poniedziałek, 7 grudnia 2015

Improve. Measure. Celebrate!

You need to know what challenges are waiting for you. What you will have to face in near future. The hard part is to put everyone on the same page, to create common understanding of each aspect of the problem. That’s why it is so important to name the problem. To confirm that each person who wants to be involved in the solution is aware of every known characteristic, every information that can be important.

When risks and opportunities are listed, when everyone knows where they want to go, when the goal is shared, there are still things that have to be done before you get down to solving problems and taking opportunities.

It’s great that everyone is driven by the same purpose and vision. Maybe you have already created a rough draft of a plan. Maybe you’ve already seen action points in a back of your head. But please, before you start to move on with execution, stop for a few more moments.
It’s a huge motivator when you already know how to solve the problem. Everyone is eager and can’t wait when they will finally be able to proceed. Everyone wants to reach the place where current obstacles and challenges won’t be a problem any longer.

However, are you sure that you will know when you are already there? Will you recognize the place? The moment? Are you sure that you won’t lose the purpose and goal meantime? Or whether you will notice that goal or purpose changed? Will it just happen or it will be managed somehow?

So many questions. So many doubts. So many things that may lead to losing the context. The Risk.

But as each risk, it can be managed. And to make it with these ones you have to do two things:
  • You have to measure progress
    It’s a well-known truth which is, however, not always practiced. Yet, you cannot improve anything until you start to measure what happens during the process.
    You already know what the problem is. You identified places that are affected by the problem. You know how to solve it. Now’s the time to think what types of measurement will allow you to see that your effort, the actions that will be taken, will bring value.
    Without this you will end with your own observations and feelings. Additionally, if there aren’t any big, noticeable changes, there’s a huge chance that after some time all those eager people who are willing to “save the world” today, would lose their energy. Why? Because introducing improvements (evolution) is a slow process.
    That’s why it’s good to show numbers from time to time. And, if possible, do it on a regular basis.. Weekly, monthly, as often as it is worth to.
    Don’t let people lose their energy! Show them visible successes! Show them progress!

  • You have to determine acceptance criteria
    You need to know where you are going and you have to know how to recognize that you already reached the target. How? You need to list all conditions that have to be satisfied before improvement or solution will be agreed as done. And you have to be specific with it. The more possibilities for own subjective understanding, the bigger the risk of being unsatisfied after all.
    It is also good to agree for milestones and acceptance criteria for each. It will let you quickly feel satisfaction of the success. Do less to succeed fast. It is a great motivation booster as well.

You want to create a culture of continuous improvements, but it doesn’t mean that you are never satisfied with the result. It doesn’t mean that’s why you are looking for more, for a next improvement.
Continuous improvements mean that you are improving/changing/fixing things. Checking whether you are satisfied with effect and only then move forward. But to be able to check, you have to know what your expectations are, and you need to continuously observe whether the steps you take get you closer to fulfilling them.

Improve. Measure. Celebrate.

And… repeat.