Knowledge retention, lessons learned, & automation

A common misconception of operational excellence automation is that the software itself installs a culture of 'Kaizen' continuous improvement and resolves operational issues. Nothing could be more distant from the truth.

Operational excellence software assists in supporting a work culture to be better prepared to take action based on the real-time feedback and the lessons learned which are being lived by your staff in the day-to-day work environment. Given that the concept of operational excellence does not stop at business process management, it is important that your software offers efficiency in the management of the tool sets needed to manage your business processes as well as give visibility into your most valuable company resource; your staff. It is here where your Human Resources department becomes an essential ingredient for organisations seeking a robust and productive operational excellence culture based on high performance and ongoing continuous improvement.

Knowledge retention and communication is a critical factor for success in large, growth-oriented organisations which seek resiliency through the ongoing promotion of lateral mobility. Environments requiring high flexibility due to ongoing transition, resource redeployment, and non-stop 'fire-fighting' exercises often neglect the discipline of pausing for reflection and evaluating performance. All too often, these required pauses comes in the form of a single, inconvenient and untimely annual evaluation which doesn't encompass more than a few hours spent once a year by the employee with his supervisor and is often done in an ambiance overshadowed by excessive, outstanding, end-of-year administrative responsibilities.


The downside to this lack of discipline produces a culture where best practices are often less evident to the Senior Management team and in many situations, quality information which was collected to support decision making forums is often managed at the individual level and lost forever during moments of transition, resource redeployment or when business objectives suddenly become re-prioritised to manage unexpected client demand. Some of the key negative side-effects from such a culture include:

  • Loss of business and problem solving know-how within teams
  • Excessive amounts of rework both in administration and in analytics to support change management & cross training initiatives
  • Excessive confusion amongst the staff
  • Loss of enthusiasm of high performers who feel under appreciated
  • Loss of enthusiasm of underused staff who feel neglected from lack of involvement


Industry trends are showing that the above listed organisational pain points can be significantly reduced via performance-management automation.

Recent studies are showing that more and more client-focused organisation are committing to investing in their work force by replacing traditional, bell curve-based, less effective methods of employee evaluation with a more feedback-driven, real-time, talent cultivation program aimed at individual performance optimisation.

In particularly, cloud-based continuous improvement software aimed at optimising performance at the individual level and giving management real-time insight where knowledge gaps are impeding the organisation from progress are becoming a reality and are beginning to become a highly talked about topic on the agendas of executive management. Now more than ever, senior management is beginning to realise the importance to better articulate the organisation's talent enrichment strategy regarding professional, leadership, and technical skills provided by Human Resources. In doing so, organisations are finding new ways to incorporate the high-level growth strategy into measurable business objectives which can be easily communicated and benchmarked by those working in business operations.

Organisations who tend to be more resilient in the face of change are now relying on the discipline offered by software to incorporate the following knowledge retention activities in their day-to-day work environment:

  • frequent pauses to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the their operational excellence program
  • frequent pauses to celebrate successes encountered
  • frequent pauses to reflect on lessons learned
  • frequent pauses to understand what information is available in their ever-growing archive of business information taking the time to communicate its availability through awareness initiatives & workshops
  • the ongoing, continuous assessment of the skill sets of the people who are available to solve day-to-day operational challenges and the extra dedication to accelerate the growth of the high performers
  • the acceleration of the identification of the under performers to better understand where knowledge gaps lie and taking corrective measures to reduce them

PRESTO, one of the several cloud-based, performance management, cross-training
business softwares recently made available in the market


sense of urgency

sense of ownership

sense of corporate citizenship

Operational excellence software will not supply your team with the answers on how to improve the processes in your customer value chain. What it will offer however is a robust administrative discipline necessary to build your organisation on the business know-how acquired over the years while offering accessibility to the lessons learned in the past. When calibrated correctly, this automation will offer your organisation 360° visibility into the skill sets (and knowledge gaps) of your people, the wastes and risks present in faulty business interactions, the process best practices currently being used, and the technology available to continuously optimise your operating model.

This information, if organised and readily available will be well appreciated by your line managers empowering them to independently make informed tactical decisions while effectively engaging the correct subject matter experts to transform hypotheses into execution-driven initiatives. Furthermore, a fine tuned continuous improvement software offering performance management functionality will offer you a work force who feels more engaged, eager to learn and focused on high performance.

About the author

Andrew Lenti has been working with multinational organisations involved in back office business transformation initiatives since 1999. In that time he has been based in 6 different European countries as well as having two years of experience working in client service operations in the United States. He has rich experiences working with business leaders at all levels of the organisational hierarchy and has spent vast amounts of time working with shared services and outsourcing centres of excellences on business restructuring implementation projects. He is one of the founders of TOPP Tactical Intelligence Ltd, a European operational excellence software provider and is one of the original architects of P.R.E.S.T.O., the cloud-based, Lean Six Sigma continuous improvement business management software currently being used by large and small organisations as a tool in performance management and assisting with operational restructuring. If you would like to learn more, please visit or contact Andrew on Linked