Let’s take a look at an example of continuous improvement practices at the company Atlassian.

Atlassian, a software company that offers products to product managers and development teams, has successfully created and sustained a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. Atlassian achieves this in a few different ways.

Firstly, to drive innovation, employees are given 20% of their allocated work time to spend on personal projects. [1] This is modelled on Google’s innovation strategy, where personal projects often can be transformed into creative new features or products for the organisation. This strategy requires Atlassian to allow their employees the time to work on these personal projects, which is an expensive risk for the company since 20% of employees’ time is given away to experimentation. However, to ensure that this time is used productively, employees focus their personal projects on the team, how it operates, and what they do.

Secondly, Atlassian cultivated a culture of continuous improvement to support innovation. Specifically, Atlassian split their employees into small teams and encouraged them to own their career path by embracing and identifying challenges and strengths. What they found was that successful teams handled challenges differently to other teams, so to help those who struggled, Atlassian implemented a workshopping resource called the Team Playbook. They gathered the practices that successful teams used and created short, purposeful workshops and exercises that enabled teams to learn and adopt these practices. [2]

For example, Atlassion’s Health Monitor [3] helps teams to assess their strengths and weaknesses. Once some weaknesses have been identified, teams and employees can use other plays to strengthen these areas.

Instructions: How do you implement continuous improvement practices?

Taking dedicated work time to innovate and find continuous improvement opportunities can be an expensive cost for an organisation. Considering what you have just learned, complete the following:

  1. Explain in a brief paragraph:
    • How might you go about implementing effective continuous improvement practices?
    • What might you do differently to Atlassian?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

44 thoughts on “Practical activity 5: (Product Mgt Course) How would you implement effective continuous improvement practices?

  1. Ways I would create effective continuous improvement practices
    1. All team members are troubleshooters. Everyone on the team is constantly at different times and stages looking for issues with the product and ways to eliminate those issues such that it doesn’t affect the output of the product.
    2. Constant training on idea generation and problem solving for all team members. So their minds are pricked to tackle product issues at all times.
    3. Put metrics in place to identify and reward staff’s functional improvement activities.

  2. As a PM, I will first of all create a culture of innovation and change within my team by making them accept it as a way of life and see reason why this must be implemented as it can affect the overall business and products goals. This I will do and inculcate from the initial stage of the product development.
    I will also encourage continuous improvement through massive customer feedback at product launch. This feedback will highlight each team’s contribution to the creation of the product. So each team is getting a feed back from the designteam to the functionality to the market awareness etc. what I will do differently from atlassian’s is that I will give incentives to each team by paying them for their extra time to effect change so as to encourage and boost their interest in doing so. I will also encourage ideas and notable changes from my team members by creating a safe environment where everyone’s word matters no matter how small.

  3. Implementing effective continuous improvement practices involves allowing staffs or team members to bring their own idea, staff training, getting feedback from customers and staying updated with the latest trend.

  4. In order to execute successful continuous improvement, I would support a data-driven strategy that encourages experimentation and learning. This would entail:

    1. Establishing important goals and metrics Align improvement initiatives with particular corporate goals, monitoring progress and assessing results with data.

    2. Empowering teams: Give staff members the instruments and materials they need to spot inefficiencies and suggest fixes. Promote experimentation by using quick prototyping and A/B testing.

    3. Promoting openness and feedback: Establish an environment where exchanging thoughts and opinions is valued and taken into consideration. Observe, interview, and survey different stakeholders to get their input on a regular basis.

    4. Honouring accomplishments and taking lessons from mistakes: Teams should be rewarded for successful improvements and discussed openly to ensure that mistakes are learned from. Record your learnings and distribute them throughout

  5. Implementing effective continuous improvement practices involves allowing staffs or team members to bring their own idea, staff training, getting feedback from customers and staying updated with the latest trend.

  6. To implement effective continuous improvement practices, a company can start by fostering a culture that values innovation and encourages employees to contribute ideas for improvement. Providing dedicated time, like Atlassian’s 20%, for employees to work on personal projects can be beneficial. Additionally, establishing structured processes, such as regular brainstorming sessions or workshops, can facilitate idea generation and collaboration among teams. It’s also crucial to gather feedback from employees regularly and prioritize improvement initiatives based on their impact and feasibility. To differentiate from Atlassian, one might tailor the approach to fit the specific needs and dynamics of the organization, considering factors such as company size, industry, and existing culture. Additionally, investing in training and development programs focused on continuous improvement methodologies can empower employees to drive meaningful changes within their respective roles and teams.

  7. The best way to implement a continuous improvement culture in a service organisation is to start with yourself.

    I learned this in my last job when I worked as an entry level engineer with no authority.

    Instead of looking around and finding ways to critique the organisation, I asked myself: ‘What would I do differently if I were given an everything-goes pass?’

    I started building systems that would help my colleagues work faster. I did this without getting any compensation.

    It took a lot of my time but I saw the improvements within our department within 6 months of implementing the systems I created. We received compliments from our clients.

    I then went on to continuously work on projects that made giant leaps in terms of time and cost efficiency.

    But the key thing here is this. I never did them alone. Although I started them, I always involved my colleagues. I also tried to give them more ownership by asking for their opinions about how we should execute it and how they think it should be improved.

    They were at first hesitant but over time, on seeing their contributions bring value to the team, they began their own projects.

    I left this organisation better than I found it. Unfortunately due to some management conflicts I left the company. Though so, I could see that now the culture of improvement was already in place. The entire team became self-sustainable.

    What I want to say is this. If you care enough and spend enough time on the things that really matter, then you can really make a difference in your organisation.

    Look for areas where you can make an improvement in. Involve your team. Be constructive in your feedback and congratulate them when they do good work.

  8. Here are some key steps to implement continuous improvement:

    Define Clear Objectives:

    Clearly define the goals and objectives of your organization or specific processes.
    Ensure that these objectives align with the overall mission and vision of the organization.
    Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement:

    Foster a mindset that values learning and improvement at all levels of the organization.
    Encourage open communication and feedback, making it safe for employees to share their ideas and suggestions.
    Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

    Identify and measure key metrics that align with your objectives.
    Regularly review and analyze these KPIs to identify areas for improvement.
    Implement Regular Assessments:

    Conduct regular assessments of processes, workflows, and systems.
    Use tools such as process mapping, value stream mapping, or SWOT analysis to identify bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement.
    Encourage Employee Involvement:

    Involve employees in the improvement process as they often have valuable insights.
    Establish cross-functional teams to tackle specific improvement projects.

  9. firstly, i’ll create a system that is not too complicated and i might as well add survey and forms to monitor customer’s feedback and to allow for both quantitative and qualitative feedback. i’ll also incorporate the art of continuously improving. i’ll also allow my employees enjoy the feeling of suggesting a means of improvement.
    the only difference will be to continuously divide the team into cells at random so there will be means for everyone to be carried along. there will be no marginalization.

  10. I will create a system where customers can give feedback and open up more opportunities for my team to share their opinions based on these feedbacks and in general. This will boost their confidence and make them feel like they’re truly part of the process.

  11. When you stop doing something, nothing happens. Continuous improvement should be an unending Process. The process of keeping, improving, keep doing and keep seeing results. So as a product manager, I must consider the cycle of PDCA- Plan, Do, Check and Act. Should be my guiding principle in effecting incremental change for the organisation.

  12. Since the individual goals is in tandem with that of the company, I would allocate more time to them for more exploit, makes communication very effective, improve the process and encourage feedback. That way we can monitor our CI and of course make use of the incremental Continuous Process all the time.

  13. Customers feedback mechanism is a very important tool that can be used for continuous improvement of a business or product. This system would tell the product manger the experiences of the users and in turn the product manger can use the information to further fine tune the product to what the customers make want an also attracts new potential customers.

    What i would do differently is to allocate more time for the team work because it has shown to be an effective mean so adding more time can give them more time to explore ideas and do more as a team.

  14. I will create a culture that encourages feedback mechanism.
    I will make the product customer centricity and put in place employees rewards system

  15. To implement effective continuous improvement practices involves creating a culture that encourages feedback, learning, and adaptation at all levels of the organization. This can be achieved through regular assessment of processes, identifying areas for improvement, setting specific goals, and implementing changes incrementally. Key components include fostering open communication channels, providing resources for skill development, empowering employees to research and make decisions, and also celebrates successes.

  16. First step is having feedback loops so it’ll be easy to get information from current processes so that as a product manager, I can understand and assess the current state of the product quality and where it needs improvement, customer centricity ie improve on a products design or features so customers love it more, look at the ratio between the business income and its expenses to see where an improvement is needed to maximize profits and lastly look at the certain metrics that track the status of a business process to know the exact performance of certain business processes and procedures.

  17. Foremost, I will create a system that allows customers to give their feedbacks about our project virtually, this will help the employees to also gain confidence when their experimentation is being analyzed by the customers and help them to build a better product as a team since they know the feedback will be opened and their project will be structurally look into by the people they are providing the service for.

    What I might what to do differently is taking more risk by giving extra time for team work and implementation.

  18. Firstly , I would have created a platform that allows users to give effective feedback on the product both virtually and physically. There will also be a suggestion platform for employees to give their opinion on the product that has been launched. The data from all these sources will be collated and analyzed either at the end of every week or month , depending on what the team agrees. After Analyzing, the goal for the following week/month will then be to work on how to improve on the feedbacks that has been obtained.
    What I might do differently to Atlassian is that asides the 20% employee time, extra 10% will be spent within small teams for team projects. I believe strongly in teamwork.

  19. In order to implement continuous improvement, I, as the project manager will do survey and make research in other aspects that will make the company/organization grow and also get ideas from my team to make sure there is customer’s satisfaction after using our product.
    I will dedicate a team just for getting feedback from customers/clients in order to have ideas on how to improve in building or marketing our products.

  20. To implement continuous improvement as a pm, I will list out all that is needed to achieve this goal and then make sure I have different people working on each aspect from my main team, and then we occasionally come together to put together all that we have gathered as team and then work on this.

    Well since this has been atlassian culture and as well been working for them, I might stick to that culture and not do anything differently since is producing results. That’s all that matters.

    Figure out a system/style that works and then stick to it.

  21. To continously improve the product
    I will make a survey that will enhance new ideas and views that will make the organization unique.
    I will implore the team to work on their own and come back together as a team to share their views.

  22. To implement continously improvements
    I will make a survey that will enhance new ideas and views that will make the organization unique.
    I will implore the team to work on their own and come back together as a team to share their views.

  23. To implement continuous improvement, I’ll create a culture of improvement to support innovation specifically .
    I will also get the team to work on
    feedback data

  24. To improve continuously, encourage a culture that values new ideas and learning. Let employees work on projects that help the company grow. Provide support like workshops and tools. Regularly check progress and adjust plans based on feedback. Customize your approach to suit your company’s style. For instance, instead of setting aside specific time for projects, integrate improvement into everyday work.

  25. To implement continuous improvement I’m going to make sure we use all accessible information for our growth and all employees ideas would be considered valuable because it helps the improvement process.

  26. To implement a continuous improvement practices, I would listen to posts on various channels that will help me gather information of what the customers need and want and also ensure that customer’s feedback is gathered efficiently and implemented.

  27. To implement a continuous improvement practices I would get the team to work on the feedback data and allocate time for research and practical to them.

    Work as a team to device ideal and innovation to respond to product data.

    1. To implement effective continuous improvement practices firstly I will get my team to understand the target at hand , work together to find solutions to the task through support, innovation.
      Secondly, is I will be open for feedbacks on how tasks can be done effectively while creating an atmosphere for learning and growth.

  28. Firstly,all the company’s the staff would be carried along so as to have same target and do a massive follow up,and they should all come together,think together and have a better massive result

    1. For me to implement a continuous improvement process, my teams and I would have done everything necessary and need in other to launch the product at first, then we wait for the feedback from customer because it’s very important you get feedback from customers in other to know how to improve on your product. Proper research will be made and communication will also be a key factor.

  29. Implementing effective continuous improvement practices involves creating a culture that values experimentation, learning, and adaptation. Firstly, leadership must communicate the importance of continuous improvement and provide resources, such as dedicated time or tools, to support employees in this endeavor. Secondly, fostering an environment where employees feel empowered to identify areas for improvement and experiment with new ideas is crucial. This could involve encouraging cross-functional collaboration, providing training in problem-solving methodologies, and establishing feedback mechanisms for sharing insights and successes. Additionally, recognizing and celebrating achievements related to continuous improvement can reinforce the desired behaviors and motivate further innovation. To differentiate from Atlassian, one might tailor continuous improvement practices to the specific needs and context of their organization, considering factors such as industry dynamics, company culture, and organizational structure. it may also be beneficial to incorporate a mix of bottom-up and top-down approaches to drive continuous improvement, leveraging insights from both frontline employees and senior leadership to drive meaningful change.

  30. Question: How might you go about implementing effective continuous improvement practices?
    For me the first approach will be to establish and cultivate a culture of continuous improvement among staff and in the organization. This will be achieved through investing in training and development among the staff aimed at fostering a culture of CI within the team, and encouraging a mindset of always seeking to improve processes and services. Secondly, I will establish a reliable means of gathering feedback from users, analyzing data and market trends, and implementing improvements based on this information. Thirdly, I will set clear goals and metrics for improvement initiatives, and conduct regular assessments and reviews. Fourthly, I will consider and implement relevant Lean and Agile methodologies to streamline processes, reduce waste, and increase efficiency. In conclusion, CI is the ongoing process of making small, incremental changes to a product or service to enhance its value, quality, and customer satisfaction. Hence, my approach will be to find ways to continuously carry out these exercises without loosing staff morale, denting customer satisfaction and trust, or loosing resources thereby resulting in losses.

    Question: What might you do differently to Atlassian?
    I find Atlassian’s approach very resourceful. What I might add to their approach is to mandate the staff to come up with a critique or complain of our processes and product/service at least once in a week. This can be sourced from either their own use and experience of the product/service (dogfooding), or from customer feedback. Their critique or complain will form the basis and input in future iterations.

  31. To implement effective continuous improvement practices, foster a culture of collaboration and openness, encouraging all employees to contribute ideas.
    Set clear goals aligned with strategic priorities and provide training on problem-solving techniques.
    Create a supportive environment for experimentation and view failure as a learning opportunity.

  32. To implement effective continuous improvement in project management, using Atlassian’s approach:

    1. You give at least,20% free work time to workers so they can invest same time on the projects. This avails them the opportunity to learn more about the project.

    2. If for example, you have 30 workers who had been grouped into only 2 or 3 groups, you change this approach and split them into 5 or 6 groups.

    3. Assess your workers’ strength and weaknesses and learn how to utilize both into the improvement of your product..

  33. Implementing effective continuous improvement practices involves creating a culture that encourages feedback, learning, and adaptation at all levels of the organization. This can be achieved through regular assessment of processes, identifying areas for improvement, setting specific goals, and implementing changes incrementally. Key components include fostering open communication channels, providing resources for skill development, empowering employees to experiment and make decisions, and celebrating successes.

    To differentiate from Atlassian, one might focus on customizing improvement strategies to the unique needs and challenges of the organization, leveraging different tools and methodologies tailored to the team’s dynamics, and ensuring alignment with overarching business objectives while maintaining flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances swiftly. Additionally, fostering a culture of psychological safety where individuals feel comfortable sharing ideas and providing constructive feedback can further enhance continuous improvement efforts.

    1. To implement effective continuous improvement practices,
      – A culture of continuous improvement among employees and stakeholders must be established and cultivated, This would be done by engaging employees to contribute their ideas at all levels, regular trainings in line with business goals and also to develop their problem solving skills.

      -Employees will be divided into smaller teams to handle various improvement processes such as feedback from product users , constructive criticism on the products and processes. Ideas generated from the team would be evaluated by the product manager and seen to be implemented in the improvement processes.

      -Measures should be put in place for continuous analysis and reviews that aids improvement process.

      For Atlassian, rather than take 20% of their work time, I would encourage them to execute personal projects outside work time but with a time frame for conclusion and project presentation. I would also include incentives for the most creative project.

  34. First is to drive innovation which involves actively engaging employees. This gives them the opportunity to think outside the box and bring about ideas that could help the product.
    it is also important to note that the ideas that employees come up with should be evaluated and utilized and continuous feedbacks is also essential.
    Analysis should also be done from time to time to know if there are loopholes that need to be filled up.

  35. employee should be engaged in the idea of continuous improvement, likewise team mix should be prudently done in order to engage all employees.
    Continuous feedback should be integrated to ensure that the 20% personal project is not a waste of time.
    Finally goal should be measured to indicate value.

  36. Initially, employee should be engaged in the idea of continuous improvement, likewise team mix should be prudently done in order to engage all employees.
    Continuous feedback should be integrated to ensure that the 20% personal project is not a waste of time.
    Finally goal should be measured to indicate value.

  37. First, a survey will be carried out personally, to be able to evaluate the necessary attention to be given to the problem at hand.
    Then selection of team will be the next step.
    Good leadership, showing the path with example.

    Further analysis and evaluation of reports, to be able to fit in with the team’s goals

    Effective continuous improvements practices involves a systematic approach to identifying, analyzing and ehnacing processes and operations within an organization and the steps are;
    A. Ensure leadership commitment to foster a culture of continuous improvement.

    B. Identify key performance indicators(KPIS) that align qith communication goals.

    C. Ensure employees involvement at all levels to participate innthe improvements.

    D. Map out existing processes to understand workflow and potential areas for improvements.

    E. Continuous monitoring
    F. Root cause analysis
    G. Idea generation
    H. Technology integration
    I. Performance reviews
    J. Regular audits

    By adopting these practices, organizations can create a synamicand adaptive environment that fosters continuous improvement leading to increased efficiency, customer satisfaction and overall business success.

    With more of this they would have done differently

  39. To implement effective continuous improvement practices, I would recommend the following steps:

    – Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current processes and identify areas for improvement.
    – Prioritize the most critical areas for improvement and develop specific, measurable goals.
    – Seek input from employees and other stakeholders on ways to improve the process.
    – Implement changes gradually, monitoring progress and making adjustments as needed.
    – Continue to assess and improve the process on an ongoing basis.

    When it comes to Atlassian, I would suggest that the company focus on improving its communication and collaboration tools. Atlassian’s products are already very popular, but there are always ways to improve, and Atlassian could focus on making its tools even more user-friendly and intuitive. Additionally, Atlassian could improve its support and training offerings, to make sure that users are getting the most out of its products. By focusing on these areas, Atlassian could further differentiate itself from its competitors and maintain its market share.

  40. Continuous reassessment of team results and allowing workers to use their ingenuity in solving task. Consistent training of staffs rto use updated facilities.