Skip to main content

Is Your Process Working As It Should?

How much time do you save by not having a proper look at your business processes and instead assuming that they are working as designed?

This is a bit of trick question, of course. It depends on how much time you have spent on developing your processes in the first place and the level of control / management you already have in place.

The stimulus for this blog post was me stumbling in to another upside down process that was deemed to be fine (I'm not really complaining, as this is what I get paid to sort out). My surprise was how far apart the two positions were:

Position 1 - perception - the process works but could be improved.

Position 2 - reality - there is no control and no one really knows how the process is meant to work.

The existence (duration) of the gap, to my knowledge, is about ten months.

The time to find out the size of the gap, approximately 30 minutes.

After the review an action plan was put in place and the process was under control in just a few days.


So, what is the lesson here?

If you have even an inkling that a process could be improved it is worth taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to go an have a look. Smell the air. Touch the process. Speak to the people 'stuck' with it. See if it makes sense. Check if it looks right.

The time saved in the longer term is worth the hassle in the short term to make the effort to go and see what is really going on.


Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering


Available for iPad.

Popular posts from this blog

Kaizen projects: being honest about being off track

Projects, especially improvement projects, have a tendency to get off track. There is often a clear distinction between projects for customers and projects for ourselves. If our improvement projects fall behind then our customers won't be barking at us; it is no wonder that if something is going to slip it is our Kaizen endeavours. For some people this can be a tough conversation to have. No one wants to be a 'failure' and pride often gets in the way. In my experience it seems that it is believed to be far more credible to ignore the requirement to improve than to admit that we aren't making progress. So, if you find yourself (and your business) in this situation, what can you do about it? Let me share with you two options to increase the visibility in your business around progress with projects and four options to help get your projects back on track. Increasing visibility Ok, no more hiding the status of Kaizen activities . This also means no more being precious about

The Kaizen Checklist is here!

Do you want to get better results from your Kaizen programme? Improve your business results quickly with my downloadable kit (including guidebook, workbook and templates) for only $39. Are you looking for a sustainable way to identify and implement improvements across your business? Practical improvement strategies The Kaizen Checklist is a downloadable kit that you can use with your management team to develop a system that suits your business and allow you to quickly implement Kaizen effectively at your place of work. This works great if you use it as the centre piece of your own internal workshop. The kit includes a 40 page guidebook, a workbook, four appendices and three templates. All parts of this kit are designed to get you up and running as fast as possible. If you are unfamiliar with Kaizen, let me stress that this is a simple improvement philosophy that is so much more than just  ‘a Japanese word for continuous improvement’. I’ll cover what it rea

Kamishibai Boards

Available to purchase here. Some tools are incredibly simple to use, and also deliver some amazing results. Kamishibai boards are a great example and are superb when you want some visual control over routine tasks. By the way Kamishibai is pronounced "come-e-she-bye" in case you were wondering! As simple as you could want it, a Kamishibai board is a T-card system that has red cards glued to green cards (so that each T-card has a red side and a green side). The red cards are for the incomplete tasks, where as the green cards symbolise that the work has been done. See the photo below of a board in use. On the red side of the card you write the name of the task that needs to be completed, and if appropriate you can include details of how the task is to be completed. This is not expected to replace standard operating procedures, but can be a good opportunity for an aide memoire. The boards can be organised for daily, weekly and even monthly cycles. They are g