A Successful CI Program Depends on Strong Project Management Fundamentals

Posted by on Dec 26, 2014 in Continuous Improvement, Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Problem Solving, Process Improvement, Six Sigma | 0 comments

I’ve seen it happen more than once where a company starts down the path of Lean, Six Sigma, or Problem Solving to only change course in mid-stream.  It happens for many reasons – lack of resources, underestimating the time required to complete projects, allowing scope creep, project champions and sponsors that don’t ask the right questions, not putting the correct controls in place to prevent the problem from returning, lack of follow-up, and poorly trained project leaders, etc.  Any and all of these can cause an organization to second guess their improvement efforts.

So what can be done to prevent this from happening?  I tell my clients to concentrate on the fundamentals, i.e., basic project management.  Start slow, with a small number of improvement projects and establish project review meetings where each team is given ten minutes each week to review the status of their project.  Give teams adequate time to work on their projects so progress is maintained.  Spend time training champions and sponsors in how to manage teams, what questions to ask, and what deliverables to expect.

I never heard anyone say that they had an issue because the tools were too complex or hard to understand.  The problem has always been one where the management didn’t manage the CI process well and became discourage because results didn’t happen fast enough.

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