Set time targets for testing your ideas and log your action steps.

Think of how to test your idea and set a time target to complete your test. Use a deadline to make sure you succeed. Use a team project log to help you keep track of what needs to be done.

Share your project with your co-workers. Ask for their help and ideas to improve. Post your project log for your co-workers to see. Then ask them for their ideas on specific improvements or problems. Add their ideas to the log and test them.

Use a measurement of results as feedback on your test: What works? What doesn’t work? As in a game with a sports team, have a game plan. Are team members practiced on their skills? Put your test results on your scoreboard. Is your test working or not working? Are your players skilled or not skilled enough? Check your score to find out.

Make your score visual. Put your ongoing data on a graph, which will show your progress. For instance, if your goal is to reduce cycle time, post your baseline (starting point) and post your cycle time at least weekly as you test your solution idea. Use a bar graph for each week’s cycle time to make it easy for every team member to see.

Stuck about what to do? “Level” your ideas so you can take action:

Level 1: Ideas that can be safely tested right away by just you and your co-workers. No other department will be affected by the change you make. Action: set a date to test the idea.

Level 2: Ideas that need approval or help from another person (outside of your supervisor, and any co-workers helping with the project), another department, or the customer. Action: Go ask that person or department for help.

Ideas that you are not sure are Level 1 or Level 2. Action: Go ask someone for that information.