In last week’s post we discussed how to make your committee decisions official so that they can last through “generations” of employees at your company. So your committee has finished the first major item on The List, it’s been made official via vote and documentation, and you’re ready to move on. It may seem natural to keep the committee rolling on to the next task and store it all up for one massive rollout, but you must resist that temptation. Read about a better approach after the jump.
Rolling out standards is like hitting fly balls to an outfielder. As the ball approaches, the player analyzes the hit, adjusts his position, and plans what he will do with the ball when it is caught…all while the ball is in the air. This is completely doable for most people. Now try hitting 10 fly balls simultaneously to a single outfielder. If he’s lucky, he’ll catch one but more likely will curl up in a ball and cover his head with his arms.
The massive standards rollout is the 10-fly-ball scenario and will produce a similar reaction in your end users. They will be able to field a single change or group of similar changes, but change everything at once and you’ll have disaster. With a single change coming at them, they’ll be able to see it coming, adjust the way they work, and plan for the affect the change will have on what they produce. Everything at once will be overwhelming, and just like the fly balls, the changes will land on the ground all around them and do nothing.
So, the approach to rolling out your standards should match your committee’s approach to developing them. As discussed in a previous post breaking down the standards into bite-sized pieces is critical to successfully developing them, so why should it be different for the end users? You’ll find much more success in rolling out the changes in small chunks since the end users have less to deal with and become adjusted to at any one time.
There are other benefits too. First, your company will see results coming out of your committee much sooner and will be impressed with its progress. You’ll get feedback about the changes sooner and will be able to respond to it and make modifications. And…the committee can keep rolling on developing the next portion of the standards while an active rollout is going on “on the outside”. It’s a great approach…and it works!
Next week we’ll look at the technical side of implementing the new standards.