Do you ever keep your improvement action plans to yourself? If you don't then I salute you and you can stop reading here. If on the other hand you tend to keep them for just your own enjoyment please read on.
During a meeting last week I found myself getting stuck with the team I was working with. We were discussing some process re-engineering that I was doing for them, trying to get five different business arms to fall in line with each other. Whilst presenting my proposal on the way forward there were a number of comments made telling me about how complex the problem really was and that I hadn't allowed for these additional complexities. Before I could respond other members of the team were offering suggestions as to how we could cope with these variations.
I was working with a new client the other day for the first time. If there was a sound track to our first session it would have had the lyrics 'because we've always done it that way...'. Although I am a big fan of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' I am less of a fan of 'we'll put up with the results even if they're bad'.
When a change project looms on the horizon it may look pretty daunting. It may look like something of a big deal to handle and that alone may put people off. It may of course be a lot simpler and a lot faster / simpler to implement than originally thought.
Visual management boards are a great tool. With only a casual glance you can understand the performance of an office, a production line, or anything else that you care to manage and run. However, the boards I sometimes see don't always tell you what you want to know instantly:
When reviewing the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of a business it can be uncomfortable for many people. When you are faced with the numbers of your business, in 'black and white', it might not tell you what you want to hear.
When we start out on our improvement projects there is often an issue, or target, that we want to accomplish. This is great at the start of a project, proper focus is present. Later on however, toward the end of the project, this clarity can often fade and projects may slow down before being classed as completed. Having an action plan that has all of its actions closed out is not necessarily a completed project.