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Monday, March 28, 2022

Lean Tips Edition #185 (#2986-#3000)

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #2986 – Watch Your Key Performance Measures

Your strategic plan should include key performance indicators (KPIs) for each initiative. These may be measures for individual employees, departments and the business as a whole.

You must keep a constant eye on the KPIs, reviewing them at meetings and in between. This can be monitored by a suitable KPI dashboard.

Remember that what gets measured gets done. This is a fundamental principle of behavior and organizational change. You have to have the right metrics; otherwise nothing will happen. The right metrics are critical for driving the desired actions, behavior and results.

Lean Tip #2987 – Be Agile and Ready to Adjust

No plan survives the first contact with reality. It’s important for your implementation plan to be agile and flexible.

You can’t predict the future exactly, so be prepared to adapt and adjust the plan as conditions change internally and externally. You have to recognize that executing the plan is interactive and requires continuous adaptation, all focused on moving the needle toward your desired future state. A strategic plan is a living, breathing document.

Lean Tip #2988 – Engage Your Team

To implement your strategy both effectively and efficiently, you need to create focus and drive accountability. There are a few ways in which you can keep your team engaged throughout the implementation process:

·        Determine roles and responsibilities early on. Use a RACI matrix to clarify your teammate’s roles and ensure that there are no responsibility gaps.

·        Delegate work effectively. While it can be tempting to have your eyes on everything, micromanagement will only hold you back. Once you’ve defined everyone’s roles and responsibilities, trust that your team will execute their tasks according to the implementation plan.

·        Communicate with your team and ensure that everyone knows how their individual work contributes to the project. This will keep everyone motivated and on track.

Lean Tip #2989 – Get Closure on Implementation

Once you implement the strategy, connect with everyone involved to confirm that their work feels complete. Implementing a strategy isn’t like a puzzle that’s finished when the last piece is set. It’s like planting a garden that continues to grow and change even when you think you’re done with your work.

Getting closure from your team will be the second to last milestone of your strategy implementation and is a crucial step toward completion.

Lean Tip #2990 – Reflect on the Implemented Strategy

Conduct a post-mortem or retrospective to reflect on the implemented strategy, as well as evaluate the success of the implementation process and the strategy itself. This step is a chance to uncover lessons learned for upcoming projects and strategies which will allow you to avoid potential pitfalls and embrace new opportunities in the future.

Lean Tip #2991 – Develop Metrics for Every Project

Developing performance metrics for individual projects enables you to examine your team's efficiency on the project. If they aren't fulfilling the metrics, you can tell right away that they are underperforming.

Some team members like to hide under the shadows of others and do nothing. For individual accountability, apply the metrics to each of them.

Lean Tip #2992 – Set the Right Targets to Challenge Your Team

Your team members may not be as unmotivated as you think; they probably don't have the right targets to challenge them.

When tasks are too easy, employees become complacent because they know they'll be fine with the barest minimum. Don't give them impossible tasks just because you want to challenge them. You'll end up killing their morale.

Aim for a balance. The idea is to make them stretch themselves beyond their comfort zones to get the job done. The outcome might surprise you.

Lean Tip #2993 – Establish Your Success Measures

Once you are clear of the goals of your performance management system, the next step is to establish what success should look like for each one. In addition to agreeing on success measures related to specific performance goals, it is important to define some measures for your performance management processes (i.e. the actual mechanics). You’ll want to know how easy your employees and managers find the processes and tools they use, how time consuming they are, how well they are implemented, what proportion of people are following the processes and whether people are demonstrating the necessary performance management skills.

Lean Tip #2994 – Align Your Performance Measurement Strategies With Your Organizational Objectives

When any team is developing a performance measurement framework, they must make sure they have clear, defined goals across the organization. Plan out what you want to accomplish before you decide what individual performance goals you will measure.

It's also important to measure factors outside of financial objectives. Make sure to incorporate internal, operational processes into your performance measurement system.

Lean Tip #2995 – Focus on a Few Key Metrics, Rather Than a Slew of Data.

As you begin to identify KPIs for your business, less is worth more. Rather than choosing dozens of metrics to measure and report on you should focus on just a few key ones.

If you track too many KPIs, you might become overwhelmed with the data and lose focus.

As you can imagine, every company, industry, and business model is different so it is difficult to pinpoint an exact number for the amount of KPIs you should have. However, a good number to aim for is somewhere between two to four KPIs per goal. Enough to get a good sense of where you stand but not too many where there's no priority.

Lean Tip #2996 – Offer a Growth Mindset

Managers must offer their employees a continuous learning environment – nurturing, growing and developing them to be better. For example, create career paths for their best people so they grow as workers to benefit their organizations and people to benefit their careers, even if it means that you may lose that person because heart-based leaders want the best for their people.

Lean Tip #2997 – Managers Must be Humble

While it’s hard to measure, it’s the striving to be humble that matters. New managers have to be humble enough to put other people ahead of themselves, not taking credit for organizational accomplishments (since they recognize that the people in the trenches are the ones that “make things happen”). Humble leaders gladly accept the role of learners because they know it will make them better.

Lean Tip #2998 – Communicate Openly and Authentically

This is how managers win the hearts of their people – by being open and sharing plans for the future, communicating important things to their people, and fostering a transparent culture. The last thing you’ll see in a Servant Leader someone that hides behind closed doors. They’re constantly communicating. Giving and receiving feedback on no less than a weekly basis.

Lean Tip #2999 – Allow for Risks to be Taken

Servant Leaders are known for creating an environment in which risks are taken, allowing those around them to feel safe to exercise their creativity, communicate their ideas openly and provide input to major decisions. Because there’s trust there not fear. It communicates to employees of a sense of – “hey we are all in this together.”

Lean Tip #3000 – Listen to Your People!

Not just listening, but active listening. That takes SKILL! They must be open to feedback, and be willing and agile to change when they make mistakes (as a result of listening to constructive feedback that will help them grow as leaders). This is essential in building credibility with followers. When you listen well, you earn respect.


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