How To Overcome Barriers for Process Improvement
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One of the biggest barriers that prevent people from engaging in process improvement is the perception that it isn’t for them. People with this misconception are often times quick to dismiss ideas like these, thinking that if they can’t do something themselves then there is no use trying to get someone else to do it.
However, this kind of attitude only helps the person who has the problem shift their own responsibility onto others. This doesn’t help anyone but yourself!
If you find yourself putting off initiating changes because you don’t think your job would be worth keeping unless everyone was onboard, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate how you manage your team.
There will always be individuals who are not as motivated about an individual goal or task, but when everything seems to be going well, they don’t have any reason to push themselves beyond what they were originally hired to do. When this happens, they stop adding value and helping to keep the company successful.
It is important to remember that whether your position requires you to implement A through G or H through Z steps, there WILL BE PEOPLE IN YOUR DEPARTMENT THAT ARE NOT MAKING THE NECESSARY EFFORTS TO HELP OTHERS SUCCEED. If this situation is happening around you, it may be time to look at your role positively and see what you can add to the success of the department.
Establish a process for measuring your progress
The first step towards improvement is recognizing there is an issue that needs fixing. This can be done through systematic observations or formal performance assessments, but it also comes down to experiencing short bouts of success followed by long periods of failure.
When failures occur, you have to figure out why they happened and what you could do to prevent them from happening again. By thinking about how things went wrong, you are able to identify potential causes and address any weaknesses so that you don’t fall into the same mistake twice.
By establishing a process for measuring your own performance, you can more easily recognize when something isn’t working and determine whether changing the person performing the action, the action itself, or both will help.
Change may feel uncomfortable at times, but if you want to see results then you will need to take some time to evaluate your actions and strategies and find ways to improve upon them. You cannot keep moving forward unless you acknowledge where you fell short in the past and work to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Create a systematic approach
A process improvement initiative can be very tricky, even frustrating at times. There are so many things you need to do to improve an already well-functioning system or implement new processes!
It is easy to get distracted by all of the different tasks that must be done in order to achieve your goal, which may not necessarily be linked with each other.
In this case, it is easy to give up because you feel that there is nothing more you can do to ensure success. You might also become discouraged when you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again without result.
You have to break down the task into small steps in order to make progress. This way, you will see results more quickly. By breaking down the work into smaller pieces, you create a sense of momentum – you move forward slowly, but surely.
By using time management tools, like Google “best timing apps for android” then add the word “timers” to search, you can organize your daily activities around important projects. This helps you keep track of what needs to be done and when.
There are several ways to implement process improvements
You can tackle discrete elements of the process one at a time, making changes along the way. For example, instead of changing how the department works groups, you could focus on individual team members first and assess whether they know their job role properly.
Focus on the results, not the effort
A key barrier that can get in the way of improvement is thinking about how hard you have to work on improving things. This can be especially true when it comes to changing something that you feel isn’t working or going well at present.
We sometimes get hung up trying to figure out what went wrong before so we don’t do anything new. Or we worry about making changes because we think people who made changes didn’t know what they were doing!
But here’s the thing – they probably did. They just applied their knowledge more effectively than you do.
By applying yourself with all your might, you will still likely fail, but at least you’ll succeed in putting in as much effort as everyone else has before you.
Take action and make progress
A few years ago, I read an article about how hard it is to motivate people to improve their performance in workplace functions.
It mentioned that one of the biggest reasons why people don’t try to do things better at work is because they don’t feel like they are worthy enough or good enough to try improving what others have taught them to be bad.
This can really hold back someone from achieving their goals if they aren’t given appropriate recognition for trying to do well, or they fear getting negative feedback since they didn’t succeed the first time around.
In these times we live in where every little thing gets recorded and shared with everyone, there’s no need to worry about losing your job over something you tried to do to help your team win a game.
Measure and learn
The first step towards improving your process is by knowing what parts of it are not working and then learning how to fix them!
This starts with measuring performance – how well things are going, and comparing these numbers to similar times in past periods.
By doing this regularly, you give yourself a framework for drawing conclusions about whether or not changes need making.
It also helps identify potential causes so that steps can be taken to avoid having the same problem again.
There are many ways to measure productivity and effectiveness. Some people focus only on outputs (products or services) while others look at both inputs and outputs.
The best way depends on what you want to see changed and what indicators matter most to you.
A good place to start would be looking at time-to-value (TTV), cost per item produced, efficiency ratios and return on investment (ROI).
These all factor in different dimensions such as staff costs, raw materials etc which influence overall production and profitability.
Improvements can be made throughout any stage of the process but initial gains may be modest due to external factors like market conditions.
Once momentum has been built, internal processes can be streamlined and focused on achieving higher quality and quantity output.
Keep a positive attitude
A lot of times, people get discouraged when trying to improve something at their workplace.
There are always going to be things that can use some improvement, but too often, these changes need to happen quickly to make an impact.
That is not a good thing if you want to see true improvements in your organization.
If someone needed to go through a long process to motivate others to do their job well, they would probably look for ways to change jobs or departments.
It makes sense then that internal barriers to quality performance can sometimes bring about motivation shifts within employees.
By having a more open-minded approach towards changing how things work, you will help your colleagues find what solutions fit best with their roles.
You have to believe in them before they feel that belief.
A leader’s communication style can make or break their influence in an organization. When leaders talk less, people learn less of what needs to be learned about how to perform their job effectively.
When you are a leader, you have a responsibility to communicate important information that will help your team members achieve their goals.
You must tell them things like why they should do their work, what tools they need to accomplish their tasks, and how they can improve their performance.
At the same time, they must know who their superiors are so that they can get the resources and support needed for success.
As a manager, you must also let go of the illusion that you know it all and are always right. This only creates resentment and bad feelings which prevent improvement.
Leadership is important
As mentioned earlier, leadership can play an integral part in encouraging others to perform their jobs more effectively. If there are no signs of improvement from those working under you, consider what steps need to be taken.
You may need to give up your position or job so that someone who can lead and motivate people to improve the process exists within your organization. Or you might want to promote someone who already has these skills- possibly even yourself!
By being aware of how changes to processes are done, you can help facilitate this process for others. By acting as a leader, you will set an example for other individuals in your department, division, or company.
If you’re not sure if you have enough leadership talent in your own team, look outside of your organization too. You could join an association or user group, attend conferences, or meet with colleagues at different levels to see if they praise any leaders around them.