To get ahead in career, you need to be one step ahead , having a decent enough performance or meeting the targets is only a qualifying criterion. To successfully move ahead in your career, you need to take on additional responsibilities, especially the ones that cut through different departments. Improvement projects are the lifeline of any modern organizations, at any point of time in an organization there are many projects going on simultaneously. Getting a place on a project improvement team, which endeavors to solve a knotty problem is a sure sign of being noticed, however once you are in limelight, any failure is fatal, as most of the improvement projects have senior level sponsorship and your performance and projects success becomes a key criterion in deciding whether the company will put its weight behind your career or not.

Your future promotion, pay raises and even the current job may depend on how well you perform on these assignments.  Take a look at these simple principles, which can help you in making a project successful.

Over Communicate

A projects success depends on how well the team members communicate what they are doing, not only among themselves but also to anyone likely to be affected by or interested in their activities. For example if your team was to collect data from a live production line, team members should notify all the supervisors and operators in advance and tell them exactly how and when the data will be collected. This kind of communication is simply being considerate to your colleagues and it encourages co-operation from co-workers and often may lead to suggestions for improving data collection processes.

Don’t Wait To Fix Obvious Problems.

As you did deeper in the process, you will unearth a lot of problem areas. The general rule is to collate all the problems, collect data, analyze and then recommend a solution. But there may be cases, when a problem can be easily fixed and in those cases, I recommend that you go ahead and make the changes, its no point waiting till the end of the project to fix the obvious problems. This approach will build your credibility as problem solver.

Look Deeper

Most of the problems you see are only the symptoms of other problems buried upstream in the process. To make long lasting improvements, you must get to the root cause of the problems. The endeavor has to be to seek out these causes and find ways to prevent them. A good way is to walk through the entire process mentally and see if you can figure out upstream conditions that are triggering the problem.

Believe In Documentation

In every organization, there are problems that get solved over and over again – problems you hear about every week, month or year. You try something once, it doesn’t do much good, and so somebody else tries something different next time (with little or no idea of what’s happened before). If you are lucky the problem will disappear for a while, but it will always return because the solutions tried are aimed at symptoms rather than at the root cause of the problem. The simple and efficient way to get out of this trap is to keep well-maintained records of everything tried on the process. These records are extremely valuable from an organization’s learning perspective. After the end of the project, these records must be shared wit the entire company, so that they know that all these options have been exhausted before reaching the final solution.

Keep Monitoring Changes

Rarely does something turn out exactly the way you planned it to be. Changes made to a process or systems are no exception. Though careful planning reduces the chances of unanticipated problems, there is no guarantee that everything will work perfectly. The only sensible plan, therefore is to keep monitoring actions so that you can quickly catch errors and prevent them from becoming major problems.

Jappreet Sethi

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