Skip to main content

One strategy to accelerate continuous improvement projects

You're right!

There are many strategies to help accelerate continuous improvement projects becoming a reality.

But, I want to share one fundamental strategy, without this the others are largely pointless.

Have a list of your improvement projects.

That's it; pretty basic I know.

It is however a strategy that I see missing from businesses that are struggling.

(Quite often they are not just struggling with continuous improvement projects, they seem to have loose ends everywhere!)

There's lots of things you can do with a list:

  • You can prioritise it.
  • You can stop having to 'remember to remember'.
  • You can share it with your bosses and colleagues.
  • You can use it to balance out workloads.
  • You can convert parts if it into action plans.
  • You can use it as a point of focus for the business.

But, you can't do these things without a list in the first place!

You can make a difference today

So, if your continuous improvement projects aren't going the way that you had hoped and you don't have a shopping list of continuous improvement ideas then I would recommend that you start there.

And, if you want to discover at a range of strategies to improve how you implement your continuous improvement projects then check out my Making It Happen course where you can practice new skills and improve your business at the same time. You can find out more about it here.

Enjoy writing your list,


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 improvement strategies course.

Popular posts from this blog

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!'.

Do you have time to prepare (in order to become super productive)?

I had a funny conversation a few weeks ago with a team that was complaining about one of their colleagues spending 'ages' preparing their workstation within their factory. I meet a lot of people that spend too long preparing (and effectively procrastinating) so I was intrigued by their comment. It turns out that this individual didn't spend too long but rather his colleagues dived into their work without thinking through what the best way to work was...

The slower to start gentleman did in fact prepare his work area. He was also able to produce a far greater amount of work in the same time period because he had invested in a smarter way of working than his counterparts. The time spent preparing his working area was valuable and not overdone.

This example reminds us of the importance of the second S in 5S (set in order) and how workstation design is critical if we want to maximise the productivity of our teams. Whether this is a physical work area in a factory, the filing s…

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? …