If you’re swamped with improvement ideas and suggestions, here’s a quick team-based approach to prioritising them – Ease and Effect:
Write each idea on a sticky note
In turn, read out / explain to the team each improvement idea
For each idea, first ask the team “How Easy do we think it would be to implement this idea?” Get the team to reach consensus on this – “Easy”, “Medium” or “Difficult”
Secondly, ask the team “If we did it, how much impact or Effect would this idea have?” Get the team to reach consensus on this – “High”, “Medium” or “Low”
Use a flipchart sheet or large piece of paper and draw out a 3 x 3 Ease and Effect Grid. Use the vertical for “Ease” and split this into the three categories “Easy”, Medium” and Difficult. Use the horizontal for “Effect” and split this into the three categories “High”, “Medium” and “Low”.
After each idea has been reviewed and ranked, place the sticky note in one of the nine boxes, based on its “Ease” and “Effect” rating.
Prioritise the ideas based on the following ranking:
Easy to do, with High Effect
Easy to do, with Medium Effect
Medium to do, with High Effect
Keep track of progress using a simple traffic light (RAG) system – ideas that you haven’t yet started are coloured Red, ideas that you’re currently working on are coloured Amber and ideas that have been completed are colured Green.
“Too much to do, too little time!” is a cry that we hear more and more often recently. When you’re trying to tackle a dozen projects, a hundred initiatives and a thousand “to do” tasks, it can feel so overwhelming that it’s hard to even make a start.
So here’s a “quick and dirty” way to make sense of it all.
Make a list – a full list. The first step is to face up to the challenge and list out all of the projects, tasks, initiatives and “to do’s”. It might look like a long list but don’t be put off – this is the first step towards regaining control.
Split the list into two – “Tasks” and “Projects”. Tasks are things you know how to tackle, don’t take up a lot of resource and can be achieved in a few days. Projects are things that take longer, maybe need some research or data collection, and involve more people.
Take the “Tasks” and prioritise them using an “Ease and Effect” grid. Start with the tasks that are Easy to implement and have the highest Effect or Impact. Then tackle the tasks that are Easy to implement and have a medium Effect. Put these tasks into an Action Plan and track progress using “traffic lights” (also known as RAG – Red, Amber, Green) – Red items haven’t yet been tackled, Amber items are those currently being tackled and Green items have been successfully completed.
Translate the Projects onto a simple timeline or “Gantt Chart”. Split the timeline into three – (a) items to be tackled in the next 12 weeks, (b) items to be tackled in the following 12 months, (c) items to be tackled in the following year. Agree who will be accountable for each of the projects and set realistic start and finish dates.
That’s it! Yes it’s rough and ready but it’s the quickest, most effective way to regain control of “too much stuff” – try it!
And if you need some help to manage and deliver some of those projects, contact Andrew.Nicholson@ImproveMyFactory.com.