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What will your financial year end results do for you?

For you and your business another tax year has come to an end and, for many, it is time to take stock of the last year’s financial year end results. But what will they tell you and what will you do with them?

Results are about history; we can’t go back and change what happened. What they tell us is about how well the business performed last year, and those results impact all kinds of decisions by not only business owners and managers but also by their customers, shareholders, lending agencies and employees. The real value of results is not what they tell us about the past, what we learn from them to make a better future.

There is a simple cycle that enables organisations to become ever more successful; it is called PCDA, or plan-do-check-act. It is a principle that quality practitioners know well; it is most effective when used organisation-wide, an approach known as TQM (Total Quality Management).

PDCA_Graphic

So, those of you whose job titles don’t include the word quality have stopped reading, it is nothing to do with your role, right?  Well, maybe a little explanation might help.

Total                       Means everyone and everywhere, the whole organisation

Quality                  Means always getting things right first time, on time and at cost; it is consistently achieving the desired results in all areas.

Management   Is making sure that everything necessary to achieve total quality is in place and being used

So, now you know, you can’t ignore it or delegate it!

PDCA is a simple concept but is so often only half done. Hopefully you have;

A PLAN – a number of objectives for the year ahead,

A way to DO it – a set of operating practices that you believe will get you there, and managers who make sure what should be done is done.

What is commonly overlooked is the need to CHECK – to regularly and routinely make sure that what you are doing is getting you to where you expected to be. Waiting to see the year-end results is too late.

By regularly checking what you are getting you will be able to ACT – to make changes and corrections that will keep you on course to achieve your objectives. Failing to check or act in a timely manner can only lead you to results you didn’t plan; and what you get is rarely if ever better that you hoped!

So, will you read you results and carry on regardless, or will you use them to guide you to higher performance?

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”.

Winston Churchill

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