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Showing posts from November, 2010

Do a little bit of maintenance

Have you ever noticed that from time to time some really big jobs crop up? They take an inordinate amount of time and you wonder where they come from. A common reason is that small bits of maintenance don't get performed, over time this issue compounds until one day something crashes to a halt. Finding the small regular maintenance activities can pay off in the long run if they are incorporated into a daily or weekly routine of some kind.

Data bases and computer systems that are used to manage the day to day activities in your business are a great place to perform small chunks of maintenance. If your data becomes obsolete or can't be used to make decisions then it will be bypassed. If you continue along this path you may end up creating a sub-system of working rather than resolving the original problem. Keep your data bases and computer based systems (including the storage of files) organised and current through small acts of maintenance (and computer housekeeping!).

When you …

Business success starts with the basics

Many business improvement projects are embarked upon when some of the basics in a business are not being catered for. These projects are unlikley to work. The basics have to be in place first - the frills come second.

When we ignore the fundamentals of a business little cracks appear in the business. Over time these cracks get bigger and bigger until something significant happens. For those of you who are into root cause problem solving you will know that this occurs only too often. However, if we fix the basics, we can prevent the occurrence of a 'show stopper'.

When projects are designed to improve the finer aspects of how a business works it is always a good opportunity to make sure that all of the basics are in place already. I'm sure that you have heard countless 'house' analogies about weak foundations. Are there things in your business that aren't quite right that need to be tackled head on? By all means do the other tweaks later on.

Are there patterns o…

Face to face systems of working

There is so much richness available to you when you have a face to face meeting that when you see systems being created that avoid this you may wonder why it has been done. Sometimes, the gain in efficiency is fantastic for the business.However, at other times the lack of face to face contact can be detrimental to the business.
When you meet face to face there is the ability to pick up on the nuances of the discussion and come to a decision quickly. When the same approach is tried via e-mail it can sometimes take a much longer time to come to agreement. Face to face can tell you a lot of information.
Timings can become skewed when the discussions aren't in real time (as in a meeting). Often referred to as silos, work moves silently from one work station to another and what could take minutes in a formalised meeting can take days or weeks through other means. Face to face can speed up decision making for critical elements of the business.
The ability to remind and refocus members …