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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,


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