My answer to this question has changed in the last 18 months to 2 years. I really struggled with identifying what I thought were ‘good’ Target Conditions. It was when the penny dropped and I realized the root cause wasn’t lack of a specific ‘choose good Target Conditions’ skill on my part that things changed. It was a classic case of getting to root cause and then seeing the flow through effect.
I guess one needs to consider each of the 4 steps of the Improvement Kata and recognize that different people will answer the header question differently depending on their perspective.
The Challenge or goal is set or at least heavily influenced by upper management in most cases. One is very dependent on their connection(s) to the customer (be it external or internal). Remember, the Challenge should be ‘pulled’ by the customer. It is fair to say that without a robust Challenge or Goal, one will probably struggle.
The Current Condition is not just about data. That tended to be where I started out. Data is simply a by-product if you like of ‘stuff that is happening’.
As a consequence of considering just data my early ‘Target Conditions’ were not that. They were ‘targets’. Why? Because most of what I had to work with was numbers. So where else was I going to end up?
I probably did a reasonable job of Experimenting although I’m not sure now of the quality of the experiments given I mostly had numbers only to work with. I suspect I didn’t make a good fist of ‘doing one thing differently and assessing my prediction’.
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