The Project Curve Report lets you track your Project start and end rates to assess the growth of your improvement culture over time. In most organizations, their Improvements and Projects will have different characteristics. Typically, there will be fewer Projects being worked on than Improvements. Projects will also typically take longer to complete than Improvements. We see organizations being more successful when Projects are directly tied to strategic goals and their cycle time doesn’t take forever to complete.
Things to look out for:
- A high slope of Projects starting and ending indicates a healthy improvement culture. One also must be cognizant that starting too many Projects at once can often decrease the completion rate of the Projects. Every organization will have a different Project completion capacity and the Improvement team will need to study the characteristics of their own organization to maximize their top-down improvement potential.
- An inflection point in the slope of starting and ending usually reflects a change in leadership behaviors or improvement processes.
- A low slope of starting and ending is a warning sign of an unhealthy improvement culture. Studies have shown that approximately 20% of an organization’s improvement potential comes in the form of larger in scope top-down improvement projects. We often see that when this curve is low, it has more to do with the fact that Projects are occurring but KaiNexus is not being used to track them, so make sure not to jump the solution before studying the problem.
If you have more Projects improvements being started than being ended, you have divergence. This risks slowing down your improvement efforts, decreasing engagement, and ultimately damaging your improvement culture. Divergence will play a larger role in your Project curve, as the cycle time for completing larger top-down Projects will be greater than smaller scoped Improvements. Having said that, having too large of a cycle time for Projects can result in them either no longer being a high priority and therefore not completed or when they are completed they’re no longer relevant. Naturally, this will be very organization-specific and will be heavily influenced by the height and scope of the Projects.
- Make sure people are ending Projects when they reach their end date or that the end date is updated with an explanation of why the original date was not met. This will signify that leaders are taking improvement seriously.
You can add a target line to the Project Curve Report so that you can make sure your organization’s improvement efforts are meeting your goals.
The target line is based on the annual target rate calculated by multiplying the annual submission target by the number of active and offline users in that Location divided by the unit of time chosen for the Report. You can set a different target rate for each Location. If no Location is selected, then the target line is for the organization as a whole.
NOTE: The target line will not be displayed for any Location curve with a starting date before April 8, 2017 or for the entire organization curve with a starting date before June 14, 2016. You’ll need to select a date range after those dates to see the line.
To add a target line:
- Open either the Project Curve Report.
- If you want to add a target line to a specific Location, choose that Location from the Network map to the left of the chart.
- Click .
- In the resulting window, enter the annual submission target. This is the number of Projects you want each user to submit on average. So for instance, if your Location has 100 people and the annual rate is 2 Projects per person per year, then the target line would start at 0 and end at 200 12 months later.
- Click .