The impact of Small Improvements – Guest Blog

All About Feedback, Case studies Linda Jonas

We love feedback and this case study has been so impressive, that we want to share it with you. Anita Gisch is an experienced project manager and business consultant with a focus on helping small businesses get the right mix of skills and personalities to get the best results. She is the Managing Director of the Northpoint Training Institute, which focuses on providing practical training solutions in a fun and interactive environment. 

Anita Gisch

I came across Small Improvements about 4 months ago while working with a small IT company. It was introduced as a KPI and performance management system that was going to fix the internal communications issues.

I have to admit that my first reaction was to shake my head and sigh. “Here we go again” I thought. This particular company had a tendency to take on every new program they came across.

Part of my role was to simplify their process and to untangle the web of cloud services they had adopted into daily use. Instead of reducing the number of systems and products, they were once again adding to the complexity.

But too many cloud services wasn’t the only problem they faced. The key problems were:

  • Lack of formal planning and scheduling
  • Poor communication between team members
  • Inconsistent messages from managers
  • No clear priorities or goals

People worked as hard as they could and didn’t really get to know one another. In short, they were lacking a healthy company culture. My challenge was to change the trends, especially around team communication and priorities.

So when one of the business owners brought in Small Improvements and championed it as the tool of the future for the company, I was understandably sceptical. He set up some categories and challenged us to set at least 1 goal in each area.

Despite some foot dragging, we each logged in and started playing with the system. Amazingly, it only took a few days before people were giving each other badges and support for all kinds of things, like customer service and work completed on time.

But the amazing part was, especially for this company, the transformation in team communication and culture. People began actually engaging with each other. It started online, but then it trickled out into the office. Bursts of laughter would occasionally emerge and then someone would turn around to explain the odd badge or feedback they had given. I know this sounds small but I can’t overstate how significant this was. Previously you could have heard a pin drop on the floor. Now people starting to make jokes and share stories. The whole office felt fresher and more alive.

The experience left such an impression on me that I decided to look up the folks from SI and see if I could get to know more about their company and product. I met up with Linda for a product demo and introduced myself as a small business advisor and process consultant. We got along fantastically.

As a result, I now not only love the product, but think the company is great as well. They have a very clear focus, a solid ethical foundation and a great sense of humour. Small Improvements went very quickly from just another cloud service to a product I love to work with and recommend to clients.