Business improvement toolbox

Page last updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2017 - 11:51am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

How do you remove a screw without a screwdriver? The right tool can make all the difference. If you are looking for ways to boost the performance of your business, using a proven business improvement process and tools could help.

The business improvement toolbox has tools for a range of tasks.

The toolbox has practical, proven processes and tools for:

  • continuous improvement and innovation
  • setting goals
  • identifying opportunities
  • problem solving
  • priority setting
  • analysing options
  • making decisions
  • planning action
  • measuring performance
  • process and system improvement

For each tool there are examples and a guide for how to use the tool. There are also details of who to contact to get support to use the tool.

Tools in the toolbox


CI&I - Continuous improvement and innovation process
These logical steps make it easier to improve and innovate. They help you to achieve measurable results by going from setting goals to developing options to achieve the goals, then prioritising the options, designing action to implement the highest priority options, tracking your action, comparing results to the performance you expected, developing ideas for further improvements, and setting new goals.


Critical success factors (CSFs) and key performance indicators (KPIs)
This tool helps everyone in your business to keep focused on the things that really matter for success, and to track performance.


Eight criteria technique
Use this tool to assess and compare options, so that you can decide which one is the best to go ahead and implement.


Five Ws and one H
This is a simple action planning tool. It can also be used to help solve problems.


Force field analysis
This tool helps to assess and manage forces that can stop us achieving our goals.


How-how diagrams
These diagrams are used to find ways to achieve goals or solve problems.


Impact and influence
This tool is used to quickly assess a range of options to work out which are higher priority.


Inverse thinking
Use this tool to think differently about ways to achieve goals and solve problems.


Repetitive why technique
This technique helps to get past the symptoms of a problem to the underlying causes.


SMARTT goals
These help everyone in the business to be clear about what success will look like.


Target outcomes
This tool keeps everyone focused on the desired end result.

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Gross margin analysis

This is used to compare the financial impact of different options.

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This tool helps people to think creatively about how to achieve a goal.

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Driver trees

These help people to identify and stay focused on high impact improvement strategies.

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Action design tool

Use this tool to work out what actions you need to put in place to achieve a goal.