Skip to main content

Improvements need to be nurtured - don't walk away!

How many times have you started an improvement project, handed it over and then watched it fall over?

Too many?

When we hand over projects to another person we often have expectations that they will do it the way that we would expect them to do it.

It is unlikely that they will.

The reality is that most people need to be coached through at least the first phase of a project, and most likely will need ongoing support during the life of the project.

The better they get at delivering change projects the less support they will need in the future.

But, for now, with someone not used to making change happen you will need to provide this support.

Something to think about

Here are some questions to help you get started with changing how you support your staff when they are running change projects:

  • How do you ensure they have clarity about what you want them to do?
  • How often do you need to check in with them at the start of a project?
  • What do you need to give to them at the start of a project, to give them the best chance of succeeding?
  • What obstacles do you think that they will encounter?
  • Do you need to remove any of these obstacles?
  • What ongoing communication, or reporting, do you want during the life of the project?
  • Will there be milestones, or gates, during the life of the project for your periodic approval?
  • What will you need to do, if anything, to sign the project off as completed at the end?

The above is designed to give you some food for thought.

Continuous improvement projects do need to be nurtured, especially in their early days, which usually means that the person delivering the change needs to be nurtured.

If you think about it you can usually standardise your approach and as a result increase the results you get from the projects that you initiate.

Giles



About the author
Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes.

Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Kamishibai Boards

Some tools are incredibly simple to use, and also deliver some amazing results. Kamishibai boards are a great example and are superb when you want some visual control over routine tasks. By the way Kamishibai is pronounced "come-e-she-bye" in case you were wondering!
As simple as you could want it, a Kamishibai board is a T-card system that has red cards glued to green
cards (so that each T-card has a red side and a green side). The red cards are for the incomplete tasks, where as the green cards symbolise that the work has been done. See the photo below of a board in use.
On the red side of the card you write the name of the task that needs to be completed, and if appropriate you can include details of how the task is to be completed. This is not expected to replace standard operating procedures, but can be a good opportunity for an aide memoire.
The boards can be organised for daily, weekly and even monthly cycles. They are great as part of a 5S implementation (the Susta…

Do You Put Enough Effort Into Changing How Your Business Works?

If you're reading this blog post it is a fair guess that you are looking to improve how your business works. So, what do you think about the question I have posed as the title of this article?
The reality is that if you could make a change happen with the same amount of effort that you current expend in your business changes would be happening left, right and centre. If you want to make a change stick in your business you need to increase your levels of effort temporarily. Without this increase in effort it is unlikely that the change you want will take place and sustain.
I recall when I worked as a Production Manager and the OTIF (On Time In Full) performance of our business was certainly not where it needed to be. For years the business had struggled to raise its level of performance; no additional effort had been expended. I planned out sixteen small improvement projects to address this and I got started with the changes. It was hard work at times and the work was on top of my…

Seeing the Improvement Wood for the Chaos Trees!

How are you feeling about your business the moment?

Are you feeling frustrated and irritated by the apparent lack of progress being made with your improvements?

If you answer ‘yes’ to this second question, don’t worry, you are not alone!

We all feel this way at times and the reason I am writing this article is that if you feel this way right now then I want to reassure you that there is a simple way to get out of this situation. I have been in this situation many times in both my operational life and as a consultant. It is normal and taking a deep breath and stepping back from the noise of the day-to-day is essential.

Let me take you through the three quick steps of Stopping, Assessing and Acting.


Take stock of where you are right now

In order for us to step back and try and see some of the ‘improvement wood’ as I refer to in the title of this article we need to have a simple question to focus our attention. A question I recommend that you ask is:

“Do our current processes suit the need…