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Do you learn from your continuous improvement experiences?

I have the great fortune to work with a wide range of up and coming continuous improvement professionals. Some of them I get to mentor and some I only get to spend time with on projects. I have noticed a distinction within these groups; some progress a lot faster than others.

The individuals that progress their development faster than the other group aren’t necessarily better skilled, or have some other talent, but they do one thing the other group don’t:

They figure out what works and do more of it and what doesn’t work and do less of that.

Not exactly rocket science, but something that I strongly advocate to those that I mentor. These individuals reflect on what they are doing and what they have done and spot the lessons lying underneath the activity. The lessons themselves are unlikely to be the results of the activities, but more what was learned about carrying out the activities.

Lessons often include:
  • How to plan more effectively.
  • How to communicate more effectively.
  • How to get on well with others.
  • Getting results when the project is going pear-shaped.
  • Experimenting with ideas.
  • Developing solutions that are more impactful.
  • Making change happen.

So, here is my question for you. Are you learning from the changes you are working on, or are you just working on the changes?

If you get a chance to stop and reflect I promise you that it will be worth the investment in time.

And, if you want a structured format for carrying out these kinds of reviews, check out Making It Happen (my continuous improvement toolkit) and look for lesson one in the main section.



Try out my ideas with this free sample - click here - no sign up required



Have fun reflecting on your wins and losses,

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.


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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…