Category Archives: Failed Improvement Projects

10 Reasons improvement Efforts hit the wall

failing improvement projects

Regardless of methodology or intention, Continuous Improvement efforts frequently lose their momentum, leaving quality and improvement leaders looking for ways to reenergize teams, reengage with sponsors, and resurrect or redirect their projects.

In a poll of business leaders and quality experts, the following “top 10” reasons for what we have often referenced as “discontinuous” improvement are:

  1. Lack of managerial or sponsor support, or failure on their part to commit the right resources
  2. People believe they have “already eliminated all the waste”
  3. The law of diminishing returns… if projects last too long people lose interest
  4. Absence of quick-wins / results; if teams don’t achieve at least some early results, then their focus and effort tends to drop-off
  5. Disengaged culture in which “naysayers” discourage teams
  6. Too many projects / Scope creep
  7. Changes in top management and organizational goals
  8. CI is viewed only as a cost-cutting tool with short-term or ad-hoc focus
  9. CI is viewed as a “side line” job rather than the cultural “way we do things”
  10. People are “stretched” with day-to-day responsibilities and the prevailing culture is one in which the “don’t have time” for improvement projects