Skip to main content

Productivity: Do Your Team Put Up With The Status Quo?

There was an online article published yesterday about a drop in UK productivity (you can see it here: http://ukbusiness-today.co.uk/news/uk-productivity-subdued).

This reminded me of a project I have just recently finished where productivity was at the core of the work carried out.

The team I was working with were all hard working. They were skilled at their jobs, but they had come to live with many inadequacies that robbed them of the high levels of productivity that they were capable of.


I see this time and time again.

Whilst there are many ways to approach this issue, and improve productivity, the simplest method is to work out what you do that doesn't directly help you to get the job done and stop doing it.

If you are a fan of the Lean methodology you will recognise this as the value versus waste balance.

Look for all the tasks that can be removed (by design or decision) and strip away the fat from the process.

Too many times I see teams living with problems because something has been normalised. The status quo is comfortable and known (and usually annoying). Challenging ourselves to get rid of these problems is the heart of continuous improvement.

Sometimes these improvements can't be dealt with immediately; let us not forget them, keep a list and have a 'hit list' of potential improvements.

If your team are tolerating the status quo then you may just find that they are sitting on a mound of opportunity ready for you to tap into.


Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering


Streamlining Processes Kit - a step by step system to help you improve the productivity of your business processes

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