Implement – Step 4 to Getting On Top of Your Issues

Step 4 – Implement

This post concentrates on the fourth step – how to Implement your response to issues and their management – covering the requirements for usability, training, visibility, accuracy and solution refinement.

This is the fourth of six posts that outline in more detail our guide to getting on top of your issues, born out of our experience, frustration and success in managing issues in complex environments.

Easy is used, Hard is not

Issue resolution starts with someone raising an issue – this is the most important link in the chain. Having a process for the raiser to follow is important but making this step as easy as possible is more important. An easy to use process will be utilised, a complex process will not – so attributes like location, familiarity and simplicity are vital to getting issues reported quickly and correctly.

Users train Users

Any system which requires complex training will be slow in uptake, training takes time and complex tasks need to be repeated regularly to not become unfamiliar. If a user who raises an issue cannot train another on how to raise an issue the system will be too complex for mass adoption – make sure your system is as simple as possible whilst retaining the crucial information you need for fast resolution.

Visibility to ensure Accountability

Visual management is a basic principal of advanced quality systems and can be vital to an effective issue resolution approach. Making issues visible is not a normal state but it can better expose what “abnormal” conditions look like – a slow response or an overlooked issue. Accountability for resolution is enhanced and pride in performance can increase if issue visibility is improved, particularly when the person who raised the initial issue can see it is now solved.

Accuracy foremost

Getting accurate initial information can be a challenge when an issue is raised, but your process for collecting this information can be structured to take away stress and eliminate errors. An accurate initial raising of an issue is the cornerstone of an effective and efficient system – saving time, money and stress in the issue resolution process.

Benefits for All

It is perhaps sometimes easy to overlook a person or department raising an issue – who can derive benefit from a comprehensive system approach to resolution. Providing them with key elements as positive communication – that the issue is received, tracking its progress and implementation of ultimate solution will encourage participation and feedback. Moral can be enhanced if those with the issue can see others working hard and succeeding on their behalf to resolve the issue and feel part of this process.

Pilot and Refine

Nothing as comprehensive as an issue resolution system should be adopted in a single change, all steps towards its implementation should be piloted and refined to both contain risk and maximise learning and feedback.  Identify a department or location that can enrolled into the piloting process and take the opportunity to positively engage them to provide positive or negative feedback that helps refine your solution. They can also become strong ‘peer to peer’ advocates when it is time to roll-out further within your organisation.

Further Reading

We have prepared a simple primer from this article with a series of questions to aid your understanding:

One Issue 6 steps – Step 4 Questionnaire

An overview of the 6 steps has previously been published here .

The steps are 1 Awareness, 2 Categorise, 3 Organise, 4 Implement, 5 Feedback and 6 Monitor.

You may also find these external links useful in exploring these topics further:

On software and system usability

Training End Users – An Exploratory Study from the University of Georgia

Piloting projects in Six Sigma