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Keeping Track

Most organizations face a gap between where they are and where they want to be. To close this gap, how many Change, Lean, Six-Sigma, new service and other improvement programs and projects do you currently have ongoing? If your answer is “many,” you may have a problem.

  • First of all, “many” is not an accurate enough assessment: you should keep track and be able to tell exactly how many programs and projects are ongoing.
  • Second, if you don’t know how many projects are ongoing, how do you know if you need more or fewer to get where you want to go?

Keeping track

If you had a system for keeping track of ongoing initiatives, you could incentivize all those involved for their contribution to making the organization a better place. You could celebrate successes and learn from failures. Avoiding repeating mistakes is as important as ensuring that successful practices are shared!

When you keep track, you know how close you are to becoming the organization you want to be. If closing the gap goes too slowly, you know you will have to add more initiatives. When you are getting close to where you want to be, you can reduce the number. Any progress in closing the gap can be celebrated with all those involved, which helps keep the momentum and motivation to participate alive.

Not keeping track

The main problem with not keeping track is that untracked improvements become busy work, with no urgency or importance.

Change is difficult. Many initiatives are not as successful as was hoped. Without tracking, successful initiatives will still get celebrated, but what happens with the valuable lessons to be learned from failures? Are those shared too? Or do those projects just slowly fall off the radar screen, dissolve and disappear?

A project falling off the radar screen hampers the culture for learning and demotivates. (Why bother if the organization does not care to follow up, and learn?). By not keeping track of all ongoing projects, improvement initiatives become activities that are done for their own sake. The contribution to organizational goals is vague and employee efforts are not rewarded. Over time, innovation and improvement initiatives will lose momentum.

Other advantages

There are other advantages to keeping track. For example, you can analyze the projects to find out where the typical bottlenecks are. How long does it take to get:

  • Approval?
  • Funds?
  • Set-up of an experiment?

In other words, keeping track enables you to improve all processes.

If you use multiple methodologies—such as Lean, Six-Sigma, the Power of One, or change management—keeping track helps you analyze which ones work best, in which areas, and for which goals. Keeping track will make you more effective and efficient the next time around, when you want to get your organization to the next level.

Interested in learning more about how to keep track of all the ongoing improvement initiatives in your organization? Contact us via email at: info “at” organizing4innovation “dot” com, or visit our website for more information,