Day to day working can get in the way of your improvement projects. You start off with good intentions and then find yourself getting caught up with fire fighting and day to day issues that just have to have your attention.
Does this sound familiar?
When your plans are detailed and rigid in terms of what you have to get done by when you can often find that the smallest bump in the road can derail your plans. I recall reading a book once that talked about the difference between and map and a compass (I think it was one of the Stephen Covey books) and this is the same as top level planning for your improvements.
If you segment your year up into sections (quarters for example) and choose a theme for improvement in each segment then you will always have something to refer to when / if you get knocked off track. Using this as your compass can make your focus for improvements easier when you need to get focussed again. It can also help you when you complete one project and need to develop a new improvement project idea.
Having an improvement theme can also help your team to focus their efforts on the right improvement at the right time and can help to make your formal improvement approach more ‘organic’ and less formal.
Striking the balance is always a goal of continuous improvement and I hope this method can help you to move your improvement approach forward.
Author of 'Business Process Re-Engineering', a practical plan to improve business performance.