Many times we set standards within our organizations, which are our minimum expectations of performance. It is interesting how often clearly laid out instructions are not implemented. There are various reasons for this. When new ideas are concerned barriers to change are often formidable, preventing the best laid plans from an easy implementation. Lack of follow up also sends a message that we are not serious about the expectations we have communicated. Employees may follow the new plan for a while, but as they ease back into former practices and no one seems to notice, this lack of follow up empowers the employee and dilutes the authority of their managers. 

When new ideas, processes or procedures fail to be implemented this, in and of itself, is a prime example of waste.  Sometimes our efforts to lean out our organizations or reduce defects come at a huge cost after hours of thought and evaluation, often by teams of people. The true test of whether a new idea will work is to implement it and see. When a new idea is not implemented we learn nothing and some may assume that the new method was flawed and wasn\'t feasible.
Constant checkups and follow through is the key to ensuring new ideas are implemented and stick within our organizations. Micro Accountability is a great tool to keep individuals on task. It might take some effort to develop the triggers that communicate when employee deviate from the new standards (you can’t enforce deviations from your processes that you do not know about), but if the alternative is failure that effort is well worth it.
It could be said that making accountability happen when employees don’t follow instructions is essential to the success of the new method. This means that as well as implementing your plan for improvement, there needs to be a plan to provide accountability, by reporting a failure which in turn triggers a response, each time a deviation occurs. The more perfect our ability to know when a process is not being followed and then do something about it, the more likely it is to succeed.

September 15, 2014 @ 12:00 amby:  Michael Bull