A rapidly evolving part of advancing your Continuous Improvement (CI) system, specific practices and initiatives is understanding the various technologies that can be applied to support solutions. This technology advancement is a big deal but can get messed up (lose money) or be very beneficial (make money). And your role can have much to do with it going well. That starts with emphasizing that without good “CI systems thinking and A-3 / PDCA type methodology”, the selection and application of process improvement technologies is likely to be messy or even misguided and costly.
Click here for a one page illustration that I got from a McKinsey article. I like the concept, the way it’s organized. You’ll see that the “wheel” advises about what types of technologies (hard and soft technologies and practices) align with what type of applications starting with most general at the hub and then working out to more specifics. I’m finding it a nice resource for thinking about what applications might fit for what needs and opportunities. It could also be used to help identify what technologies and associated practices you and your organization might want to learn more about or not (people / skill development).
Keep in mind that being a “CI Manager” has much to do with getting your company to become more of a learning organization. And you have to be selective about that – as in advancing your knowledge primarily on things that will improve efficiency and effectiveness – i.e., business results.