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Prioritise, Ice, and Focus!

Are there too many projects in your working life to deal with?

Whilst having an abundance of improvement projects can be a good thing, a lack of focus isn't.

The three words prioritise, ice and focus can help resolve this situation when progress isn't being made.

We need to prioritise our projects. We need to be clear on what is going to give us the best results for the least amount of effort, and consider the timing for the project.

Once we are clear on our priorities we can then put the other opportunities on ice. We need to make sure that we can pick them up at a later date and not lose the ideas.

Finally, we need to focus on our selected project. The one project that can have our attention and that we can see through to completion. Make it visible, integrate it with your management meetings, do whatever it takes to get it on the business' agenda and get participation.

When we have too many opportunities to chase after it can become confusing. If you find yourself in this situation then try the 'Prioritise, Ice and Focus' approach and see if your results dramatically improve.

One project, at a time, done correctly is a great strategy for making change happen.


Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering

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Continuous improvement projects often fall foul of this. The day can become so inefficient through the constant stopping and starting that we only just seem to have enough time to get the 'day job' completed.

I was in a meeting last week where this same issue cropped up. It also cropped up today. It's nothing new, but it is still a pain in the rear!

So, let me share with you an approach that has worked for my clients - the 'Hour of Pain!'.

Where there is a (performance) gap there is a concern

I had a really good day yesterday working with a client's team.

The team has issues. Plenty of issues. Some are managerial issues, some are people issues and some are production issues.

When I first met the team they didn't know what to do with their issues, so I started by helping them to see more issues.

Issues everywhere, they didn't seem very impressed.

And then we captured the issues as 'concerns' into the tried and tested 'concern cause countermeasure' format and followed the process:

Concerns probed for root causes and root causes converted into countermeasures.
Soon they realised that some of their root causes dealt with numerous concerns and they gained momentum.

Yesterday we pulled another one of their processes apart and identified all of the gaps. The gaps became concerns and we fed them back into the process. Now they have a practical action plan (of countermeasures) to upgrade the process in question.

What do you do with your performance gaps? …

Free Continuous Improvement Guide

I have recently published a new free guide, with the title:
Six Quick Tips to Help Continuous Improvement Deliver Results Faster In the guide I share how to:
Use the continuous improvement cycle properly.Get projects moving, if they are slow to start or have stalled.Identify the 'biggest bang for your buck' when reviewing opportunities.Determine the level of change you need to achieve through your improvements.Flip staff grumbles and concerns into positive improvement actions.Increase the overall rate of progress on your projects. All of the tips are highly practical and are no-cost strategies.
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Enjoy reading,

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 i…