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Create Time For Improving

Time moves fast.

The phone rings, the emails land and there's your boss with your next assignment. Oh yeah, and your customers are still wanting their orders shipped on time.

Another week passes and your business performance is still at the same level...

Choose a point in your week when you can exit normal business working and work on improving the business instead.

This may seem 'easier said than done'!

How about these ideas?
  • Give yourself five minutes before you turn the computer on at the start of your working day.
  • Turn off your phone, your emails, and declare a fifteen minute 'no disruption' time.
  • Find a quieter part of the business to go and work in, where you won't be found.
  • Stay for a few minutes after normal working hours, when the frenetic rush has died down.
  • Swap a meeting (with permission of course) for improvement time.

Or, a combination of the above.

Yes, it's easier said than done, but it can be done. If you don't choose to use your time for specific actions then you risk someone else trying to do so. There is sometimes a degree of negotiation required, sometimes it's a case of saying 'no' and sometimes it's down to us to make a choice as to what is important.

But, even a few minutes invested in continuous improvement activities could save you hours per week (every week)... isn't that worth considering?

Good luck finding your improvement time, it will be worth it.


Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering

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Want more time for your projects? Try the 'Hour of Pain'!

Do you find your day being broken up by interruptions, stopping you from getting on with your work?

Continuous improvement projects often fall foul of this. The day can become so inefficient through the constant stopping and starting that we only just seem to have enough time to get the 'day job' completed.

I was in a meeting last week where this same issue cropped up. It also cropped up today. It's nothing new, but it is still a pain in the rear!

So, let me share with you an approach that has worked for my clients - the 'Hour of Pain!'.

Where there is a (performance) gap there is a concern

I had a really good day yesterday working with a client's team.

The team has issues. Plenty of issues. Some are managerial issues, some are people issues and some are production issues.

When I first met the team they didn't know what to do with their issues, so I started by helping them to see more issues.

Issues everywhere, they didn't seem very impressed.

And then we captured the issues as 'concerns' into the tried and tested 'concern cause countermeasure' format and followed the process:

Concerns probed for root causes and root causes converted into countermeasures.
Soon they realised that some of their root causes dealt with numerous concerns and they gained momentum.

Yesterday we pulled another one of their processes apart and identified all of the gaps. The gaps became concerns and we fed them back into the process. Now they have a practical action plan (of countermeasures) to upgrade the process in question.

What do you do with your performance gaps? …

Free Continuous Improvement Guide

I have recently published a new free guide, with the title:
Six Quick Tips to Help Continuous Improvement Deliver Results Faster In the guide I share how to:
Use the continuous improvement cycle properly.Get projects moving, if they are slow to start or have stalled.Identify the 'biggest bang for your buck' when reviewing opportunities.Determine the level of change you need to achieve through your improvements.Flip staff grumbles and concerns into positive improvement actions.Increase the overall rate of progress on your projects. All of the tips are highly practical and are no-cost strategies.
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Enjoy reading,

Giles
About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous i…