Implementing Solutions Requires Planning & Careful Thought

Posted by on Feb 28, 2021 in Implementing Solutions, Improve Phase | 0 comments

You and your team have completed a root cause analysis and have identified solutions you want to implement.  Now the hard task turns to how best to implement those solutions, developing an implementation plan, and making sure you create acceptance for the change that will be made prior to its implementation.  This is an activity that is sometimes overlooked by many teams because they’re excited to have found the root cause and anticipate starting their next project.  Keep in mind that solutions that aren’t adequately implemented can cause the problem to resurface and that is the last thing you want to have happen.

There are several ways organizations can effectively implement solutions.  The first is that the original project team undertakes the implementation.  This approach has the advantage that the team knows the project and what the solution entails.  Another approach is where a new team is formed to carry out the implementation.  It is a good idea when using this approach to include people with particular authority or credibility in the organization.  The last and most common approach is where the project owner or sponsor is tasked with implementing the solutions.

No matter what approach is taken, an implementation plan is always a good idea and requires some thought.  As I mention in all my classes, I’m a firm believer in using a pilot approach to implementation.  Start small and learn before jumping into full-scale implementation.  There are always things you’ll want to tweak or revise prior to full-scale implementation.  Generally, an implementation plan will cover the following five elements:

Required activities

  • The sequence of activities
  • Responsibility for organizing and carrying out and monitoring the progress of each activity
  • A detailed plan for when the activities should be carried out, including milestones for key results
  • Estimating and documenting the costs involved in the implementation

One of the biggest problems associated with any improvement activity is how well it will be accepted by the employees involved in the process.  A general observation in change situations is that the more information that is given to those who will be affected, the less resistance will be met.  Typical stakeholders to consider are:

  • Top management:  hopefully you’ve paved the way in your project communication and tollgate reviews
  • Everyone involved in the process to be changed including answering any questions they may have
  • Other stakeholders that either supply inputs to the process, or are customers receiving some output
  • Other interested parties including your finance department

Communicating the consequences to everyone affected is an effective implementation strategy and is strongly recommended.

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