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Do you get what you want from your improvement projects?

Many of us have to work with others when it comes to continuous improvements. We know what we want in our heads, but in many cases the results just don't match what we're thinking. Asking for what you want can feel like an art at times, but if you get it right it can really accelerate how much change you can make in a period of time.

What do you want?
A good starting point is to articulate what you want to be able to see / do / hear / use at the end of the improvement. Spell it out; if you want a report that's three pages long (or thereabouts) then give them a clue. If you want a fully implemented maintenance routine, that can be administered by the operators, then tell them. Don't leave your staff to guess what you want, or to have to play 'dot to dot' and fill in the gaps.

When do you want it?
Next. tell them when you want it for. Defining a time frame for completion of the work will help them to manage their time, and you to get what you want. Everyone is busy, so at worst this item becomes a negotiation point. Being clear on what you are going to get (and when) provides you with peace of mind that you know what is going on.

How do you want the updates?
Finally, what feedback do you want during the course of the improvement project? If the project is short perhaps you don't want anything more than the final result. If the work spans a number of months then perhaps you would benefit from having a weekly note sent to you by email with the highlights of the previous week. Again, you need to decide what you want and how you want it.

By taking a little more time at the outset when delegating a continuous improvement project you can save a whole load of pain, time and effort at the end. Instead of fixing whatever it is that you receive, you will be able to just run with the results.

Download your template
Remember, if you have a Making It Happen membership, you can download a 'Project Initiation Document' from the members section - Continuous Improvement PID.


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.

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Want more time for your projects? Try the 'Hour of Pain'!

Do you find your day being broken up by interruptions, stopping you from getting on with your work?

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.
To get your copy, just click on the button below and access the guide in just a few moments from now.



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…