Every step of the journey we need to have metrics to measure the effect of kaizen on our processes. After every value stream map event, we come out with the list of kaizen we need to close the gap between current and future state. After our first couple of events, things did not go as planned. After checking the goals we had for those events and brainstorm with the group about possible reasons for doubtful results on our kaizen events we concluded that the problem was the way we set up our goals.
SMART is an acronym giving criteria to guides in the setting of objectives. Goals need to be:
Specific: An specific goal needs to answer what are the requirements, who is responsible, what to do, when and where.
Measurable: How much? How many? Specify the units.
Attainable: Goals needs to be challenging but attainable.
Realistic: Again, keep your feet on the ground. We would like to shoot for the moon but can we really reach it?
Timely: Set a time frame.
Following these guides, we ensure that we define our objectives and goals clearly so that no open interpretations affect the results. We learn the lesson, now we are SMART!