Six Sigma Methodology; Select Projects to Achieve Goals
It is the end of the year. You look back and wonder where it went. You look at your goals from a year ago and honestly face what a struggle it has been to move forward. You believe they were and remain the right goals and yet execution is constantly hindered by the demands of daily chores. How can you change it?
First, let’s face the fact that your enemy in achieving your goals is the daily cyclone of work. Simply put, your goals and your daily work aren’t compatible. And the daily work always wins because it is urgent. You didn’t fall short on your goals because you’re stupid or lazy. You were just busy.
It’s a new year. How can you make it different? Let’s start by redefining execution. Execution is about achieving your goals while dealing with urgency of daily work. So how should your plan of execution change to deal with this reality?
Unless you are going to be a full time problem solver, you really can only focus on 1 or maybe 2 projects in addition to your daily work. And since there are more good ideas than resources, learn to say “NO”. And since there is only time for 1 or 2 projects, then you can only pursue that ones that significantly move the needle. The little subprojects diffuse energy and should only be done if they ensure completion of the higher order project (and not simply align to it).
Our recommendation is to really pour your energy into your project selection decision matrix and pick the ideas that rank the absolute highest.
In addition, as you work on your projects, target moving the needle of a lead measure. If you are in a process, don’t simply measure the output. That is a lagging measure. This sounds simple but is actually very difficult because lagging measures naturally get more attention and are supported with more data. Everyone wants to measure the result.
Our recommendation is to look at your process map and investigate upstream sub-processes for the most impactful items and then collect and target that data.
Finally, give your actions daily visibility with a compelling dashboard. Make it simple. Make it visible. Show both the leading and the lagging indicators. Make sure that when you look at it you know if you are winning or losing against the urgency of daily work. Winning begets winning.
“The Importance of Project Selection – Why PI Efforts Falter & How to Assure Success”
Our recommendation is to have regular governance meetings to monitor all your teams’ progress on projects. Have them set short term action items and report regularly on whether they have completed them or not.
So as you head into 2013, decide you will make this year different. You will pick only the important projects. You will target the leading measures. You will make progress visible and hold yourself and team accountable for short term actions ensuring that progress. You will fight back against the urgency of daily chores and move forward. If you’d like to discuss, contact me.