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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

22 Jun '11

Red, Green, Yellow

Posted by T.J. Addington in evaluation, ministry excellence, problem solving, systems
Visual management is a tool long used in industry but has wonderful application to ministry as well. For instance, we evaluate our adherence to our core commitments in ReachGlobal with a series of defined metrics along with a color for each. Green means that we are doing well, yellow that we could be doing better and red that we need to pay attention to it. Behind each color is a comment indicating why we evaluated the metric the way we did. 

In the same way, as we define processes that we follow for various key functions we rate each process with one of the colors along with comments. This is easily done using Microsoft Excel. 


The colors are not about whether someone has done well or badly, in fact, yellow and red are not negative. Instead they represent "opportunity" to do something better. Red is an indicator that we have something that we really need to pay attention to.


Ministries are not good at evaluation, generally. Giving our metrics or processes a color along with comments is an easy way to start to evaluate what we say is important to us. If in fact, we don't honestly evaluate it is not really important to us!


Further, the colors give you a quick indicator of where you are doing well and where you can improve. Knowing that you cannot improve everything at once or solve all problems concurrently you have a choice from your visual management tool as to which you want to pay attention to now. 

The first time a team does this, everyone wants all the colors to be green. They never really are. Furthermore, if they were all green it would mean that you have nothing to improve which we know is never true. In fact, using colors honestly gives you a continuous management tool which is what we all really want. 

It takes a little bit of work but it is a highly effective tool! It is even more effective if you put them on a wall for all to see. People start to pay attention to areas where improvement is possible and they all get in the game.