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Good interruptions

Do you ever have those moments when you catch yourself going through the motions?

Do you ever realise that sometimes you have done a days work and you don't quite know where the time has gone to?

One of the hardest habits to form is the ability to stop what you are doing, before you are doing it, to work out the best use of your efforts.

When we get a plan we have done the hard thinking work - haven't we?

From observation and personal experience it is obvious how strong the pull to get on and do the work is compared to stopping and spending just a few minutes to ask questions like:

 - what are the objectives that I need to achieve?

 - what is the best approach to achieving the objectives?

Just stopping and thinking about the work at hand can have a significant impact on the performance. It's worth a try. Doing it consistently however is another challenge!


Smartspeed Consulting Limited
'For When Results Matter'
www.smartspeed.co.uk

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Do you find your day being broken up by interruptions, stopping you from getting on with your work?

Continuous improvement projects often fall foul of this. The day can become so inefficient through the constant stopping and starting that we only just seem to have enough time to get the 'day job' completed.

I was in a meeting last week where this same issue cropped up. It also cropped up today. It's nothing new, but it is still a pain in the rear!

So, let me share with you an approach that has worked for my clients - the 'Hour of Pain!'.

Where there is a (performance) gap there is a concern

I had a really good day yesterday working with a client's team.

The team has issues. Plenty of issues. Some are managerial issues, some are people issues and some are production issues.

When I first met the team they didn't know what to do with their issues, so I started by helping them to see more issues.

Issues everywhere, they didn't seem very impressed.

And then we captured the issues as 'concerns' into the tried and tested 'concern cause countermeasure' format and followed the process:

Concerns probed for root causes and root causes converted into countermeasures.
Soon they realised that some of their root causes dealt with numerous concerns and they gained momentum.

Yesterday we pulled another one of their processes apart and identified all of the gaps. The gaps became concerns and we fed them back into the process. Now they have a practical action plan (of countermeasures) to upgrade the process in question.

What do you do with your performance gaps? …

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Use the continuous improvement cycle properly.Get projects moving, if they are slow to start or have stalled.Identify the 'biggest bang for your buck' when reviewing opportunities.Determine the level of change you need to achieve through your improvements.Flip staff grumbles and concerns into positive improvement actions.Increase the overall rate of progress on your projects. All of the tips are highly practical and are no-cost strategies.
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Enjoy reading,

Giles
About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous i…