Thursday, 1 May 2014

Continuous Improvement: Find A Friend

No one knows all of the answers.

Continuous Improvement can sometimes seem like a lonely place to be when you are making a decision on how to improve a process. That's exactly the time when it's good to 'find a friend'.

When there's more than just you there are a number of benefits. Apart from decreasing the isolation of making the change you can use the wisdom of others to generate additional ideas to make improvements.

Getting it wrong is a real concern of many who are both new and experienced with continuous improvement. Working alongside someone else can make this fear lessen and when it is combined with the PDCA cycle becomes part of the natural improvement activity.

Another great point is that we are all busy people. Having someone to work with on projects / strategies / ideas can help to keep your focus and speed up getting results. This is especially true when you have been through an (extra) busy period and you need to get back on track. The other person can keep the improvement work ticking over, or hook you back into the work (depending on your situation).

So, if you are trying to undertake changes on your own and find you are getting stuck, lost, or de-motivated then it might be time to find a buddy to work alongside with your projects. If you share a common desire for improvement then it might be the start of a great (and productive) friendship.

Giles Johnston
...fixing MRP systems and re-engineering business processes

P.S. For a simple team based approach to generating Continuous Improvement ideas, check out my book on the subject here.

C'mon! Just write the SOP!