all this data isn’t ever going to be static and it’s going to change based on a variety of factors from market fluctuations to changes in personnel to unexpected global events. Being able to keep an eye on the big picture and myriad of smaller ones is key.

Within Atlas you can build custom dashboards that give you a heads up view of all of that data, organised how you want and ready to help you improve. These dashboards can grow, change, develop and improve as your understanding of how to achieve your business KPIs does.

You can see at a glance how your business processes are helping you achieve your KPIs. You can spot bottlenecks and act swiftly to open them up. You can look ahead and use data to predict bumps in the road or potential areas for growth and mitigate or capitalise on them before they arrive.

Continuously improving

What next? Well, we believe in agile methodology. What we’ve described here isn’t a direct route to success but rather a cycle within a larger cycle within an ongoing journey. Your KPIs might be ultimate goals for the future but they might be short term targets for boosting business performance.

Continuous improvement is about evaluating where a business was, where a business is and where a business wants to be. From there it’s about mapping business processes that help get to achieve the latter.

Data is key to this, whether that’s historic sales data, predictive market analysis or gauging shop floor efficiency, every element of a business can be improved and should aim to be growing at all times. By first collecting, then organising, then utilising that data, these goals can be achieved.