Wednesday, 26 March 2008

3 tips for measuring the spread of good practice

1. The most basic spread / adoption chart is one which measures the number of people adopting a good practice over time; that is, people on the vertical axis, time on the horizontal axis. If you're not prepared to do this check then do comment in this blog and let me know how else you keep track of progress.

2. Calculate your total population who you would like to adopt the good practice. Work out how long this might take. Then pick yourself up off the floor.... Now work out that from this total amount, what might be a realistic target for the timescale and resources that you have for the project.

Why does this matter? Look at the picture above. Without having thought about the total intent of the spread programme, it is quite possible for a shorter period to show results like those under the red lines. When the project then ends, and measurement continues, then the results look like they take a nosedive. This is when measurement usually stops.

One of the reasons for working out the total intent before starting the spread programme, is to provide for some creative thinking. You may just go about the process in a different way if you knew that eventually there were going to be 25,000 staff using the new method, across 14 locations and it was likely to take seven years.

3. Einstein was on to something with his work on time and space. We've no need to get that deep into the mathematics when working on spreading good practice. However, the issue of space is an important one; or maybe you think of it easier as geography. I've seen some teams use excellent maps and nowadays there are interactive electronic maps on which data can be tagged. Think and get creative. Learn about how and why different practices spread in different ways, not just because of the peopel involved but also because of the space and geography.

Three basics to remember for spread measurement.




(c) 2008, Sarah Fraser