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Six Tactical Responses to Making Sure Your Improvement Initiative Succeeds

1. Position your improvement initiative as a strategic business initiative that will transform the organization. This approach should integrate all the functional managers as drivers for success. Relegating the implementation to maintenance alone sends the signal that it is a maintenance project and the rest of the organization will resist the re-engineered processes.

2. Provide strong, passionate and committed leadership. Commit resources and remove barriers that invariably crop up as processes are re-engineered and integrated across organizational boundaries.

3. Provide strong project management. Improvement initiatives are equivalent to capital improvement projects and should be treated accordingly. It requires adept skills in project management methodology set forth by the Project Management Institute, particularly in the areas of communication, risk management and earned value management.

4. Provide strong communication throughout the project. The most fundamental change management strategy is to keep the information flowing. Communicate both the status of the project and the status of the benefits as they are attained.

5. Provide adequate training to ensure the knowledge, skills and abilities to execute the re-engineering. Avoid the urge to be "efficient" and cutting back on the time to train.

6. Don't underestimate the human side of the equation - the non-technical challenges are the difficult challenges. Be prepared for the organization, people and change problems that inevitably arise when implementing a strategic business initiative.

Tip Provided Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.

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