Skip to main content

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.

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.

Popular posts from this blog

Kaizen improvements need to be specific

Do you find that your Kaizen improvements don't always go to plan? If you do, then you're with the majority! Whilst there is great deal of 'trial and error' there is a simple approach that can help. Available from Amazon Being specific about critical parts of your improvement can uplift your results. So, how do you go about doing this? The most direct route is to be clear about which parts of your improvement are critical. From here you can explain, in detail, what you want for those items. This might take some practice as many of us have become lazy in this regard. We take it for granted that our team 'get us' and will know what they need to do. If you ever feel that something basic is missing from an improvement ask this question: "What does good look like?" The answer should put you back on track. About the author: Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes and

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