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A Small Continuous Improvement Consideration That Can Lead to Big Results

Are you like me and want all of your continuous improvement projects to be delivered at once?

The fact is that there isn't enough time in the day (let alone if you have a day job to contend with too!) or enough resource to call up to engage with all of your improvement projects at once.

I am a big fan of effective prioritisation of improvement opportunities and so I thought I'd share with you part of a conversation I recently had with one of my client's member of staff.

In front of us was a number of projects. Each one looked like it would give the business a real boost in terms of tangible results. But, when you listed them out there was a clear priority based on the dependencies.

In this list was one of my hot topics for this business, kitting of orders. I spotted this and naturally became excited; its benefits will be huge for the business.

Then I looked at the other options; cell design, stock control, 5S etc...

The reality is that I could either have my preference now, but not see optimal / maximised results.

Or, I could wait for a few pre-cursor projects to take place and witness the full scale of the results that I wanted to witness.





Being clear about the relationship between the opportunities and their impact was essential in this case to plot out a clear path through the myriad of projects that were available to us.

Two questions for you:

Do you have an effective approach to evaluating your continuous improvement opportunities?

Do you need to consider the relationships and inter-dependencies of your projects to ensure that you get the best return for your efforts?

Mull over these questions and see if you can improve upon your existing approach and get 'more bang for your buck' with your improvements.


All the best,

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 toolkit.



Discover effective strategies to get more from your continuous improvement programme:




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

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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.
To get your copy, just click on the button below and access the guide in just a few moments from now.



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…