Assembling the improvement team

There are six important roles on a project improvement team:

  1. Sponsor: “owns” the process, supports the project, removes obstacles and provides resources
  2. Facilitator: leads the project, track record in Lean for government
  3. Core team: representatives from each role in the process, develop and implement the solutions
  4. Extended team: other people who work in the process and/or use the process internally, provide input and implement solutions
  5. Support team: e.g. human resources, finance, communications, provide input/help as needed
  6. End-users/clients: full participant (ideally), provide a client perspective

To be successful the team should include people who are:

  • Knowledgeable about the process: Provide valuable insight into the problem, what works/what doesn’t (should include users, people familiar with the process and stakeholders)
  • Innovators: Bring out-of-the-box thinking and big ideas for improvement
  • Skeptics/Doubters: Provide insight to potential obstacles and points of resistance so they can be addressed
  • People who “get things done”: Help to drive momentum and quick wins
  • Influencers, 1st followers: Not afraid to try something new, these early adopters set the trend for the rest of the organization encouraging others to join in. Entrepreneaur and frequent TEDTalk presenter Derek Sivers explains the importance of harnessing the power of these 1st followers.

A note on the doubters, it’s important to have a few skeptics on the team but be careful not to include too many. These voices give you valuable insight into the objections you may have to respond to. If they are on the team they become part of the solution helping you to build momentum behind Lean internally.

Build awareness of Lean with “Introduction to Lean: White Belt Certificate

How to build buy-in for your improvement ideas with “Results, Not Resistance