How to Propose an Improvement
  • 26 Jan 2022
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How to Propose an Improvement

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After you've found a change that you think will improve things, it's important to bring your team with you in implementing this.

Present the Problem

It is important to start by defining the problem you want to solve and sharing how you reached your conclusion. This will bring people with you propose a fix. Outline the "why", not just the "how".

If others are bought in to the importance of the problem, invite them to help you create the solution. Using something like a RACI matrix can help you ensure that there aren't too many cooks. This helps define who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed on the project you're undertaking.

Present an Experiment

Rather than presenting an absolute solution, present something as an experiment that you can try to do in order to improve outcomes. This is especially important when your change is controversial or you're trying to change behaviour.

Define the measurements you seek to move and hold yourself accountable to ensuring the experiment meets those objectives.

It isn't a failure if your experiments don't work, it's important to learn and then change your hypothesis for another experiment.

Being open about your own mistakes will often help others be more open about theirs, fostering a culture of psychological safety.

Overcoming Resistence to Change

Seek to understand the pluses and minuses that different people see both for changing and not changing things. It is important to actively listen and empathise with their point of view, before proposing a solution. Seek to identify why they feel that way.

Ensure they're bought in to the importance of the metric you want to move and understand what you propose is simply an experiment to try and get there.

It is sometimes important to reassure others that past decisions weren't nessecarily mistakes, and what got the company here is different to what the company will need to do to achieve its future goals.


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