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Do you want to shape the 'Improvement Club'?

I am in the process of developing the Making It Happen site to host the Improvement Club. This updated site will not only include the original Making It Happen library, but also the other courses, kits and products that I have created over the years.

As part of the subscription there will be the opportunity to ask me a continuous improvement question each month, specifically for you and your business.

I would very much like to get some feedback on the direction I am currently taking with this new service. If you have three minutes to spare could you answer the following questions?

Thanks,

Giles

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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 toolkit.
Discover practical improvement strategies to drive up productivity for both you and your busines…

If your improvement is fundamentally right – stick to your guns!

Discussions around improvements are really interesting. There will always be some people who are in favour of an idea, some who are opposed and some that don’t really mind either way. When an improvement makes sense to the majority of people around the table it usually gets traction and things happen. When enough people aren’t sure about the merits of an improvement it can be easy for the idea to be killed off. However, changing the way that we present our ideas can bring about a completely different outcome.

'Office Productivity' and 'Standard Operating Procedures' books now available in paperback

I'm pleased to announce that two more of my books have now made it into paperback format: Effective SOPs and Office Productivity.


Office Productivity was written to translate some of the great practices that come out of business process re-engineering and lean manufacturing activities into an administration setting. Many of my clients are outside of the manufacturing sector and this book is a compilation of the methods I have used with them to boost their productivity.

Visual Management - it only works if you use it!

The photo you can see below is a simple, inexpensive and effective visual management solution for one of my client's previously ongoing business issues - their heating system switching itself off (because it has run out of fuel!).


A heating system might not be your most gripping business issue, but the point of this post is the big issue behind visual management systems...

Visual management approaches don't work if the staff of a business don't look at the information being presented. The above window is only effective if the people who can refill the hopper regularly look at it in order to make a decision. If everyone walks past the window and does nothing then the window is pointless.

Clearly having a window is better than having no window (they used to have open the hatch to look in). But not looking at the window makes having a window redundant.

So, let's extend this point past this example:

Visual operator maintenance systems (as part of a wider TPM approach) not b…

Continuous Improvement: Do you generate options before developing a final plan?

Continuous improvement project meetings are a funny thing at times. Periodically I will sit in a meeting to look at an improvement project where the person leading the meeting will bring along with them a 'finished solution'.

The faces of the people sitting around the table will either look bemused, confused, happy or disappointed - the full spectrum of responses. However, it is usually only a small group that are sitting there looking happy; most of us would like to be involved with the design of a continuous improvement project (especially if it affects our working lives day to day thereafter).

Most of the time I am able to intervene and open up the design phase again, so that the non-happy people get a chance to participate and potentially steer the direction of the group.

This is the eighth waste in operation, isn't it?

You have a whole raft of brains that contain relevant experience, ideas and problems about the area you are trying to improve, so why wouldn't you…

'On Time Delivery' and 'Sunrise Meetings' now available in paperback

Two more of my books are now available in paperback:

On Time Delivery: A True Lean Manufacturing Story
This short book is a chronicle of my time as a Production Manager in an under performing factory.

The book recounts the steps (good and bad) that I took to take the OTIF performance from 22% to 98% in just a few months (as well as the lead time dropping from 20 weeks down to just under 4).

The book
includes learning points and a reflection of what I would do differently next time.

You can get your copy by clicking here.
Sunrise Meetings: Create Effective Routines To Make Your Business Run Like Clockwork
Sunrise Meetings are those short, effective, daily meetings that really jump start how your business operates.

If you find yourself in a position where there is too much fire-fighting and not enough results then this book can help you to organise your business through a more formal approach to operating your business processes.

Like many of my books, this is a step by step guide to help y…

Driving productivity by splitting up the problems in your business

I bet that you can think of three changes you want to make in your business, that would drive up your levels of productivity, as you read this.

How easy are these changes to make?

Are they new ideas, or are they items you are struggling with?