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Showing posts from November, 2012

Simplicity Is the Key to Effective Continuous Improvement

As businesses grow and develop they seem to get more complicated. More systems to operate, more people to serve, and more things to remember, all side effects of traditional success. If the business is in control then these systems will be documented and allow others to follow in their footsteps. The busyness and complexity however can put off the very people we need to get involved with our continuous improvement programmes and so simplicity needs to be sought when designing our continuous improvement approach. When our approach to developing and implementing new ideas is simple we can see the changes taking place in our business. We don't have to wait for months or years to see something happen; we can experience it quickly, and sometimes immediately. When the process of making a suggestion through evaluation and into implementation is fast we can gain momentum from the people who give the suggestions. Complicated, centralised, improvement approaches kill this benefit. If poss

Go Backwards When Your Continuous Improvements Dry Up

Continuous improvement is a phrase that is commonly used, but one in my experience that is not utilised in most businesses to any great effect. Going from bad to OK is a good thing to do when you start a process of change within your business, but eventually you will need to try and tackle the change of going from OK to amazing. This is where a lot of businesses find that their continuous improvement activities stall. I don't believe it is down to a lack of vision as to why the movement from OK to amazing doesn't take place. I think people are busy with their working lives and that most of their motivation comes from trying to avoid their bosses giving them a hard time for things not working properly. Now of course there are lots of people who are motivated to see how good they can make things, and I am not trying to take away anything from managing a well performing business process, but if people potentially have lots of ideas then why aren't they more forthcoming? I

Stuck for Business Improvement Ideas? Use a Role Model

Continuous improvement is a tricky subject. It shouldn't be though, as it is a core of most business improvement approaches (including lean manufacturing). The reason I call it tricky is that, as much as most businesses would love to have a continuous improvement culture, there either isn't the commitment or ideas to back it up. Whilst the commitment angle is something that can be addressed, this article is going to look at a really simple idea to help your business generate more ideas when required. To read the rest of the article, click here . Giles Johnston Smartspeed Consulting Limited Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.

What is the true work content?

How much work is in that task that you are putting off? Procrastination can be born from a lack of clarity of what you are about to embark upon, and until you get some clarity as to the work content then it is likely that you will never start the task in the first place. Although this is sound time management advice generally I see this stopping improvement projects all the time. New processes never start, conversations are never had and ideas are never generated. If you are in this position then please consider getting the details of what needs to happen and what that means to your time. You might just find that the task doesn't need too much of your time and completing the task could give a great payback. Giles Johnston Smartspeed Consulting Limited Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.

Lean... Do the Stuff Under Your Nose

Lean programmes of work can really help to improve the performance of a business, but does this have to be at expense of fixing the problems right in front of us? I have seen too many projects have time invested in them whilst right in front of the people in the business are immediate problems and opportunities. Small, lean centric, actions that can yield quick and long lasting results get ignored. How does that benefit everyone? So, please plan out the bigger change projects for your business but don't lose sight of the obvious improvement opportunities that are sitting under your nose. Giles Johnston Smartspeed Consulting Limited Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.

Does a tight scope give better delivery performance?

When an improvement project is being designed it is a good idea to give the right degree of consideration to the scope of the project; what's in and what's out. Many projects take longer than necessary, or never get completed, due to an unclear scope that leaves the team attempting to implement a continuously evolving change project. Some points to consider: Even if the scope does not include all the possibilities you can always go back and complete a second smaller follow up project. Completing something is better than not completing anything, especially for ongoing motivation. Small tight packets of work are very productive due to the marriage of focus with short term achievement. If your projects are stalling, or just seem to keep on going without ever coming to a conclusion, then review / revise the scope and 'put them to bed'. Smartspeed Consulting Limited Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.