Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Companies of all sizes need:
Processes to repeatedly execute steps in the creation of value
Systems to ensure the consistent following of these processes
Programs to ensure that these systems are effective in delivering value
Governance to establish direction, goals and culture
Continuous improvement is needed for all of these, however, the objective for improvement will differ:
Systems improve efficiency - meeting performance targets
Programs improve effectiveness - advancing outcomes
Governance improves culture - staying within ethical values
Different strategies and approaches will be needed to support each of these objectives. For example, LEAN is helpful to reduce waste and improve efficiencies at the process level. On the other hand, the improvement of effectiveness requires application of strategies that are more proactive in nature that consider: outcomes, risks, and change management.
When considering where to make improvements understanding the purpose of each management function helps to make sure that change produces the intended results.