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Do you use 'building blocks' to construct your business improvement ideas?

A strategy that many people use, when trying to develop ideas to improve their business, is using building blocks.

By this I mean that they break down how their business works into smaller, easy to understand, chunks.

Let me give you an example:

One of my clients was struggling with the fact that their final production activity was always running out of parts.

There were countless reasons 'known' within the business and the problem seemed too large to grasp -- where do you start?

They had tried mapping out their processes and had gotten lost.

So, we broke the processes down into modules (or 'building blocks' as I like to call them), parts of the process that come as a package.

For instance, our conversation led one part of the review to have only three building blocks:

  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Delivery
At this level (somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of detail I guess you would say) the team were able to easily identify improvements without getting lost in all of the ins and outs of what happens.

This led to some very quick changes to take effect which had a profound (positive!) impact on the performance of the business.

This approach is a minor variation on the theme of process mapping, but a rapid one that can help to generate practical results very quickly.



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