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Continual Improvement – Easy as 1-2-3 – using COBIT Implementation

COBIT implementation

Our corporate visions including the words “continual Improvement” are a strong positive statement – a clearly defined goal.  To continually look for opportunities that fuel effectiveness and strengthen our company.

It provides us a direction to improve – and model our personal behavior and work culture.  A model that helps us deal with the accelerating pace of business with information and technology; and services.  It helped us create innovations such as Automated Teller Machines and Airport Check-in Kiosks, and will help us create new products and services in the future.

The common sense model, similar to ones used in psychology and all types of coaching, can be used with any process reference model.  It begins with answering three easy questions.  1) What are the drivers or motivators, 2) Where are we today?  3) Where do we want to be? Drivers, Today, Future.

Continual Improvement is a basic and well validated business approach supporting innovation and improvement.  The improvement model has evolved over time with influences from many thought leaders, good practices and industries.  Dr. Edwards Deming was a key influence with the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, PDCA; which is preferred over “Guess-Do-Pray-Hope”.  John Kotter with organizational change.

International Standards such as ISO90001 for Quality, ISO20000 for IT Service Management,  ISO27001 for IT Security.  ITIL, NIST and the Project Management Body of Knowledge, all incorporate, or support improvement themes.  Companies such as Motorola and General Electric built an improvement phase directly into their Six Sigma quality programs.  How do we do it you ask?  Easy as 1-2-3.  Let’s dig in.

Easy as 1-2-3

Continual Improvement – easy as 1-2-3.  Here’s the explanation.  The three main points are well established phases for improvement activities.  Each phase is supported by three sub-points or components.  Program Management, Change Enablement and Continual improvement.  This is the good practices approach.  Drivers, Today, Future.  Here’s the summary:

1: The vision begins with knowing the drivers or triggers or motivators.  Do we want, or need to get better?   Recognize the need to act, establish a desire to change, and, initiate a program.

2: we next check where we are today.  We define opportunities or challenges, sketch a roadmap, form a team and assess the current state.

3: then, following the assessment, we look towards the future.  Where do we want to be?  Here we define the target state, communicate the desired outcome and plan the program.
Warning, if you miss addressing any of these step or get overly creative with the order you might increase the risk of failure.  Like software and processes, avoid customization.

While these three points are phases in a larger improvement conversation – they give us – you and me – a starting place – allowing us to move forward with confidence on a solid foundation.   Maybe a playbook or recipe.  Project managers like the three components as they address areas of frequent challenge such as change enablement.

Copy and save this model into your head and project templates.  To learn more – go to Google or Wikipedia – key word search – you can find guidance and the answer to any question, any time.

What’s In It for You with Continual Improvement?  WIIFY.  Or WIIFM.  What’s in it for me?  Continual Improvement – offers all of us a consistent context and structure for current, or potential activities.    Process standardization and teamwork are encouraged.

It contributes to success for you and your team.   It provides a tone at the top for leadership, and each of us. The focus is on people – all of us:   Project Managers, Security, Developers, Operations, Risk, up, down and across the organization.  Sustainable processes depend on improvement.  It works for any and all of us – in any business line.   Is Continual Improvement an entry on your performance goals and success stories?

Tip: use ISACA’s COBIT Implementation book for guidance on this 1-2-3 idea. Drivers, Today and Future.  Continual Improvement.  Use as desired or directed.  Consider taking a COBIT Implementation course and pass the 2.5 hour open book multiple choice exam.  Success factor:  know the book cover to cover and how to apply the knowledge.  Download the free (member) ISACA PDF book and buy hard copy books for yourself and share.

Spread the word – Continual Improvement is easy as 1-2-3 with COBIT guidance.

What to know more?

Look for APMG’s  – ISACA COBIT Implementation exam to certify your knowledge on the subject of continual improvement.

Exam is a challenging 2.5 hours – open book from the COBIT 5 Implementation book – using provided scenarios – 80 possible points – multiple choice answers.  Pass requires 50% correct.  Prerequisite:  COBIT 5 Foundation certificate.

Find a quality approved, APMG accredited training organization near you – Accredited COBIT training organizations.


COBIT Training Roadmap

COBIT 5 Implementation Exam

For professionals that understand how to apply the all the elements of COBIT 5 across the enterprise and have mastered the approach to implementing the “Governance of Enterprise Information Technology or (GEIT)” based on a continual improvement life cycle. These professionals have demonstrated the understanding of how COBIT 5 should be tailored to suit an enterprise’s specific needs.

Prerequisite Successful completion of the COBIT 5 Foundation Exam
Successful completion of the COBIT 5 Implementation Course
Audience IT auditors, IT managers, IT quality professionals, IT leadership, IT developers, process practitioners , Managers in IT service providing firms, business managers
Preparation Resources COBIT 5 Implementation Course
COBIT 5: A Business Framework for the Governance and Management of Enterprise IT
COBIT 5 Implementation GuideOptional – COBIT 5 – Introduction to COBIT Videos

For additional information please view APMG’s Exam Information, or contact

Posted in COBIT 5, Qualifications.

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