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Do You Push Your CI Idea's Potential?

I delivered a really interesting training session last week. I was working with a team of managers from a local engineering business, which has been growing rapidly over the past couple of years. What worked a couple of years ago was creaking at the seams last year, and this year.... well some things have broken.

As part of the training session we talked about continuous improvement ideas that we could apply to the business and one of the guys started to explore some of the problems that were zapping his time. This then lead to an idea to vastly improve the situation, which was almost dismissed because of the work involved...


Thankfully, just moments earlier, we had been discussing the Pareto Principle and how little I felt it was used in anger within businesses. So, a perfect opportunity to put their minds to the test to see if we could generate a better solution that required less effort (see image below for the challenge that was set).

The challenge was to generate solutions that would get us a better result (reward in the diagram above) for less effort.

The first attempt was good, but after a couple of iterations via the team we had a solution that could potentially save this person hours per day and would only take a couple of hours to develop / implement. The point of this email is that we often stop short of brilliant solutions by accepting the first workable solution that we come to. With a little perseverance and a little creativity a better solution is often around the corner.

Is it worth you and your team taking a little more time to develop even more powerful continuous improvement solutions next time you are developing ideas?


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

P.S. If you are looking for an idea to generate continuous improvement ideas, especially once day-to-day problems start to cease, then check out my book 'Effective Continuous Improvement'. The PDF version is available for just £2.25 when you use discount code 'ci2014', until the end of play 30th June 2014.