Skip to main content

Don't (just) accept the status quo

When you are embarking on process improvement activities don't just accept the same old way of working that you always have. If you fail to challenge the things that don't work correctly, you will find that you are unable to make the level of progress you are surely capable of making.

Tasks in the business that are there to help work around problems in the system need to be challenged head-on. This may require some root cause analysis work and a dash of creativity when you are undertaking this work. Ensuring that people who operate various parts of your business processes understand the idea of closed loop feedback is essential. We can fix our problems if we don't bury our heads in the sand.

Many people in business will accept the way things are rather than get uncomfortable and challenge the way that things are happening. This is especially apparent when people operate computer software systems such as MRP/ERP. Quite often the designers of the software understand your problems and will have a solution to help you implement the system properly. Our failure to ask the right questions however leads us to create workaround solutions that don't yield the true benefits.

So, don't accept the status quo - challenge it with new ways of working. If you do find that you are struggling to come up with a new solution then put a date in your diary to go back and review the issue. Over time new insights, and ideas, will appear to solve problems you have had for a number of years. Don't miss the opportunity of going back and solving them when the time is right.



Smartspeed Consulting Limited
Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.

Popular posts from this blog

Stop firefighting, start performing!

Another weeks passes and another example of unnecessary fire fighting demonstrated by a business I have been to help. If you have this taking place in your business, let me ask you a few questions: 1. What keeps on happening? Regain control with this practical book Can you pin down what it is that you keep having to do, to get out of trouble? If you can't, is there a pattern you can observe? 2. Do you want it to stop? Is it causing you enough of a problem that you want it to stop? If the answer is yes, keep reading, if not park it for another day. 3. Find out what is going on Do you know why you are having this issue? If you aren't sure where the issue is arising from, then take a few minutes to have a look around. When you have some idea, go to the next step. 4. Cause and effect Do you know what is truly causing the fire fighting situation? If you spend the time to get to the root cause of the situation , you have a good chance of permanently eliminating this situation. Most p

Kaizen improvements need to be specific

Do you find that your Kaizen improvements don't always go to plan? If you do, then you're with the majority! Whilst there is great deal of 'trial and error' there is a simple approach that can help. Available from Amazon Being specific about critical parts of your improvement can uplift your results. So, how do you go about doing this? The most direct route is to be clear about which parts of your improvement are critical. From here you can explain, in detail, what you want for those items. This might take some practice as many of us have become lazy in this regard. We take it for granted that our team 'get us' and will know what they need to do. If you ever feel that something basic is missing from an improvement ask this question: "What does good look like?" The answer should put you back on track. About the author: Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes and

Are your teams clear?

I have recently finished working with a team that were struggling. They were struggling to meet their production schedules. They were struggling to respond to customer enquiries on time. They were burnt out and frazzled. After some prodding and poking it became clear what their issues were. In particular, it became obvious that expectations of the team weren't clear or defined. Defining what you expect from teams is a standard management approach. The problem with most teams is that leadership describe the standards in vague terms . So, what happens if you get the standards crystal clear? You should expect to see the team produce the right outputs. They should produce the outputs at the right time. And, they should produce them in an agreed way. Be clear with your teams. Ask the question: What does good look like? If you want to get some more ideas on how to define effective standards and visions, get your copy of my book today . What does good look like? is a practical guide to h