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I’ve heard a lot of people talk about quick wins lately, but what are quick wins and how do they help us?

You’d think the quick win would really appeal to me since I love it when people take action and I’m a fan of doing the work that can be done with the existing resources. But is the quick win really creating value?

From my experience, even a small improvement change is seldom quick, which means it takes time away from achieving the big improvements. Anyone who has actually suggested an idea and run with it will know that it takes time to perform the change task.

Communicating it, getting buy-in, addressing feedback and making adjustments all take time and effort. Before embarking on a quick win, be sure that you can keep the scope super small to make sure it doesn’t become too big and unachievable in the timeframe. If the aim of the quick win is to get support from employees, the improvement will not only need to have a small scope, but also be a high value improvement that clearly improves the employee situation such as reducing red tape. If you’re able to find an improvement initiative that fits both the size and value criteria and you can afford to divert your attention to it then go ahead.

But if the aim of the quick win is to improve the perception of your improvement activities, there are other ways to do this without diverting your attention from the end goal. If your long-term improvement projects are focused on the right things and are achievable with existing resources, this is where the effort should be placed. The missing link is to keep everyone informed of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how it’s progressing. If there’s negativity associated with improvement efforts, it is likely that people are not aware of why they’re happening and can’t see evidence of progress. Getting key messages out there might be all that’s required instead of placing effort on so-called quick wins.


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