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Getting Started

The first step of any journey is often the hardest. If you want to improve Minnesota government but aren't completely sure where to begin, we can help. There are many potential paths to take as you seek to understand and apply the concepts of continuous improvement (CI). Here are some tips and ideas to get you started on your path.

Learning the Basics and Beyond

If you haven't already, your first step is to learn about CI and its various concepts and principles. Our training programs are a great way to learn the basics, but you can also get started independently right here on our website. You'll find introductory content in our What is CI? section, and suggestions for websites, books, and other learning materials on our Links page. Here's a detailed list of links to kickstart your learning:

Applying CI in Your Work

Once you understand CI, you can start using it! Here are some fast and simple ways you can apply CI on an individual level:

  • Identify waste in your work processes. Keep a watchful eye for improvement opportunities around you.
  • Use the 5S method to make improvements to your working environment. You can use 5S with your desk, your office, your email inbox, your network drives, a storage space or common work area.
  • Develop Standard Work for one of your work processes or your portion of a larger process. This can help clarify processes without clear steps, and aid with continuity and backup for others involved with the process.
  • Start collecting data to measure performance for a process you work in. This information can help you set a baseline for current performance, identify opportunities for improvement, and set future goals.
  • Define your customers and their requirements, wants and needs. Many simple improvement opportunities come from identifying work that no longer aligns with current customer needs.

Starting the CI Transformation in Your Workplace

Once you've begun applying CI skills to your own everyday work, you can start spreading the message to others in your organization. Here are some ways to carry the CI torch and build momentum within your organization:

  • Lead a CI training session in your workplace, teaching your colleagues to understand and use CI.
  • Facilitate an improvement event or other CI project. Work with your colleagues and organizational leaders to identify processes that could be a good candidate for these methods.
  • Coordinate WorkOut sessions around your organization to identify improvement opportunities at an organizational level and think strategically about how to prioritize and make improvements a reality.
  • Communicate your successes to show CI in action and inspire future efforts and results.
  • Encourage colleagues to make CI a core part of how they approach their work. True transformation occurs not through consultants or constant improvement events, but instead when CI is at the heart of an organization's culture and the way its employees do business.

These are just some of the ways you can begin to apply CI in your work. Be sure to take advantage of the other information and resources on our website for more ideas. Need additional help getting started? Seek out a CI expert or contact us for help.

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