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Do you have a human continuous improvement barometer?

When you are making changes in your business you will often have some hard metrics that you will monitor, to see if the changes are working out the way that you want them to.

This approach, which is sound, can be complemented by the use of a human barometer....

What is a human barometer?

Simply put, it is someone that is a key part of the process that you are trying to change.

It is someone who will be able to give you candid feedback about the type and rate of change that is taking place.

I have just completed a process improvement project where I had two specific 'human barometers'.

The first one was at the start of the process, validating our changes to the visibility of the production schedules.

The second was at the end of the process, validating that the improved flow of products was happening.

The metrics caught up eventually, due to our initial problems capturing data, but the human barometers provided instant feedback on a daily basis. This allowed us to fine tune our improvement approach as needed, ultimately reducing the amount of time to get the improvement in place.

Involving people in the change process like this also improves the buy in to the project, and ultimately its sustainability.

If you only use the metrics approach to monitoring change (and if you don't, please consider starting!) then why not consider using a few humans in your monitoring as well?

They're usually fast, accurate and easy to setup(!).


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 improvement strategies course.