Skip to main content

Can You Quantify Your Improvements?

I was recalling a past conversation to one of my clients today; it was based on the idea that 'all decisions are financial'.

The conversation that I was recalling was between me and a talented Engineer who was frustrated by his boss' lack of enthusiasm to an improvement he had identified.

I asked him to explain the improvement to me. It sounded good, so I asked him a further question.

"Why doesn't your boss seem interested?"

"He doesn't understand this stuff" was the Engineer's reply.

As I probed a little further I asked the Engineer about how he had approached his boss with the improvement.

It turned out that he had posed the improvement purely on its technical merits (which, as an Engineer, looked good to me).

He had failed to speak to his boss in a common language - money.

I accept that there are many ways to justify an improvement, but putting things into financial terms (or even just putting a hard number against the benefits) can be all that separates the good ideas that don't get implemented and the ones that do.

The Engineer's improvement would have cost about £1500.00 to implement and would save the business downtime in the region of £8000.00 each month going forward. Getting the numbers wasn't difficult, but it did paint the improvement in a different light!

So, if you are struggling to get your bosses to sign off your improvement plans and you haven't put some numbers against the benefits (and costs where applicable) maybe it is time to rethink your strategy.

Have fun with the calculator!



Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering

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