Background is Important to Understand in Performance Improvement Initiatives

May 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm Leave a comment

This is another  in my series on important considerations in doing Performance Improvement initiatives. This one focuses on one thing we need to do to assure that we have buy-in and cooperation down the line – the initiatives background

Understanding the focus of an improvement effort includes any contextual or background information necessary to fully grasp what is going on and how this problem relates to the goals or values of the work setting.

All improvement efforts require the involvement of everybody engaged in the process being addressed. This may mean people who are not even in your work area. Think of the people who give you the things that you need to do your work. Think of those who you give your work to when you are finished so the process can continue. Each of the people or groups of people involved in a process may be impacted by any change you make in an effort to improve your work process. So your efforts become important to them.

Making the background of an improvement opportunity clear to all of those involved in the process is important. It helps everybody understand what has and is happening that needs the attention of the group to make things better. When thinking about the background of an improvement initiative consider the following things.

  • Briefly describe the setting for the improvement focus. (e.g. office, department, etc.)
  • Identify all of those involved in the process – before you and after you and even the ultimate customer who gets the final product of your combined efforts. .
  • Provide those affected by the process the background information about the improvement focus they need to know before going forward.
  • Explain to everybody in the process why this effort is important and get their buy-in.
  • Include any other information, such as historical data, comparative data, dates, names, etc. that might help those involved to understand the importance of the effort.
  • Make it public.

As well framed background statement helps others understand what you are trying to accomplish and it also places early boundaries around the improvement effort. This will help you maintain focus.

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Entry filed under: Improvement, PI CME. Tags: , , , , .

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