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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Adopting Best Practices and Six Disciplines

Today's small business owner is confronted with new business problems and opportunities on a regular basis. Running a company requires the ability to look outside the business for solutions, ideas, and best practices.

A best practice is the process of finding and using ideas and strategies from outside your company and your industry to improve performance in a specific area.

The benefits of adopting best practices? Reduced costs, avoiding mistakes, innovating purposefully, and improved performance.

Steps for Adopting Best Practices

  1. Identify one business process or service to improve. (e.g., product delivery)
  2. Look for one metric to measure. (e.g., late shipment %)
  3. Find competitors and companies within your industry and outside your industry. (e.g., FedEx)
  4. Collect information on the successful, best practices of other companies. (e.g., FedEx spoke and hub system)
  5. Modify the best practice for your organization. (e.g., Have one retail store per city act as central hub for shipments.)
  6. Implement the process then measure the results.

BOTTOMLINE: Developing best practices in your organization is a discipline of continual process improvement.

What makes Six Disciplines unique is that it integrates the best practices of strategic planning, quality control, integrated learning, business process automation, people performance management and measure-driven improvement into a single, holistic business process improvement system - optimized for smaller businesses.

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