Many improvement initiatives fail because the projects are too large. Why do large projects have a greater chance of failure? Partly, because large projects are more complex in terms of content. It requires much more attention from the project manager and from the team.
On the other hand, large projects require too much time, so the achievement of success is too long. This means that projects are delayed and there is a good possibility that the project will be replaced by other priorities. If several projects fail or running out in succession, the resistance for these new projects will continue to grow.
It is much more effective to carry out several smaller projects in succession. This is less complex and achieving a certain result within a foreseeable time gives energy to the team and the organization. Short cycle improvement, also known as ‘Short Interval Management’, is the basis for Kaizen and Scrum.
Short-cycle improvement is often supported by daily stand-up team meetings around the improvement board, also known as ‘Lean Daily Management’. The daily stand-up meetings are often held at the beginning or in the middle of a day to communicate the results and problems. The goal is to keep these meetings short and businesslike. Normally, a meeting takes about 10 to 15 minutes and is performed standing. That is more efficient than sitting with a cup of coffee. The meeting will be held on the ‘Gemba’, the work floor. The location of the meeting is a fixed location on the work floor that has been specially designed with visual management signs for this purpose.
Looking back – Consider the performance of the previous interval:
● Did we achieve the set output?
● Did we encounter a quality problem?
● Did we complete the actions that were determined in the previous interval?
● Are the actions effective or are additional actions needed?
Looking forward – Discuss the goals for the next interval:
● What is the required output?
● Do we have the necessary resources?
● Who needs help to achieve their goals?
● Which specific actions are needed?