I get it. No, I really do. People are busy. Are you busy? I certainly know the feeling.
However, when someone tells me that progress is not being made on their improvement projects because they haven't got time it makes me question what they do have time for.
It seems that many people have time to:
- Correct mistakes caused by poorly designed, or executed, processes.
- Lose hours within ineffective meetings that drag on and don't generate action.
- Put up with the status-quo because it is more comfortable than trying out a few new things in the business.
- Run around like headless chickens; the chaos of the business dictating their days rather than an agreed process focussed routine being adhered to.
Yes, it is easy to write these words from the comfort of my blog. But, if you're like me, you've been there too. I know that my days of running around may have looked good to others (who didn't know better), but my running around only masked the ineffectiveness of the business operations I was trying to run.
There is only so much faster you can run until you get tired.
There is only so much extra work you can do until you start making mistakes.
I think that the notion of 'if you think it's important you'll make it happen' is as true with continuous improvement as it is with anything else.
If you think your projects are worth doing you'll make the time. If you can't make the time then you'll break it down into tiny chunk and drip feed it into your day. And, if you're not sure if your projects are that important then you'll take the time to recall the benefits of doing the project in the first place.
Hopefully you'll end up like plenty of people I know who start to get a hunger for this stuff. They can't accept the status-quo if it is poor (and the comfort I referred to earlier isn't really that comfortable!), they'll rip up the existing process and design a new one.
So, do you have time to improve your business?
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering