The Missing Link in Continuous Improvement SALES (Not What You Think)

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I introduced the SALES PDCA framework in the book, Marketing with PDCAIt is nothing more than a standard PDCA cycle except the SALES part of the framework is where the team gets its directions and coaching from the team coordinator and value stream manager. Within the actual PDCA stage, the team is empowered to make their own choices and determine their own direction to accomplish the goals of that cycle.

The individual stages of the SALES – PDCA framework are as follows:

Select the initial problem perception
Analyze the current knowledge of the process
Locate the people who understand the process
Empower the team
Select the improvement that needs to take place
Plan the improvement that needs to take place and plan the change
Do it the new way, execute the plan.
Check the results of the plan to determine whether the plan worked.
Act on the results. If the plan worked, standardize the change. If it didn’t work, readjust and go through the cycle again.

I later expanded this to the other Lean Cycles of SDCA, EDCA and CAP-Do. Each one beginning with the SALES acronym. They were expanded in 2 other books, Lean Engagement Team and CAP-Do which are all part of the Marketing with Lean Book Series. Each of these individual cycles were developed into a canvas or an A3 and are available as a PDF Worksheet for SDCA, PDCA, EDCA, CAP-Do.

Reviewing John Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Change introduced in Leading Change,  you would notice the similarities between the SALES PDCA and the 8-Steps.  Kotter is a lot smarter than me doing it 8, it took me 9. Kotter believes all of the steps important and that they should be done somewhat in order. However, there can be a great deal of overlapping especially the four at the beginning. The Kotter 8-Step Process for those unfamiliar with it:

  1. Establish Urgency
  2. Creating a Coalition
  3. Vision & Strategy
  4. Communicate Vision
  5. Empower Action
  6. Short-Term Wins
  7. Consolidate Gains
  8. Sustain

The first 4 in the process is what establishes the platform and components for the action or the doing that takes place in the remaining 4 (5-8). This is why I believe the SALES acronym is such a powerful tool for creating a successful improvement cycle. Most of us initiate improvement cycles without spending time developing the SALES components.  When viewing Kotter’s 8-step process would you consider jumping to 5 without considering the first 4. Or course, not. Why would you initiate an improvement cycle without the components of the SALES acronym being applied first? Can we successfully complete SDCA, PDCA, EDCA, and Cap-Do without….

Select the initial problem perception
Analyze the current knowledge of the process
Locate the people who understand the process
Empower the team
Select the improvement that needs to take place

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.

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