Process Improvement Tip #5: Demonstrate the value of your work quickly to build trust

In the lead up to PEX Masters next month, we’re running a series of process improvement tips to help you jump start your initiatives for 2013. This is the fifth of twelve.

"Trust in me, just in me / Shut your eyes and trust in me / You can sleep safe and sound / Knowing I am around," sang Kaa the python in Disney’s classic animated film The Jungle Book. That was right before he attempted to devour the protagonist, Mowgli.

While Mowgli may have fallen for the glib tones of the wily snake, fortunately our business executives are not such willing candidates for unproven belief. But that makes your job that little bit harder when you’re first starting process improvement – you’re the untested quantity consuming precious time and resource.

There will be those who treat your work with scepticism, some with enthusiasm, and some who might even be downright obstructive. For all of those groups – even those who are your ardent supporters – it is critical that you quickly demonstrate that you can and will achieve things that are valued by your organization. Normally that means demonstrating financial value but may involve other aspects depending on your organization.

Trust you?

Find out what those key drivers are and tackle some high value, low risk, and short term projects to start to build credibility and trust with your organization. An ideal project length for this purpose is less than 90 days. Grand schemes and multi-year plans for how you’re going to transform the organization have their place – eventually.

But at the beginning you have no track record – and you can be so much better than an animated python singing in a tree!


View other tips:

Process Improvement Tip #1: Ensure your approach is suited to the problem you face

Process Improvement Tip #2: Speak the same language as your audience

Process Improvement Tip #3 - Make sure everyone understands the need for change

Process Improvement Tip #4: Learn to use failure productively