Skip to main content

Stop firefighting, start performing!

Another weeks passes and another example of unnecessary fire fighting demonstrated by a business I have been to help.

If you have this taking place in your business, let me ask you a few questions:

1. What keeps on happening?
root cause problem solving
Regain control with this practical book
Can you pin down what it is that you keep having to do, to get out of trouble? If you can't, is there a pattern you can observe?

2. Do you want it to stop?
Is it causing you enough of a problem that you want it to stop? If the answer is yes, keep reading, if not park it for another day.

3. Find out what is going on
Do you know why you are having this issue? If you aren't sure where the issue is arising from, then take a few minutes to have a look around. When you have some idea, go to the next step.

4. Cause and effect
Do you know what is truly causing the fire fighting situation? If you spend the time to get to the root cause of the situation, you have a good chance of permanently eliminating this situation.

Most people don't bother to dig deeply and solve problems once and for all. It is a lot easier to deal with a symptom of the problem with a knee jerk reaction... in the short term. In the longer term the problem will most likely rear its head once more.

Dealing with problems at the symptom level is time consuming, expensive and tiring....

If you want to get rid of your fire fighting situations then I'm afraid to say that you need to think differently going forward. It can be difficult, but definitely worth it!

And, like most disciplines, it gets easier and faster with practice. Thank goodness!

If you want to get some ideas on how to stop firefighting in your business then check out my books Losing the Cape and Effective Root Cause Analysis

As I said earlier, most people don't do the simple actions listed above. From personal experience, as well as the experience of my clients, I can assure you that high performance lies on the other side.

Have fun putting out your fires once and for all.


Giles


About the author:

Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes and embracing Kaizen.

Giles is also the author of Effective Root Cause Analysis and 'What Does Good Look Like?'.


Popular posts from this blog

Kamishibai Boards

Available to purchase here. Some tools are incredibly simple to use, and also deliver some amazing results. Kamishibai boards are a great example and are superb when you want some visual control over routine tasks. By the way Kamishibai is pronounced "come-e-she-bye" in case you were wondering! As simple as you could want it, a Kamishibai board is a T-card system that has red cards glued to green cards (so that each T-card has a red side and a green side). The red cards are for the incomplete tasks, where as the green cards symbolise that the work has been done. See the photo below of a board in use. On the red side of the card you write the name of the task that needs to be completed, and if appropriate you can include details of how the task is to be completed. This is not expected to replace standard operating procedures, but can be a good opportunity for an aide memoire. The boards can be organised for daily, weekly and even monthly cycles. They are g

Kamishibai Boards: A Visual Management Tool to Improve Discipline and Workplace Habits

If you need to increase your effectiveness in the workplace and need a visual tool to help with day to day task management then this short guide is for you. Giles Johnston, a business improvement consultant for small to medium sized businesses, takes you through the steps needed to implement a low / no cost solution to your day to day management problems - a 'Kamishibai' board.  A Kamishibai board can help to improve discipline within the workplace and ensure that the working days / weeks / months are more effective. Common within businesses that use 'lean' methods to improve efficiency and performance (and very effective to use when implementing 5S), a Kamishibai board can be used in its own right, in any kind of business, whether you are going through a lean transformation or not.  Click here to view on Amazon.com. Smartspeed Consulting Limited Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.

What is 5S and how does it help to improve the performance of my business?

Many businesses have heard of 5S; it is a simple workplace organisation system that is designed to make workplaces more effective and more efficient, as well as safer. Many businesses also try and fail at implementing 5S . It might be simple, but as you will know, anything that involves changing the behaviours of your staff isn’t always straightforward. If you haven’t heard of 5S before there are five basic steps, all beginning with ‘S’. They are: Sort – clearing out the clutter and re-distributing other people’s belongings. Set in order – optimising the workplace so that everything you need frequently is close at hand. Shine – cleaning the workplace to an appropriate level. Standards – defining what good looks like and how you will keep it that way. Sustain – forming the habits to retain the benefits of an organised and disciplined workplace. So, how does 5S improve the performance of your business? From a safety perspective, fewer accidents means less downtime.