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Showing posts from May, 2011

Find the Improvement Slipstream

Change can be tough to accept for many people. If it were easier we would find that more improvements happened on their own, but they don't. However, if we can find something to pull improvements through a business, rather than pushing them, life can become a lot easier. It's similar to a skip on a housing estate that gets filled by the neighbours in the dead of night. For years no one has cleared their garages, and then suddenly there is a window of opportunity (the skip) and the job gets done with ease. The tiny changes we make in our business get around people's reluctance to change, but when there is a significant change all manner of other improvements can be made at the same time. People see the big change as inevitable and so are often more willing to accept the other changes brought in at the same time. Whether the change is a new computer system, a restructure or a promotion it brings with it the opportunity to add in additional changes. Obviously th

More clarity equals less work

When we improve the clarity of what we do the irrelevant disappears and the work content can decrease. In other words, when we are clear about what we do, we will find that we need to work less.   Sounds great, doesn't it? Double handling takes place when we are unclear of what we need to do. The best way to increase work throughput or increase flexibility is to do a job once only. Improve the clarity of the work instructions and this can happen in your business. Unclear instructions lead to more questions. Usually the instructions are incomplete because they haven’t been thought out fully. If you find projects stalling, tasks not being finished (or even started!) or inadequate work being produced then review your instructions and check to make sure they are complete. When we have unnecessary complexity in our business things can take a long time. When we get clear about the purpose of the business simplicity can be derived. This allows us to deliver more results wi

Purpose allows simplicity

Day to day business can get awfully complicated. When it starts to be too much is often the starting point for business improvement activity. However, streamlining and simplifying your processes without adequate focus can deliver less than optimal solutions. It is crucial to remember why a process or system exists; this will help you re-focus your approach. In some cases processes can be eliminated rather than improved, things change and sometimes business processes don't follow. When you come from the purpose of why a process exists a very complex situation is boiled down to its essence. When you have the 'aha' moment of what the purpose is, the myriad of steps within the process make sense and you can quickly find the improvement areas that are required and then come up with a simpler approach. Coming from purpose cuts out the unnecessary, everything that doesn't help you achieve your purpose stands out like a sore thumb. Pruning becomes far simpler when