Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2017

'Flipping' for continuous improvement ideas

Have you ever found yourself scratching your head trying to come up with ideas to improve how different parts of your business could work? If you do find yourself in this position you could do what one of my clients did the other week. We created a cause and effect diagram (aka fishbone diagram) for the opposite of what they wanted. In this case it was how not to deliver on time. A version of this diagram is shown below: They created a diagram that gave them the keys to poor performance, so we simply flipped it round to give them a road map to achieve what they did want to achieve. e.g. Meaningless KPIs became meaningful KPIs. Each new factor was then rated out of ten to give them a score and then this next question was asked: What do you have to do to achieve a ten for each factor? Et voila! An action plan was born. It is sometimes easier to declare what bad looks like rather than struggling to think about what 'good' looks like. Could you use this simple

If you mapped your processes, would you keep them the same?

Most people I speak to would say “no”. Another question for you - have you mapped your processes recently? I’m not talking about do you have mapped processes for your ISO 9001 Quality Management System from five years ago, I’m talking about a process being mapped in the last six months.

Do your staff produce during all of their working hours?

A client of mine, many years ago, was very frustrated that their project plans were never stuck to. They were baffled as to why their perfectly good (and well thought out) plans always failed. Due to this frustration I was asked to have a look at their plans. Although I wasn’t an expert in their line of work I was able to ask a few questions that were relevant. We worked through the sequence and the work contents which all seemed fine. I then asked about the resourcing and finally struck something that was awry with the plan.

Do you have a 'MRP Mindset'?

Over the years I have worked with a fair number of businesses that had thought that implementing a MRP system would solve a lot of their problems. Instead, they found themselves: No further ahead with their on time delivery problems. No better off from an inventory management point of view. Still lacking teamwork across the business. Feeling frustrated with their system and creating spreadsheet workarounds. Stuck with higher levels of admin tasks, for no obvious gains...

Do you have a list of improvements?

It's a fascinating time of year, from a continuous improvement perspective. Ideas on how we want to change our business often flood through our minds at this time of year. Has this happened to you during the last few weeks?