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before. That's scary. What will the team need to do, and
how will they be doing it?
n Person What will each person's specific role be in the
new process? Are they okay with that? Do they have
questions? What if on a three-person team, two people
are successful, but one person struggles? Talk early
about training and support for everyone.
The methods chosen to achieve the goal could have
different levels of success. If one idea doesn't work well, that
doesn't mean the idea was wrong... but maybe the method of
achieving it wasn't dialed in as it should be.
Can you do something a different way? Make a plan and
try it. Give it an honest effort and evaluate the results.
Remember, you can always try something else.
What potential landmines are out there that could prove
disastrous for the project? You want to identify these early.
Have an honest dialog with your employees, vendors,
and even customers, regarding your objective. Get different
n Company What do different departments say or think
about the improvement idea? It won't make sense to
improve something in one area but create hardships in
another. Make sure every stakeholder is involved.
n Team What is everyone afraid might happen? Many improvement ideas die because of unvoiced nightmares that
come true. Get people to speak up! What do they need to
be successful? Training, equipment, consumables, or help?
n Person It's been my experience that people fail because
of three things. Time: they just don't have enough of it so
they take shortcuts that don't work. Training: they said
they understood, but really didn't. Tools: they didn't have
the right tools to produce the outcome needed. Sometimes
people don't know what they don't know. Get involved.
You want to discuss and map out where the potential
challenges could occur within your improvement plans.
Do this promptly.
However, you can't predict everything. There are going
to be problems. This is where learning happens. Embrace
failures and learn from them.
Data is your best friend when it comes to improving anything.
Why? Because when you measure where you started versus where you are now, you can chart your next steps. This is
how you know if you are improving something or not.
You can't trust a gut feeling alone. "I think we are doing
okay" is foolish. It's better to have trustworthy data to back up
and prove that something is changing. So with your project,
what are the key metrics you need to track?
Map these out with your key stakeholders. Talk about how
you are going to measure, what you are going to measure, and
when you are going to measure. Stay on top of this process and
occasionally audit the numbers to make sure they're accurate.
Bad data is worse than no data.
n Company Using data and metrics, can you map out and
define the goals that make sense? At what number will
the project be a fantastic success? Use this number to
illustrate the route needed to get there.
n Team Make sure everyone knows how the data will be
compiled and what it means. Also, be sure to have the
discussion on the metrics with a goal of improvement, not
getting people in trouble. You want to use this project to
empower and elevate your team. Not squash them like a bug.
n Person How does each player contribute to the numbers
being recorded? What can they personally do to improve
them? How can they help others, and how does that affect
the overall team performance? Clarity here goes a long way.
Try using a shared spreadsheet, such as a Google sheet.
You want everyone on the same page and your numbers
should be transparent.
MAP OUT SUCCESS
Using the five points listed above it would seem fairly simple
to get things going. But, sometimes it's not. It's slow going.
Problems happen. Crisis situations jump in the way. Team
members don't want to do the work or don't understand why
change is necessary, despite agreeing to everything earlier.
It can get frustrating, which is why you need the sixth
Want improvement? Stick-to-itiveness is sometimes the key
to accomplish change, more than anything else.
It's not the first attempt that succeeds. Or the second.
Third time's the charm? Nope. It's the tenth. Or even more.
That's when it clicks. I've always loved Thomas Edison's
quote: "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize
how close they were to success when they gave up."
How does your company rate on the persistence scale?
Are you using your failures as disheartening reasons to give
up or as lessons to be applied to get better?
Imagine what your company might look like a year or so
from now if you took on a big challenge head-on and wrestled
it to the ground with these six ideas.
You worked on outlining a vision everyone could adopt, as
it was in sync with your company's core values. Your team not
only rallied behind the methods to achieve the goals, but also
outlined any obstacles they might encounter in advance. Key
metrics were built into a dashboard using valuable data to track
progress and suggest changes. And lastly, progress comes with
hard work and the persistence needed to see the job through.
Where would you be then? Paint that picture and work to
AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019
Screen Printing - August/September 2019
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