Tag Archives: success predictions for project

5 Ways to Enhance CI Success

Our previous post summarized three of the most common reasons why CI efforts fail. Today’s focus is on how to avoid those pitfalls and increase the likelihood of success.

Generally speaking, in order to ensure on-going success, an organization must make sure that its measurement systems, rewards, recognition, and communication systems support CI. But more than that, one must make sure that management behavior itself supports CI.

Our Partners in Improvement groups identified the following five best practices for making an enterprise-level CI effort more successful:

  1. Top Management Support: Senior-level leadership must visibly support CI efforts. It’s best if management meets with the teams and individuals regularly for the specific purpose of seeing how the improvement project is going and what can he or she do to support the effort and speed progress.
  2. Team Training: During our Partners discussions it was agreed that nearly everyone in the company needs some basic training. But team leaders need to be very well trained, so that they can ensure that the team follows the methodology, asks the right questions, gathers the right data, and stays on trac. It was also noted that team leaders should be very carefully chosen.
  3. Diligent Upfront Work: Project planning, even before the launch, as critical to success. This involves defining the right charter, problem statement, scope, time frame, and team.
  4. Once an enterprise-level CI plan is launched, the first principle is that nothing succeeds like success. Starting out with carefully selected projects staffed with highly qualified people is a good way to promote that success. Giving the earlier projects careful guidance and support (as referenced in bullet #1 above) is another best practice that increases the likelihood of some early wins. Making “speed to success” a priority should also be part of the plan.
  5. Communication is the next most important thing. If a team applies the CI methodology to great success but no one hears about it, the goal of making CI a cultural way of doing business will not catch on. In other words, “advertising” is important! Intranet, newsletters, presentations, story boards, discussions at staff meetings and formal recognition programs are all ways to communicate success and make sure that everyone learns from successful experiences.

Prioritizing & Predicting Success

Continuing with the theme of working on the right things, you might find the tool outlined below of use, which was developed by our team of improvement coaches.

The “success predictor” distills a century or two of collective experience with what characteristics are most necessary for an improvement project’s success – in other words, it can help to  prioritize options and increase the likelihood of working on the right things.

The following eleven factors can predict with a fair degree of accuracy how likely a project is to succeed:

  1. The potential benefit of the project to the organization is clear, substantial and quantifiable. (10 = very clear, quantifiable, substantial)
  2. The problem to be solved is clearly defined and quantifiable, and the project scope is focused and well-defined. (10 = very clear, focused, and well-defined)
  3. The project has top management’s commitment and support (resources, sponsorship and follow-up); no influential person is actively opposed to the project. (10 = very strong support)
  4. The sponsor and team leader are clear about each one’s role and partner effectively to ensure the success of the project. (10 = very clear)
  5. The team leader and key resources are devoting enough of their time to the project to complete it very quickly. (10= full time)
  6. The team is staffed and led by the right people for the job, and they are determined and capable to quickly achieve results. (10 = very determined and capable)
  7. Meaningful and accurate facts and data about the process are available. (10 = very available)
  8. The process to be improved is repeated frequently enough to efficiently study variation in the current process and to and test and measure improvements. Hourly? Monthly? Annually? (10 = very frequently).
  9. The processes to be improved are within the team’s span of control. (10 = under control).
  10. The expected timeframe for completion of the project or for achieving concrete and measurable milestones. (10 = 4-8 weeks to completion or measurable milestone)
  11. The processes are stable, that is not undergoing very recent or imminent major change (10 = very stable).

Decision-Making & Predicting Success

crystalballA recent post focused on best practices for making the best decisions. However, despite the best intentions Project Managers, Leaders and other members of the workforce frequently look back at failed or semi-successful decisions regarding Continuous Improvement projects with critiques galore about what could have or should have been done.

Fortunately, there is a method for predicting success for continuous improvement projects.

The Conway Success Predictor was developed a few years ago by the Conway team of improvement coaches and distills a century or two of collective experience with what characteristics are most necessary for an improvement project’s success. This wisdom was built into a fun little spreadsheet tool that can help predict your project’s “fortune” after asking you to rate the project, on a scale of one to ten, relative to eleven key criteria. This straightforward approach involves rating potential projects in eleven key areas on a scale of 1-10.

These “rating areas” vary, and include:

  • The potential benefit of the project to the organization is clear, substantial and quantifiable.
  • The problem to be solved is clearly defined and quantifiable, and the project scope is focused and well-defined.
  • The project has top management’s commitment and support (resources, sponsorship and follow-up); no influential person is actively opposed to the project.

A review of the answers can then enable you to predict with a fair degree of accuracy how likely your project is to succeed.

Read the full article…

Predicting Success for Continuous Improvement Projects

crystalballAs is often the case, the post-Super Bowl “Monday morning quarterbacking” was robust this year… “How could the Seahawks have called that play…?” “Why did they waste their time outs…?” etc.

Of course “Monday morning quarterbacking” is not confined to the world of football! In fact, Project Managers, Leaders and other members of the workforce frequently look back at failed or semi-successful Continuous Improvement projects with critiques galore about what could have or should have been done.

Fortunately, there is a method for predicting success for continuous improvement projects. This straightforward approach involves rating potential projects in eleven key areas on a scale of 1-10.

These “rating areas” vary, and include:

  • The potential benefit of the project to the organization is clear, substantial and quantifiable.
  • The problem to be solved is clearly defined and quantifiable, and the project scope is focused and well-defined.
  • The project has top management’s commitment and support (resources, sponsorship and follow-up); no influential person is actively opposed to the project.

A review of the answers can then enable you to predict with a fair degree of accuracy how likely your project is to succeed – and to do so on “Sunday!”

Read the full article…