Keeping the Improvements we make may not look easy. However, most failed improvement efforts are due to not making the right changes rather than failure to comply with the new procedures. As such, we must be sure to do our homework in the early parts of an improvement effort to ensure maintaining the results of the efforts is a simple task. Having said that, there are things we can do toward the end of an improvement project that will help us to ensure that things go as desired and that "slipping back" to old ways can be detected and addressed.

In this area we highlight three classes of tools to help us in Keeping the benefits of the changes we make:

Operational Definition & Readiness - Simple philosophies to ensure that our new procedures are well-documented, well-trained, and that our workplace is properly arranged to ease execution of the new systems.

Control Charts and Radar/Spider Charts - These graphical tools allow us to easily compare our current conditions to our past or desired conditions. Deviations that these tools reveal are clear indications of whether or not it is time to intervene.

Surveys and Checksheets - during the early period of use of our new systems we can best use opinion-gathering tools (surveys) as well as compliance-ensuring tools (checksheets). Knowing what to ask and what to check is half the battle in maintaining a change.

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The QUICK Evolution