E6S-005 Project or Just Do It - Part 2

1.     Many or Most projects selected by a committee of managers or champions turn out to be JDI.  Reasons include:

  • Many companies are bleeding money, and the solutions actually are fairly obvious but overwhelming, hidden, or ignored
  • Project selection may be driven by metrics and incentives that don’t have a clear link to strategy, but become a delegated project to achieve some bonus level
  • Choosing real projects that aren't JDI is difficult due to some human nature.
  • Human Personality: Culture rewards those who have great ideas, network well, and pull the trigger on solutions.
  • From the DiSC model, this puts the High D High I often in the upper management  leadership position. 
  • This personality type is very contrary the High C High S approach to DMA, which is heavy in analysis and team approach
  • DI also comes with a huge ego. People willing to take risks and move quickly past mistakes... even savvy enough to evade responsibility for mistakes. 
  • If the managers cannot conceive of a solution at that moment, the project is ignored.
  • What comes out is an obvious JDI, or a JDI that is ill-defined.
  • Some projects may be chosen that are not as important, but are perceived as easier to implement.

2. Basic Overview of DiSC

  • D= Dominance; I= Influence; S = Steadiness; C = Conscientiousness
  •  Reference Manager-tools podcast for more details on DiSC. www.manager-tools.com (No affiliation with E6S-Industries. Just good stuff.)
  • Free DiSC assessment www.123test.com

3. Problems with this situation of  JDI prevalence:

  • Many projects selected will be defined as JDI, but may need deeper DMA as project unfolds.
  • Projects that are selected with DMA, are usually incredibly nebulous and need a heavy D phase. DMA projects can be nebulous and difficult to for people to envision       
  • Some JDI projects get selected that aren’t as important to the business, but are easier to envision.  Not resourcing the most important projects.
  • Even worse: Projects that are important to the company don’t get done because they are JDI, and don’t “rise” to the skill level of the Black Belt, or other specialist.  So they don’t get done.                    

4.      So what do you do if you’re Black Belt, Green Belt, etc. and you are given a JDI project?

  • Well.... Just-do-it
  • Verify the project is properly scoped and move through DMA as fast as possible
  • Get heavy on the IC phases, and good project management practices. 
  • Reference the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)

Recap: We discussed the difference between a DMAIC project and a Just-do-it. How they can be different, why true DMAIC projects are often difficult to select (human nature), and the ups and downs of this situation, and what it means for business (may ignore more important strategy driven projects or fail to “stop the bleeding” depending on your approach..