Manage Reform Resistance through Disciplined Problem Analysis and Innovation Trials


      Much as we like to think of ourselves as quality focused and dedicated to continuous improvement, most of us, most of the time, avoid change of any kind. There is something about the fear of the unknown, fear of the challenges in learning something new, fear of failing that has us ignoring all the indications that change is necessary. Avoiding the evidence doesn't make it go away. We need methods to help ourselves and our colleagues deal with all the fears involved in changing from the status quo.

     The good news is that these change methods are well known and well-tested. Under the general title of disciplined problem solving are a collection of methods and techniques that help us focus positively on required change. All these methods share a similar work structure:
1. identify the problem (or component that is not working well);
2. describe how the work is currently done, (how the component currently operates);
3. identify everyone involved in the current work;
4. involve everyone in identifying defects in the current work;
5. involve everyone in identifying an intervention to eliminate defects;
6. involve everyone in describing the target condition (optimal performance);
7. involve everyone in introducing the intervention;
8. involve everyone in measuring what actually happens;
9. involve everyone in identifying the remaining gap to target condition;
10. repeat from step 1.

   And the best news is it gets easier with every cycle. Regardless of how close you get to any specific target you can identify systems success when everyone makes continuous improvement part of their regular job.

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