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Can going slower help you to go faster (with process improvement)?

I had two really good examples of going slower to go faster* take place over the last few days.

Have you experienced that feeling when you are trying to get so much done that you get very little done at all?

We think that we're multi-tasking but instead we are really treading water and feeling overwhelmed.

Slowing down, by consciously choosing to do less (but sticking with fewer tasks in order to get them completed properly), can be a good strategy to take.

By going slower to get more things properly done can help you build capacity, avoid future mistakes and increase your overall business pace.

Of course don't take this post as an excuse just to go slower; I'm talking about being selective and nailing a few important actions rather than just giving the impression that you are making progress on a wider range of actions.

For example:

It was worth re-scheduling another improvement session to extend the current one to ensure that the decisions were made and the actions clearly understood. [There are now two more team members who can progress the project rather than the original one.]

It was worth deciding not to start a new action and continue with the hands on work regarding an internal audit process. [There are now two people who can conduct the process, not one, and the programme that was in arrears will now get back on track.]

What could you slow down with, in order to go faster in the long run?



Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering

* That's why the name 'Smartspeed' was chosen!

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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? …

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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…