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The last three NVP Blogs have discussed Doing it Right the First Time. The last one addresses the issue of Implementing Right the First Time. This is the part that usually trips up most people. They know they want to implement this in their organization. They know how or they can refer to explanations that will suggest how. The problem comes when we try to actually implement the process.

As is usual with almost any new initiative, we want to follow three precepts:

  1. Start small.
  2. Pick off the easy items first.
  3. Publish the successes.

Taking these in order:

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Start small
Start with something over which we have full control or a limited number of stakeholders. Do not start with a mission critical project with numerous stakeholders; that will not work.

Pick off the easy items first
A quick analysis will reveal some small and easy to fix items that can be corrected. Sometimes it can be as small as adding a field to a defect report that avoids an extra step further down in the process or removing a step like having Quality Control test a defect as it arrives from the customer before passing it to development and then testing it on the way back out. The second example might have had use at one point but no longer makes sense. A third and frequently easy place to look for improvements is in items that have been made redundant by technology changes. These can include printing items that are now easily stored online or even still testing installation disks for a hosted system.

Publish the successes
Even though this is third, it requires some upfront thought. We need to know the current situation and statistics before we can determine whether improvement has occurred. So even though this is the ‘last’ step it must be considered early.

Rule 3: Take a step back; look objectively at your process; pick off a few items that can be improved; check the current situation; make the change and measure again.

This is the first step to implementing Right the First Time or Quality Improvement in your organization. Next week; an anonymous example of How Not to be Right the First Time.