Big Ideas

Continuous Improvement

by Aaron Lazenby

In magazines, as in enterprise IT, good work is never complete.

Aaron Lazenby

This is the last time I’ll mention the redesign of Profit in this column. I promise.

But when you work with an amazing team of specialists—both full-time peers and external contractors—to radically reinvent a significant business operation, the satisfaction tends to linger a bit. You might even want to take a moment to pat yourself on the back.

Modern business can be quite indifferent to your project milestones. The day after you take your victory lap, a new challenge can arise; a fantastic idea gets replaced by a harsh reality; best laid plans are diverted by a new, better strategy. The truth is, business is not just what happens inside your organization; it’s what happens all around you—and yesterday’s success may not matter in today’s economy.

It’s with this in mind that we continue to refine Profit. We’ll abandon weak ideas for stronger ones. We’ll make incremental improvements when fresh opportunities arise. We’ll alter strategic course when it serves our readers’ interests.

If any of this sounds at all familiar, you might find yourself (and your team) reflected within the pages of Profit. In this issue, we focused on how the ever-changing dynamics of the marketplace put new demands on IT and business managers—requiring they stay nimble and creative to keep pace. So even after a successful project launches, the best leaders are looking to the horizon to identify new challenges and opportunities.

And they expect that the IT systems that support them will reflect their needs. Business processes enshrined in core enterprise resource functionality must match the expectations of customers and partners. IT access points must address the needs of actual users. Continuous improvement must be a philosophy shared across the organization. And any long-term IT strategy must have flexibility and scalability in its very DNA.

This may be the last time I mention the new Profit, but—as the customers in this issue demonstrate—continuous improvement is the mantra of any successful enterprise.

Photography by Shutterstock