Skip to main content

Visible Continuous Improvement Plans

Years ago I was criticised for having numerous pieces of paper all over a wall in my office. This was when I worked as a Production Manager in a factory failing to hit its output targets*. Apparently it looked a little messy....

I needed to take action to change my factory's situation and one lonely Friday afternoon (when everyone else had gone home) I listed out the changes I needed to make. These formed the mini-projects that were all over my wall.

Production was busy. Frankly it was chaotic and I chose to pin my mini improvement plans to my wall so that they were 'in my face'. Every time I walked into my office there were my plans. I certainly didn't forget about them.

How many times have you crafted a much needed improvement plan but never gotten around to implementing the changes?

There are many strategies we can take to improve how we deliver our projects and the idea of having the plans in bite sized chunks and highly visible is just one.

I used this approach to constantly nibble away at my projects and over a period of a couple of months our performance was transformed. We actually started winning new business on the back of this performance alone.

After the first few mini-projects were implemented I started to buy myself a little bit of time each week. This allowed me to tackle more in-depth issues and the more involved mini-plans. It was certainly an upward spiral.

So, I love technology and I'm a big believer in being neat and organised. I am also a big believer in using the right tools for the right job. In this case a pen, paper and a wall were the right approach for me.

What's the right approach for you?


Giles Johnston
* To read the full story (and get hold of the action points) please click here.

Popular posts from this blog

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

Where to start with Kaizen, if you just aren't sure

Kaizen is a great word. It is a word that can unleash the potential of both a business and an individual. Kaizen means more than just continuous improvement. It is a word that is linked to: Confidence Growth Exploration Courage Many people I speak to, that are new to improvement projects, aren't sure if they are on the right path when it comes to embracing the spirit of Kaizen. If you are also one of these people then let me share with you a few thoughts that can help you feel at ease about starting and leading change. Start with your concerns A great place to start your improvement life is with anything that isn't right. Getting your concerns out into the open really is the first step for most of us. If you aren't happy with something, raise it. This isn't only a great place to start, but something that you shouldn't give up. Whenever a standard is not being met, or not even defined, get vocal and then do something about it. Start small The intention of Kaizen is

Stimulating Kaizen opportunities - the 'mechanical' way!

I often end up in conversations about how to stimulate Kaizen ideas and opportunities. If you have read my other posts, you will know that I split the improvement journey into two halves. For many people, the initial Kaizen focus is all around fixing things that are wrong / not working properly. Once you get past this point you need something else to focus and motivate you to generate improvement opportunities. The two halves of the Kaizen journey The discussion that I often end up in, is the one around the imagination quandary. People talk to me about not being creative, or not being inspired to come up with improvement ideas. Do you ever feel this way? It seems that there is a popular view that some people are creative and some aren't. Great Kaizen ideas are not just the product of 'creative' people. There are lots of ways that you can generate improvement ideas without having to sit on a mountain top cross legged waiting for inspiration. Finding a 'mechanical' w