The IMPROVE phase requires understanding the KPIV's that are causing the effect. This phase helps determine the relationships of these key variables to the project "Y" and lead to improvement ideas. All the hard work done previously lacks merit unless there is implementation.
This is the phase of the project where all the team's work gets put into action and the rubber meets the road for hard driving. The solutions have been identified and the implementations to reduce variation and improve target performance are executed. Without making the improvements, all the hard work and invested time amounts nothing. This is a good time for an Elevator Speech!
It may be necessary to once again conduct a Stakeholder Analysis to ensure the team is ready to promote the change, drive the change, and walk the talk. A portion of implementations may shock the workplace culture and the ability to achieve cultural change will be every bit as important as technical execution.
Remove as much waste as possible, accept no alternative! Solid education and analysis has identified these areas of opportunity in earlier phases.
A relentless drive to not only remove waste to increase the value-added time but to increase the value of the value-added processes. As improvements are made, more will come to the surface. The team will need a timeline, such as a Gantt Chart, to track assignments and timeliness of there completion.
Pilot runs will be taken at the end of the IMPROVE phase and data collecting to begin the BEFORE and AFTER performance will start.
The outputs of the IMPROVE phase are needed to begin the CONTROL phase.
Some of the tools commonly used in the IMPROVE phase are shown below.
Mistake Proofing (Poka Yoke)
Six Sigma Modules
Green Belt Program (1,000+ Slides)
Cause & Effect Matrix
Central Limit Theorem
1-Way Anova Test
Correlation and Regression