Can going slower help you to go faster (with process improvement)?

I had two really good examples of going slower to go faster* take place over the last few days.

Have you experienced that feeling when you are trying to get so much done that you get very little done at all?

We think that we're multi-tasking but instead we are really treading water and feeling overwhelmed.

Slowing down, by consciously choosing to do less (but sticking with fewer tasks in order to get them completed properly), can be a good strategy to take.

By going slower to get more things properly done can help you build capacity, avoid future mistakes and increase your overall business pace.

Of course don't take this post as an excuse just to go slower; I'm talking about being selective and nailing a few important actions rather than just giving the impression that you are making progress on a wider range of actions.

For example:

It was worth re-scheduling another improvement session to extend the current one to ensure that the decisions were made and the actions clearly understood. [There are now two more team members who can progress the project rather than the original one.]

It was worth deciding not to start a new action and continue with the hands on work regarding an internal audit process. [There are now two people who can conduct the process, not one, and the programme that was in arrears will now get back on track.]

What could you slow down with, in order to go faster in the long run?

Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering

* That's why the name 'Smartspeed' was chosen!