Communication and use of the assessment results require careful interpretation and discussion amongst the core deployment team. Identified gaps and opportunities for improvement may indicate places to avoid for early adoption until fundamental and systematic changes can be implemented (e.g., establishment of a process management system or establishment of a measurement system). On the other hand, leverageable strengths and pockets of excellence may provide rich early adoption process and project opportunities.
- Action plans and deployment plans can now be intelligently prepared, communicated, prioritized and implemented.
- The assessment process also helps to identify and validate initial project clusters for consideration as Lean or Six Sigma projects. These will need to be qualified, quantified, scoped and prioritized accordingly as the program rolls out.
It is important that everyone involved in the assessment be kept abreast of what the results are and what is being done with the results. This keeps an organization engaged in the process and helps to develop buy-in for the plan.
- Perform a follow-up assessment one or two years later to observe changes in the baseline
Many times an organization becomes either satisfied with the great results of the early part of the program (low hanging fruit) or becomes distracted and complacent.
- Major savings opportunities may be missed and cause the program to fade.
Supplementing a readiness assessment with a deployment assessment enables an organization to keep the initiative on track and monitor organizational behaviors and performance related to the initiative’s critical success factors.
In terms of payback, deployments preceded by proper planning, communication and prioritization will be significantly larger, occur sooner and last longer than initiatives which simply jump to training the masses hoping for the best. “Ready, Aim, Fire” always beats “Ready, Fire, Aim!”