Jim Rose
EQ Consulting Services
611 Bear Den Road
Townsend, TN  37882
865-207-4480

jrose@eq-consultingservices.com

How permanent are the changes that your organization makes?

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Many organizations will form a team and assign them a project to improve a process and many are successful.  However, my observation is that as time passes the improvements made are frequently lost.  The following is a means for minimizing or eliminating that possibility.

1.   First of all leadership needs to be sure that the improvement to be made is truly important and then assign it to an appropriate team of people. 

2.   Next the team makes the improvement.

3.   After the team has made the improvement a very important task for them is to identify all the specific changes that required making the improvement.  These changes will need to be monitored through time to ensure the benefits are not lost.  These could include things like: procedures that need to be followed, graphs that will be updated regularly to show the benefits, etc.  The list should include who has the responsibility for doing those things.

4.   Periodically (quarterly or semiannually is frequently a good time frame) someone is assigned the task to conduct an audit to see if what is supposed to be done is still being done and present the findings to the leadership team.  The leadership team then takes the appropriate actions where needed to ensure that the benefits gained from the improvement are not lost.   

This simple process works if the leadership team uses it.  Too often they just want to move on to other improvement opportunities.

How good is your organization at “maintaining the gains”?  If in reality your gains made frequently slip away through time, possibly you should consider this approach.