Change Checklists III


6. Generate Short Term Wins

Work towards the goal should be broken down far enough that each daily work session can be tracked and small wins can be celebrated every week or two. I don’t mean ‘cake in the break room’ type celebration. I mean recognition of measurable independent effort on a regular basis. Make short term goals easily winnable. Having a big audacious goal is great but mini-milestones along the way keeps up momentum.

Progress should be measured visually. Use live updating burndown charts, bar graphs, or other visual tools to show the balance between complete and yet to do. It has to feel tangible. It should also be regularly visible to the team and stakeholders. Set homepages to the progress dashboard, plaster it on a hallway wall, put it up on a monitor by the coffee machine. Make sure progress is viewed daily, not just weekly at a status review meeting.

7. Sustain Acceleration

Small roadblocks, adding up over time, can bring an ambitious team to a slow, grinding halt. Know ahead of time that throughout a sustained effort, regular reboots will be necessary to keep momentum. A good project plan will have some room for faltering and ways to adapt to the expected challenges. Unexpected challenges can also hold you up so be prepared with a baseline level of progress that can be maintained no matter what. Do anything to keep that minimum progress level through challenging times instead of pausing the change mid transition.

8. Institute Change

The first step in reinforcing a change is clearly connecting it to organizational success. For example, communicate regularly how real time updates to individual task lists help teams in other departments prioritize their work which keeps project delivery time at half of the industry standard.

The second step in reinforcing a change is instituting a virtual boat burn. Archive old documents, cancel the licenses to old systems, and bury the backup information so it can’t be used as a crutch when people run into a new challenge. Help them learn the new skill instead. 

Johnathan Deckert