Skip to main content

Think wider for the improvement project's benefits

Sometimes when we look at a process improvement opportunity we struggle to quickly identify the benefits that the business will receive.

The idea might feel right, but the initial review of the benefits might come up short.

What do you do in this situation?
A client of mine had the same problem last week.

From automating some of the clerical work the Production Manager reckoned he would save half an hour a week. Not a great time saving, but something nonetheless.

So, we explored who else would be affected by the changes within the business. The sales team, the production control team and the admin team.

When we totalled up the projected savings there were two full days of time that could be saved across all of the groups.

This improvement now really did feel right!

If you're wondering if your improvement ideas are going to make the grade, in terms of benefits back into the business, then consider the wider impact of the change. Who, other than you and your direct team, would benefit from the improvement work?

Add it up, it might surprise you.


Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' online course for improving continuous improvement skills.

Popular posts from this blog

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

Have you got the right improvement behaviours in your business?

I have heard many business owners over the year complain that change is pitiful within their business. Is this how you feel? I have seen this many times before; that the wrong behaviours get reinforced within these businesses. Their culture simply isn't helping. So, how do you change a culture like this? There are many books written on the topic of culture and changing cultures, but let me offer some of my observations. Getting better is OK Standing still isn't great. Reaching perfection is unlikely. Gaining confidence is great. So why not take some pressure off yourselves and realise that moving in the right direction is good enough at the start of a culture change? Great solutions can be developed by learning There can be so much pressure on people to come up with good improvement ideas. If they aren't used to generating them, this can be a difficult exercise and a lack of confidence doesn't help. Talking with others (especially the boss), without expectation, and gai