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Improvements need to be nurtured - don't walk away!

How many times have you started an improvement project, handed it over and then watched it fall over?

Too many?

When we hand over projects to another person we often have expectations that they will do it the way that we would expect them to do it.

It is unlikely that they will.

The reality is that most people need to be coached through at least the first phase of a project, and most likely will need ongoing support during the life of the project.

The better they get at delivering change projects the less support they will need in the future.

But, for now, with someone not used to making change happen you will need to provide this support.

Something to think about

Here are some questions to help you get started with changing how you support your staff when they are running change projects:

  • How do you ensure they have clarity about what you want them to do?
  • How often do you need to check in with them at the start of a project?
  • What do you need to give to them at the start of a project, to give them the best chance of succeeding?
  • What obstacles do you think that they will encounter?
  • Do you need to remove any of these obstacles?
  • What ongoing communication, or reporting, do you want during the life of the project?
  • Will there be milestones, or gates, during the life of the project for your periodic approval?
  • What will you need to do, if anything, to sign the project off as completed at the end?

The above is designed to give you some food for thought.

Continuous improvement projects do need to be nurtured, especially in their early days, which usually means that the person delivering the change needs to be nurtured.

If you think about it you can usually standardise your approach and as a result increase the results you get from the projects that you initiate.


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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