Institutionalizing Continual Service Improvement

In this age of the global economy we repeatedly hear about how organizations must continually innovate and change to meet the challenges of global competition.  Does your organization have a plan of continual service improvement (CSI)?  Has the executive level defined how CSI will be part of the overall business strategy?  Is there alignment, from IT management?  How much time, resources and budget is being allocated towards improvement?  Is it a structured corporate program or an ad-hoc initiative with little direction and no defined benefit? 

Institutionalizing CSI is one of the critical success factors for the 21st century.

A well-defined and managed strategy is necessary when confirming that all resources and capabilities of the organization are aligned to achieving business outcomes and that those investments are lined up with the organization's intended development and growth.  It also safeguards that all stakeholders are represented in deciding the appropriate direction for the organization and the means whereby resources, capabilities and investments are prioritized.
Do the CSI plans span the entire lifecycle?   Are there mechanisms in place that allow for the capture of data and information that can then be synthesized into knowledge?  Is this knowledge being utilized by all stakeholders to develop the appropriate perspective? Finally are our processes, procedures and communication links streamlined, robust and agile enough so that we can create a position of competitiveness in our particular fields?  
Answering these questions is the first step towards an institutionalized CSI program in that the questions can be used to initiate and facilitate dialogue between key business and IT stakeholders.

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