Project Ownership

In the last few weeks we have been busy building out the plans for Kaizens, JDIs and belt projects to reach our cost savings / productivity gain targets. One thing has come to light that I find very disturbing.

Our project champions/sponsors have a number of reasons for failed projects, many of which are due to the belt/team leader moving roles. We tend to nominate high potentials and high performers for the training, but then allow the projects (and therefor the certification efforts) to wither away in favor of “real work” or new positions.

The message for the month, then, is this. Champions own projects. Sponsors own projects. Team leaders and/or belts do not own projects.

We have established metrics on belt utilization levels (how many projects are being completed per belt/candidate per year) and ROI for the program (hard net savings/investment in training). I’m taking it as an action to also start reporting out completion rates for projects by Champion. If the leadership is not engaged in the process, it’s all just wasted effort. And we all hate waste.

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