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Five Rules for Implementation Success: Rule 1

In an ideal world I’m not sure we would be starting here! 

– Anonymous


Martin Wing and KT Consultant Jens Refflinghaus recently published a white paper on how to successfully implement a new improvement program in any organization. Based on their decades of experience helping organizations worldwide, they have determined that there are five key “rules” that must be followed to prepare an organization and its leaders to implement the improvement program.

In the first of a multi-part blog series, we present Wing’s and Refflinghaus’ first “rule”:

Acknowledge the Journey and Set Your Target

We all get it, I’m quite sure. We have to know where we are heading in order to get on the right road. So where do you start? We have to first define some elements of the end game by starting with a timeframe. If we don’t set the targets, we could go on forever just attempting to get started.

Identifying the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and having people understand and agree on them is essential. In order to do this, stop and ask yourself, and your team some critical questions:


Self-assessment questions Qualifiying questions
Does a timeframe to achieve your ambition or goal exist? If yes, how long do you have?
Do KPIs exist for the improvement areas you’re targeting? If yes, what are they?
Is the relative importance of your KPIs clear and distinct? If yes, which are the most important and why?
Do all the stakeholders agree the KPIs are achievable? If yes, to what extent are they all agreed?


We’re assuming that before the journey begins, we have the right people to both lead this transformation and support the implementation. That is not to say they have everything they need just yet; just that they have the behaviors, attitudes, skills and knowledge required for the task at hand.

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Five Rules for Implementation Success: Rule 2
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Five Rules for Implementation Success: Rule 3
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Five Rules for Implementation Success: Rule 4
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Five Rules for Implementation Success: Rule 5

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