The idea of using a pilot or prototype is now very standard in development projects. The
pilot is developed to test that the design ideas are workable and adjustments are made to the design based on the results.
For improvement projects, it is essential to push this idea further.
For an improvement project, we will be very aware of the benefits to be gained by the organisation and by the staff, however, it is likely that the staff are at best reluctant participants. The early implementation of a demonstrator can help this process because it will show staff what the outcome will be like. The demonstrator will be an area used to show what the working arrangements will be like for the staff and what the benefits will be for the organisation. It will also allow the implementation process to be honed for future areas.
For this process to work best, the area should be a challenge and typical of other areas to follow – an easy implementation will not “demonstrate” an improvement but the consequences of a soft choice. It is important that the implementation of the demonstrator goes well and yet declaring this approach will help the staff to see that there is a recognition that there are lessons to be learned from the first implementation.
So plan your implementation round a demonstrator and allow it to become the area for learning the best implementation approach and for refining the operational procedures.