Process Improvement

To Change or Not to Change

I’ve been a bit of a process improvement nerd since my days with a company that was chasing the illustrious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The award is the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence.

Our strategy for winning included looking at every department of a large travel management company with a fine tooth comb and documenting the minute-by-minute actions of each team member for an entire month. 

Once we had that data, we then analyzed how to optimize operations with a mind-numbing degree of specificity and precision, which would then translate to time and money savings—and that award. 

I was trained to measure everything and to look for improvements in mundane tasks, from how long it took to travel to the printer to how we could end calls faster so our team could take another call. 

We all hated the minutiae of tracking and tracking our every move. And making changes was even more painful. 

Why fix it if it ain’t broke? 

I’ve been trained to believe that change just for the sake of change is usually a disaster. It’s important to have data to back up proposed changes. 

But on the other side of that is “analysis paralysis,” where you can overthink something and kill any potential due to indecision. 

As indie authors, time is money. We only have ourselves to rely on for decisions—and that’s a good thing. But I see too many authors make decisions based on their gut or because something didn’t feel like it was working. Your ads aren’t converting? What’s the data say? Maybe your keywords are off. Book not selling? Look at the data. Perhaps your cover isn’t what others in your genre look like. 

Gather the data. Make an informed decision. Chase your own quality award. 

To Your Success, 

Chelle

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