In the first lesson, we covered Rapid Feedback.
Within that Rapid Feedback process, you gathered ideas for improvement. Some should be implemented immediately, but others take more time. That’s where we’ll focus our efforts in this lesson, how to act quickly on those ideas to get Rapid Results.
We'll create an environment that expects Rapid Results.
Boulders, Rocks and Pebbles
We all know the analogy about boulders, rocks and pebbles. That we should fill our bucket with boulders or major priorities, fill in a layer of rocks representing the next level of priorities, and fill in the gaps with pebbles or sand that represent our lowest priorities. The idea is “put first things first” as Stephen Covey says.
While this is an excellent approach for our general life priorities and overall corporate strategy, use caution when applying this approach to CI projects. If you think about the rocks and pebbles as projects, we over-emphasize those long-term strategic efforts and tend to overcommit to those major projects. As a result, quick wins are last priority and are completed only as time allows.
In reality, we need a well-balanced approach that includes strategic initiatives, mid-sized projects and quick wins. Strategic initiatives build the foundation, but smaller projects allow agility to quickly respond to new ideas or changing customer needs.
Rapid Results Cycle
If we want to embrace improvement agility, we need to shift our thinking and implement a new improvement cycle that promotes Rapid Results. Currently, businesses are focused on monthly and yearly cycles. In today’s business environment, that pace is too slow. It’s time to implement daily and weekly cycles.
This Rapid Results Cycle centers around daily huddles, weekly working meetings, visual dashboards and rapid communications.
Clearly publish your team’s goals and progress using a dashboard. This is an excellent visual management tool to help your team identify roadblocks and help them focus on goal achievement.
Focus on metrics that can be influenced and measured weekly. If it takes too long to make an impact on the metric, we risk slowing results. Task a team member with updating and publishing the metrics every week. This can be as simple as a whiteboard with sticky notes or can be a sophisticated as dashboard in statistical analysis software. Either way, it must be readily accessible to all members of the team, so they know where they stand on achieving goals.
Weekly Working Meetings
Start conducting a weekly working meeting with the intent to focus on the deliverables that need to be accomplished each week. This meeting is not a report-out or status update, instead, these meetings must be action focused.
A daily huddle, or stand-up meeting, is a short 15 to 20-minute daily meeting designed to focus on what needs to be accomplished today to meet the team’s goals and to eliminate any roadblocks or hurdles.
Start holding daily huddles with your team 3-5 days per week. If you hold your weekly working meeting on Monday, hold daily huddles on Tuesday through Friday. The Monday meeting sets the tone, and the daily huddles reinforce the right priorities and give the team an opportunity to ask for help to resolve issues quickly.
Finally, continually communicate the team’s successes. Leverage a company newsletter, bulletin or other public forum to share wins. If you create a periodic progress reports, highlight the wins at the top of the report.
This further reinforces the expectation of Rapid Results and may encourage other teams to do the same. Additionally, if the team knows that their successes will be recognized and rewarded, they’ll be more motivated and engaged.
Action Items for This Lesson