Skip to main content

Don't worry if your improvement projects feel like they're going round in circles!

Do you have those days when you feel that your improvement projects are going round in circles?

Do you know the sort of days I mean?

The ones where you are no longer sure that what you are doing is taking you to where you want to go?

The ones where you start wondering if you will achieve the goal for your project...

If you feel like this I have a suggestion.



Dot - to - dot


Can you remember 'dot to dot' from when you were a child?

The same approach can be used to help you with projects that don't feel like their going in the right direction.

More specifically, if you create a set of points (milestones) through the project plan then you can cut yourself some slack when it comes to feeling like you're going round in circles.


Improvement is rarely a straight line

The reality, for most of us, is that continuous improvement requires us to discuss and explore ideas.

We can get thrown off course by additional pieces of information and viewpoints.

It can get confusing, but if we know the next short range destination for our project it can become a whole lot easier to cut through the confusion.

In fact you won't see it as confusion, you'll start to see it as the natural process to get you to the next milestone.

The challenge is defining the milestones at the start of the project - what are the major stepping stones to get you to the end of the project?


What if you're half way through?

If you are reading this and thinking 'I'm not at the start, I'm part way through the project' they don't worry, you can still use this approach.

Simply start at the end of the project and plan backwards to identify the major milestones that are still outstanding.

You can then focus your energies on getting to the next milestone and embrace the apparent confusion, knowing that this is part of the journey.


Don't forget this!

If the continuous improvement journey was always straightforward fewer people would give up with their projects.

Confusion is an element of learning, and learning is essential to continuous improvement.

Try creating some milestones for your projects and see you can generate some effective short term focus for your improvements.


All the best,

Giles



Continuous Improvement Software


If you want a simple and practical software tool to help you identify, manage and implement the changes that are taking place in your business then check out StreamLiner.

Designed using Lean improvement approaches, StreamLiner can help you capture the improvement opportunities hidden within your business.

Beyond the ready to use templates is the powerful action management function built into the software. Instead of having lots of paper plans stuck to walls, or project plans lost on hard drives, StreamLiner allows you to manage all of your improvement actions from an easy to use console.

To find out more, and to buy, visit the sales page.

Popular posts from this blog

Where to start with Kaizen, if you just aren't sure

Kaizen is a great word. It is a word that can unleash the potential of both a business and an individual. Kaizen means more than just continuous improvement. It is a word that is linked to: Confidence Growth Exploration Courage Many people I speak to, that are new to improvement projects, aren't sure if they are on the right path when it comes to embracing the spirit of Kaizen. If you are also one of these people then let me share with you a few thoughts that can help you feel at ease about starting and leading change. Start with your concerns A great place to start your improvement life is with anything that isn't right. Getting your concerns out into the open really is the first step for most of us. If you aren't happy with something, raise it. This isn't only a great place to start, but something that you shouldn't give up. Whenever a standard is not being met, or not even defined, get vocal and then do something about it. Start small The intention of Kaizen is

Stimulating Kaizen opportunities - the 'mechanical' way!

I often end up in conversations about how to stimulate Kaizen ideas and opportunities. If you have read my other posts, you will know that I split the improvement journey into two halves. For many people, the initial Kaizen focus is all around fixing things that are wrong / not working properly. Once you get past this point you need something else to focus and motivate you to generate improvement opportunities. The two halves of the Kaizen journey The discussion that I often end up in, is the one around the imagination quandary. People talk to me about not being creative, or not being inspired to come up with improvement ideas. Do you ever feel this way? It seems that there is a popular view that some people are creative and some aren't. Great Kaizen ideas are not just the product of 'creative' people. There are lots of ways that you can generate improvement ideas without having to sit on a mountain top cross legged waiting for inspiration. Finding a 'mechanical' w

Kaizen projects: being honest about being off track

Projects, especially improvement projects, have a tendency to get off track. There is often a clear distinction between projects for customers and projects for ourselves. If our improvement projects fall behind then our customers won't be barking at us; it is no wonder that if something is going to slip it is our Kaizen endeavours. For some people this can be a tough conversation to have. No one wants to be a 'failure' and pride often gets in the way. In my experience it seems that it is believed to be far more credible to ignore the requirement to improve than to admit that we aren't making progress. So, if you find yourself (and your business) in this situation, what can you do about it? Let me share with you two options to increase the visibility in your business around progress with projects and four options to help get your projects back on track. Increasing visibility Ok, no more hiding the status of Kaizen activities . This also means no more being precious about