Yes, What now?

Imagine you have several processes with problems, and you can only improve one at a time. Which process do you improve? How do you quickly make your choice, to get moving, without calling in expensive analysis resource or completing a complex scoring/weighting evaluation?

The answer is this – you can use a basic grid, Ease/Benefit, or Effort/Impact, or similar. Both are simple and effective means of visualising and prioritising ideas for change. Let’s look at Ease/Benefit.

Simply take a large sticky note and divide and label it as below – Idea, Ease, Benefit. Write down your idea or ideas, succinctly. One idea per sticky note. Then score Ease and Benefit, on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being least, and 5 being most, for Ease and Benefit as appropriate. When scoring do so based on current knowledge and avoid getting drawn into technical discussions about what is or is not achievable.

For our imaginary Non-Staff Expenses process, let’s say we scored as below:

This tells us that improving the process will not be easy, difficult in fact, whereas the benefit would be mid-range. We would likely not look to improve this process ahead of other processes, if at all in the short term. Certainly not ahead of our imaginary Recruitment process that as below, we have scored both Ease and Benefit at 3.

Now to our imaginary Alphabetise the Bookshelf process. You see below it has been scored at 5 for Ease and 4 for Benefit – we have a lot of books and its always very time consuming the find the one we want. Given our score we have placed this idea on the top row near to the right-hand corner of our  Ease-Benefit grid. Any idea for improvement placed in a green square we would work on, the highest scoring first, after all, those processes are easiest to improve, and those improvements will deliver the greatest benefits.

Anything in an orange square would need further evaluation, and anything in a red square may stay unimproved until there is a compelling reason to change it. Your scoring has told you those ideas in the red squares are difficult to improve and/or do not deliver much benefit. The Cost-Benefit would be low.

Finally, if you have a number of people each individually scoring the same ideas, you can average the scores for group consensus if needed.

There, that’s it, Ease/Benefit. Try it, let me know how it goes and don’t forget to get in touch if you are curious about effective and lasting change in your workplace processes.


Photo credits