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How do you open and close your improvement tasks?

Loose ends... they're a pain aren't they?

Everytime you open up something to improve it you risk having a loose end.

Discover additional ways to manage
change in your business
The more improvements you get involved with the more loose ends you could have.

Too many loose ends can result in confusion, de-motivation and no tangible results.

One option is to limit the amount of improvements you work on at any one time.

Another option is to work in small packets of time where you open and close improvements rapidly, so that you never finish a period of time (say a day, or a week) with the loose ends left, well... loose!

A further option is to design your improvement activities so that they can be fully completed within a certain time period (again, a day or a week are two good options).

The situation that we want to avoid is constantly starting improvement projects and then moving to another improvement without (in some shape or form) landing the project. Completing a chunk of work on an improvement project is usually better than starting lots of projects with good intentions and yielding no tangible results.

How you open and close your projects is partly a preference to how you work and partly a conscious decision to having your eyes wide open about how you manage change within your business.

If you haven't got a preference yet, perhaps today is the day to get one.

Giles

0,Effective Continuous Improvement

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.


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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!'.

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…