by Mark Radley | Jun 1, 2014
Can we stop using the term Quick Wins? It’s destructive. End of blog.
One engagement saw management reviewing a team’s Current State Map on day 4 and asked them to start implementing some of the ideas identified that were sitting in the Boston Matrix.
‘We haven’t done the Future State Map yet.’ said a brave chappie.
‘So what? Those are good ideas and we have to meet the identified benefits target of ‘X’ million.’ said the manager
‘But what if our Interim Future State nullifies the ideas up there because we come up with a new way of working the process?’ said same brave chappie. You have to love him.
‘Don’t be daft.’ It won’t. They’re good ideas and we need the quick wins to convince everyone its a good thing’ said the manager.
‘We’ve only got 4 more days before the Interim State is complete. Can we wait till then?’ said suicidally brave chappie.
Manager looks at chappie. Chappie understands career predicament. And so, yes, we divide the team and the quest for quick wins begins.
Now you know where this is going. You know how this is going to unravel. And unfortunately, predictably, it will happen again and again as long as we fixate on Quick Wins.
3 Days later, the team designed an interim future state and yes, you guessed correctly, it wiped out the need for the ideas on the matrix. So, in the process of chasing Quick Wins, with no thought to the process, management had managed to achieve the exact opposite of what they wanted. The staff were miffed with the Lean Team and thought they were a bunch of incompetents and Lean was clearly something for the ‘basket cases’ to use their term. It took another 3 weeks to win them round.
The frustrating thing was the initial ideas had been logged by the benefits team and were being tracked weekly. It was comedy in action trying to explain that they were bad ideas and had been replaced by the Interim State.
Manager: What’s an Interim? I’m confused. Can’t we just have the Future State and be done with it? We need more quick wins or this isn’t going to work.
End result? Interim States abandoned. Quick wins all over the place for a couple of weeks. ‘Good Ideas Here’ boards populated and left to gather dust. Staff avoiding Lean Team wherever possible.
I suppose there are a couple things I would like to draw out from this particular blog:
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