Making and Sustaining Change

The image below is a well-defined and very obvious trail that anyone can follow.  It is in an area of heavy traffic and used by many people who are not prepared to find their own way.  The same can be true of making changes to processes that many people need to follow.  When the improvement process is completed, a well-defined path must be left for everyone to follow.


This can take the form of standard work, error-proofed activities, and well defined metrics.

The improvement process is not complete unless it is left in a form that any employee can be successful performing the work.

Identifying opportunity and applying problem-solving tools to develop a solution are arguably the easiest part of making lasting improvement.

In my experience, the most difficult part of the improvement journey is getting the people who must own the work day in and day out to buy into the changes required and sustain those changes even when something goes wrong.

How often have you made a change to a process that went back to the original method as soon as something went wrong or got hard?

Making change requires an understanding of the people involved in the process and how they view the changes being made.  An understanding of where individuals are in their own personal acceptance of the change is necessary.

A critical mass of agreement or at least acceptance is required to assure the team will accept the change and assure a legitimate effort to create success and meaningful long-term change I required.  This requires time and involvement.  The people affected by the change must understand why change is necessary and be allowed input into the solution chosen.

Nobody wants to be told their work has been done wrong. And, nobody wants to be told there is now a “new and better” way without engaging them in how the work is truly done.  Getting change to be sustainable requires involvement of everyone.  Agreement is not always required, but acceptance is.

The three components of continuous improvement: Learning to See, Learning to Solve, and Making and Sustaining Change are baseline requirements for establishing any continuous improvement effort that will be successful over the long term.  Without a thorough understanding of each of these and how to apply them, the continuous improvement process will be inconsistent and unsustainable.

With the three components of continuous improvement established, the “metrics that move the business” must be established to measure success.


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The main body of “Metrics that Move the Business” will be found in the ebook coming out later this year.


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