2. Engage

So, you're planning to embark on an improvement project. Who else has a contribution to make to it, or a stake in its outcome, or may be affected by whatever changes result? How will you ensure these people are identified and appropriately involved?

Who needs to be involved?

With any change, whether it is required by legislation, or an idea suggested from within your team, it is important to understand who needs to be involved, who can make decisions, who needs to be informed etc. Without this agreed and documented the change can fail or create further issues.

A tool that will help you here is RACI. A RACI is a simple table documenting who is Responsible; Acountable; Communicated with; and Informed. A RACI can help to ensure all involved understand where they fit. Where team members are not sure of their role in a process or task, the uncertainty can lead to fraction and loss of focus on the aims. By agreeing as a team the different involvement everyone has, the team can focus on getting on with the tasks in hand – without the distraction of confusion.

Do you know what your customer wants?

Are you sure you know what your customer (whether internal or external) actually needs? – ask them by following the Voice of the Customer technique.