Process Improvement Tip #12: Have patience

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

Avid gardeners know that a garden is never "complete". There’s always going to be a corner of the garden that needs weeding, a lawn that requires mowing, and a section where those plants that you so lovingly nurtured from seed have become an overgrown floral mess.

Process improvement is a lot like that. Just when you’ve improved processes in one area of the business you realize that both processes and the conditions in which the business operates have been changing on you.

Indeed, the pace of technology advancement and economic turbulence virtually assures you that process improvement and transformation will be not only continuous, but also relentless!

Rather than lurching from one thing to the next, not allowing the dust to settle anywhere before you go and stir it up again, follow your improvement through and give it time to catch on in your organization.

Often we underestimate the amount of time it takes for an improvement to become a habit. Change doesn’t happen quickly – and when it does it’s usually in response to a disaster. As French playwright Moliere once observed: "Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit."

How true for many thing in life, including process improvement.