Our long-term project management and process improvement can be very complicated. We can drive with no fixed destination or time constraints. We need to know and understand where we are now, and then find the fastest and simplest way to achieve our targets. A map can always help to find our way!
An Improvement Roadmap is an approach for achieving improvement. It is a document that will guide through the implementation of a long-term goal or project. It illustrates the best possible routes to get to where you want to go. It will give the team an overview of the actual situation of the implementation, making sure that all are moving forward toward achieving continuous improvement.
A good improvement roadmap should answer the following questions:
- Where we are now?
- Where we want to be?
- What is the time needed to reach our goals?
- What performance indicators are needed to assess the progress against the established goals and milestones?
After setting our goals and creating our roadmap, an action plan per goal is needed to break down big goals into smaller and workable activities, detailing what is needed to be done. A good action plan:
- Outlines all activities and their order.
- Outlines time periods.
- Outlines responsibilities.
- Highlights any particular needs, issues or obstacles to overcome.
- Identifies where to focus efforts for greater impact.
The following presents an example of an improvement roadmap that was created to improve throughput and efficiency in a workplace. The improvement roadmap was created in two different formats (the first is goal-oriented and the second is action-oriented).