Do improvements grow on trees

Do Improvements Grow on Trees?

When you have navigated your way through Define, Measure and Analyse, you can progress to Improve.


The goal of the Improve phase is to identify a solution to the problem that the project aims to address.

Brainstorming helps to create new ideas, solve problems, motivate and develop teams.

It’s a group activity but not a random activity.  It needs to be structured and follows brainstorming ‘rules’. The brainstorming process crucially involves the group and is led by the facilitator. It’s an excellent technique that is used well will help you achieve excellent results in improving process and performance.

To help come up with solutions – it can be helpful to better understand what to focus on and typically how long these types of improvements can take.  This is where The Improvement Tree can help.  It works in the following way:
  1. Once the solutions have been identified, ensure these match what the customer values
  2. Ensure the NVA (Non-Value Add) activities have been identified
  3. Implement the First Priority activities.  These will be activities that require minimal investment and are easy to put in place (<6 months)
  4. Implement the Second Priority activities. These will involve a certain degree of planning and investment but are generally realised within a year (<12 months)
  5. Implement the Third Priority activities. These will require significant investment and generally take a longer time to realise (>12 months)

This one-pager is a great tool to have in your toolkit for yourself, for those you are supporting and those you are influencing.