“Hello.  My name is Ryan and I’m an efficiency addict.”  This is what I would say if there was an Efficiency Anonymous group.  I’m a fan of Franklin Covey.  I love Microsoft Excel.  And yes, I’m an achiever in my Strengthsfinder results.  I love getting things completed in the shortest amount of time with the maximum amount of quality.

It’s why I’m in fascinated by this:

big easy

It’s called the Big Easy Model and I use it to find the projects that require minimal effort yet have a strong and positive impact.  To begin, plot all possible courses of action or projects you could do to accomplish your change objective on this matrix.  Here are a few tips:

“Impact” is relative to the value it provides to a customer.  Remember the old saying, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure”?  It’s applicable here.  For example, let’s say you consider putting additional trash cans out for customers.  If you’re a quick service restaurant, this policy could be a Big Easy as the customer could find the business location cleaner which could result in more sales or better loyalty.  If you’re a museum, this policy could be a Quick Win.  Sure, additional trash cans are nice, but there’s usually very little to throw away at a museum.

Start with the Big Easy projects.   After everything is mapped, begin with the projects in the upper right quadrant first to get wins within your organization and see progress.

The Caution bucket isn’t a trash bucket.  As a self-admitted efficiency addict, I cringe at the thought of having to do projects in the Caution bucket.  Yet I recognize sometimes they’re needed.  Becoming compliant with new laws or regulations is a good example.  For example, the new Affordable Care Act is changing the health care industry, and the “Ban the Box” pre-employment screening legislation being adopted in cities and states around the U.S. is changing what questions you can ask during the hiring process.  Sometimes you just have to do something that you may not want to.

Tackle two marathon projects at a time, at most.  That’s it!  These are important projects but tackling too many at one time will get you nowhere.  Fast.  Imagine a technology company asking the IT department to develop a new product, shore up vulnerabilities in an existing product, manage international infrastructure expansion, and improve IT services for existing employees at the same time with no new resources.  These are big projects that take time.  Focus on one.  Then possibly a second.   It won’t work otherwise.

Quick wins get you favorability.  Want to make a friend fast?  Do a quick win.  Leverage your support of a quick win to get help elsewhere.