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Processes rarely improve just by knowing what won't work!

How many times have you put an idea forward to improve a part of your business just to have it shot down by lots of reasons as to why it won't work?

Although these reasons might be useful considerations it is often the way that they are provided to a discussion that makes them unhelpful.

Do you know what I mean?

The working day can be hard enough without more obstacles being put in the way...

...but if the 'reasons' have validity what do we do?

Thinking about how you want to deal with the reasons in advance is the best strategy (see 'innoculations' in Making It Happen for more on this).

Or, for a quick approach to put this in practice:

Make it clear to your team that a reason why something won't work has to be followed up with how it could be made to work.

Continuous improvement is about improving things continuously. Chucking in comments that stop this flow is therefore opposite to continuous improvement and strategies need to be considered in advance to combat the nature of some people.

It's worth thinking about,

Giles



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

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Want more time for your projects? Try the 'Hour of Pain'!

Do you find your day being broken up by interruptions, stopping you from getting on with your work?

Continuous improvement projects often fall foul of this. The day can become so inefficient through the constant stopping and starting that we only just seem to have enough time to get the 'day job' completed.

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? …

Free Continuous Improvement Guide

I have recently published a new free guide, with the title:
Six Quick Tips to Help Continuous Improvement Deliver Results Faster In the guide I share how to:
Use the continuous improvement cycle properly.Get projects moving, if they are slow to start or have stalled.Identify the 'biggest bang for your buck' when reviewing opportunities.Determine the level of change you need to achieve through your improvements.Flip staff grumbles and concerns into positive improvement actions.Increase the overall rate of progress on your projects. All of the tips are highly practical and are no-cost strategies.
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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…