The four critical elements.
We ended last time with this statement.
There are four elements to offering suggestions for improvement. When these elements are included in each submission, it allows the decision-maker to do his or her job make a decision!
- Why is this issue a barrier which stops us from doing as good as we could or an opportunity we shouldn’t miss?
- What can we do? This is what we think our organization should do differently to reduce or eliminate this barrier or capitalize on this opportunity.
- Cost: Estimate the cost including the time necessary to complete the project. This allows us to account for materials, labor and any impact on other company initiatives
- Time: When should implementation start and how long will it take?
Developing the action plan forces employees to look at the basic elements involved in situation analysis, decision-making and implementation. This becomes very important in companies that desire to stay competitive. As employees become more skilled and knowledgeable, they gain a new perspective about what it takes to operate a successful business and what their role in that success might be.
It is important to note that management response is a critical part of this process. If the decision-maker does not give a timely response to a suggestion, the suggestions will stop, morale will go down and the improvement process dies.
One of our clients says, “I see myself as a coach to our staff and employees, allowing them to develop plans that can provide exceptional customer service. If mistakes are made in the plan but the intent was focused on customer service, we don’t point fingers of blame. We want our employees to be involved and that means managers have to also be involved in the coaching process.”
When a manager receives a response form, he or she has no more than two weeks in which to respond.
I believe that decisions take only ten minutes to make after you have all the necessary information needed to make that decision. The purpose of using the four elements of an improvement suggestion is to give the decision-maker the information they need.
A first response to a suggestion might be a list of information missing that the decision-makers need’s to decide which of the four responses they will use.
Next: A.R.M.S. the plan. The Four Responses.