Updated: Mar 3
You have survived another month end or clawed back your on time delivery with fire fighting situations, begging and borrowing resources and straining relationships, but at what cost? With over 50% of the workforce saying they are unhappy at work and over 70% of people who leave there job stating lack of appreciation as the driver, do you really want to create a culture of pressure and dread around the workforce at these times. In times like this it becomes obvious why more businesses take up the idea of Lean, Continuous Improvement and Six Sigma methodologies, but these need to be effectively approached and driven with a culture of open communication. Hence here are some of the main factors to consider and combine when deciding to take up Improvement projects.
Diversity in a team is a valuable element to ensuring you get a full scope of what frustrates the business. As well as providing individuals experience and insight it also helps drive more innovation from a broader experience and clear feel for the interactions between the group. Having the key stakeholders from departments effected is the best approach but don't let senior members off with playing ignorant they need to buy in and support the approach to fruition.
With such a diverse team it needs a facilitator to coordinate, set the meeting rules and drive engagement. Most of all it needs a leader who can stay impartial but ask the meaningful questions to generate ideas and ensure its documented.
Documenting the results of the meeting is a must to get actions from the discussions and ideas but this needs consideration based on the audience. Not only will you have strong personality's in there but even more introvert characters who can carry and offer great insight and ideas. It is a facilitators job to balance the meeting and encourage this engagement. Some handy tools for capturing this are fishbone diagrams, value stream mapping, time analysis, capacity planning but engage each member to add something and ensure they feel valued and achievement.
Prioritising the ideas and actions that have been generated is key to finding whats meaningful to the team. A project may not be worth doing if it only helps one department or solve one issue, certainly not right now. Assessment and collaboration over benefits and vision for each activity and scoring each based upon there impact to whats important in the company helps to show whats truly going to have the most impact. Some categories to consider here are: impact on quality, impact on delivery, feasibility, leverage, financial impact.
Once a Project is decided a plan of approach needs to be established to define areas of involvement and members to be owners of each stage. A gant chart or project management software can be of use here dependant on activity to define objectives, review gates owners of actions and targets to be achieved.
This forms the master document to carry the project and team swiftly to success. Flexibility is possible but under review and buy in from the project team to decide on the next activity and corrective actions.
Define a project leader, Whilst the team agree and define the plan of approach it is important to have a central person to own responsibility for the teams progress and communicate achievement against each review. This is a defining element of the projects success to ensure it is driven to time scales, effectively communicated and reviewed when changes and activity is required to be communicated. This person is the glue for the team but also vital to motivating and ensuring delivery, regular reviews need to be held, outcomes measured and coordinating resource as necessary are important factors to this role.
For anyone taking on improvement project and claiming change it can be a exciting but challenging time. The requirements can seem vast but this can all be achieved swiftly and effectively, QPA can guide and facilitate such projects to ensure your success and maintain a constant drive for achievement and reward.
If you are in a process of change or considering how you can embark on such a journey then click our logo above to be directed to our contacts and we are happy to discuss how we can help you grow and develop.