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Showing posts with the label process improvement

My new book is free this weekend!

My new book is free to download (Kindle version) this weekend . Specifically, it is free from the 13th of January 2023 to the 17th January 2023. I wrote it for business managers and owners that are fed up of being stuck in Groundhog Day! I wanted to challenge the thinking of this group about how routines are defined and used within their organisation. Most organisations have underdeveloped routines. They usually apply routines solely to the lower levels of an organisation. But what about the Board? What about the senior management team? Routines don't have to be rigid. You don't have to lose flexibility, creativity or talent. But, you can do something to stop you getting in your own way! If this rings a bell with you, then get hold of your free copy this weekend. Alternatively, if  Kindle isn't your thing, you can purchase a copy of the paperback from the same page . I hope that you get some good ideas from this short book (it has taken me three goes to condense the informa

What does a good project look like to you?

Last week I was faced with another client project that is falling over. Not a problem, been here before with other clients. But, I don't want to go back to this with the same client... I bet they don't either. Before I rolled up my sleeves and started helping them out, I paused. I asked the owner of the business one question: "What does a good project look like, to you?" Together we drew out a shopping list of things that would form a great project, from delivering it on time to ensuring that they got the outcomes that they were planning for. I like simple questions like this. They force you to think and from here better results are possible. If I just fix something for a client then there is a good chance that the same problem will re-appear in the following months. This is exactly the "teach a person to fish..." approach. So, what does a good project look like for you? How would it be specified? What communication would you have around the project? How oft

The Kaizen Checklist is here!

Do you want to get better results from your Kaizen programme? Improve your business results quickly with my downloadable kit (including guidebook, workbook and templates) for only $39. Are you looking for a sustainable way to identify and implement improvements across your business? Practical improvement strategies The Kaizen Checklist is a downloadable kit that you can use with your management team to develop a system that suits your business and allow you to quickly implement Kaizen effectively at your place of work. This works great if you use it as the centre piece of your own internal workshop. The kit includes a 40 page guidebook, a workbook, four appendices and three templates. All parts of this kit are designed to get you up and running as fast as possible. If you are unfamiliar with Kaizen, let me stress that this is a simple improvement philosophy that is so much more than just  ‘a Japanese word for continuous improvement’. I’ll cover what it rea

Do Your KPIs Pass the Ultimate Test?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a vital part of any management team's toolkit. Get them right and KPIs can help you to lead your team to victory and success. Get them wrong and they suck up time and resources and frustrate all of those that are involved with the activity. I was working with a team the other week and they had come up with about twenty different KPIs they could use for their function and they were getting stuck as to how to proceed. I asked them to test their measures against the ultimate test: "Can you use the KPIs to make management decisions?" Great KPIs can help you make swift decisions that affect the outcomes for your business. Effective metrics allow you to keep the standards you need in your business in place. Well thought through measures guide and support your thinking, making you more effective and efficient as a manager. The team I worked with applied this simple test and eliminated pointless metrics, enhanced oth

New Book - Free Today on Kindle - What Does Good Look Like?

My new book What Does Good Look Like?  has just been released and is available for free this weekend on the Amazon Kindle   platform (note - you don't need a Kindle device to read the book). The promotion runs from 12:00AM PDT on the 12th October, for three days. This book is a must for any organisation that has defined a big picture vision for their business but fails to see that vision translate into practical, meaningful, day-to-day activities. Many businesses fail to ask the question 'what does good look like?' for a wide range of processes, standards and behaviours and get frustrated that the follow up actions don't get the results that they wanted. This book is split up into two main sections: Part One - provides four methods to help define what good looks like for your business, even if you are not entirely sure yourself. Part Two - offers methods and ideas to help you deliver a practical improvement plan that develop the right kind of habits to

Do You Set Your Team Up To Win?

I had a great time tonight watching my daughter and her peers at the ice skating competition. Some of the skating was great, some was less so, but every single skater performed which was brilliant to witness. Every skater, no matter their performance, got several rounds of applause and it was deserved in every case. Everyone wanted to see them win and communicated this with them through their applause. This got me thinking. I often ask my clients if they set their teams up to win, usually reflecting on a current performance objective or continuous improvement goal . In many cases the conversation raises a few opportunities that my client can look at that can increase the chances of their teams winning at the challenges before them. Considering this same topic, with the skaters I saw tonight they: Had been given / made time to learn and practice. Were supported by someone that could mentor and guide them. Their objective was crystal clear to them. A clear plan was in plac

A Little Bit of Structure Can Go a Long Way

It never ceases to amaze me how casual some businesses are when it comes to organising the way their business operates. It is true, a little bit of structure can go a long way. There is a big difference between a rigid, bureaucratic, organisation that can't flex or adapt to changing customer demands and one that is loose and wild. Finding a balance is an essential task for most businesses. With a little bit of structure you can: Run meetings with purpose, that generate the right kinds of actions. Manage results, by ensuring that the inputs and outputs of your processes are 'fit for purpose'. Ensure that your teams know what they are doing and are on track with their performance. Deliver the right level of quality products and services for your customers. ... and more. Without a little bit of structure you can find yourself getting into a knot, not entirely sure where you are, where you are going to or how to approach the journey. I like flexibility, but

How hard do you push your business processes?

Out of ten, how hard do you currently push your business processes ? Are they well developed and delivering the results you need, or are they just a feature of your business? Develop your business processes with this step-by-step guide. Available from Amazon and iTunes . I thought I’d ask you this question to challenge you, to see if you are getting the most out of your processes. Properly developed processes can make the difference between poor performance and amazing performance. My clients have seen 500% increases in productivity, 80% reductions in lead times and tripling of sales with no extra employees through maximising the management of their business processes. It really is worth investing some of your time and effort to look into this topic. So, let me help you out with the scoring for this by sharing with you some of the things I look for. This is part of the ‘what does good look like?’ question that can really help you and your management team to focus on driving th

Free Business Improvement Guide

I have just re-published my guide: 7 Ideas to Gain Control and Improve Profit for Your Business You can download your copy by visiting: If you are looking for simple but effective methods to drive up your business' productivity, performance and profits then this is a great resource to push you in the right direction. To get your free copy you just need to sign up for my email updates. Hopefully you will find them to be useful to you and your business and you can unsubscribe at any time. Enjoy, 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.

There might be several improvement options you have missed…

I was in a meeting today where the topic of options came up for a restructure of a business unit. These sorts of topics don ’ t normally come my way, but the nature of the conversation was the bit that piqued my interest. It was clear that there was already an option on the table, and because of this option every other alternative was being ignored. In many cases, the other options usually contain good, or better, results than the one being discussed. Getting stuck with the first option that comes your way is not often a great strategy. Being stuck with just one option can limit the results that can be obtained. What if the ideas of the rest of the team members could be mixed up to produce new ideas? It is often the partial ideas of others that can allow a new and improved solution to be stitched together. I recall working with a group of apprentices and their ‘ half-baked ’ solutions (as their former manager called them) were able to be linked and this resulted in a quadrupling

'Takt Time' book now available in paperback

My next book to go through paperback conversion is Takt Time . Now available on Amazon, this book explains the Takt Time principle to help you better understand the degree of change you need to make in your business.

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!'.

The person who knows everything may be a dangerous thing

Many businesses that I visit seem have either one, or two, people that seem to have an inordinate amount of information held in their heads. These people are often referred to as ‘Oracles’, or similar and they are often the go to person when trouble hits the business. Move your business away from the re-active superheroes with Losing the Cape. Available on Amazon. When I started my working life I was, understandably, in awe of these individuals. How did they know so much? How did they get so good? I was impressed with their abilities and what they were able to do when it was crunch time.

New Book - Losing the Cape has arrived - get it free today

My first book in three years has finally arrived - Losing the Cape ! Do you have super heroes in your business? Losing the Cape  is on the hunt for the super heroes incidents that shouldn't exist, the ones that they have to leap into action for because of poor management and badly executed processes. This is your time to shine and root out the real problems that are lurking in your business, the issues that are masked by people leaping into action. The issues that zap your productivity and ability to run your business as you would want. We all need our heroes, for when the time is right. But, for the majority of situations, they have to leap into action because something simpler, and in our control, is broken. The book is split into two halves. Part one looks at what the cape is and why it exists. Part two offers a range of strategies and methods to help you quickly and practically remove the need to wear capes in your business. Good news  - as part of the launch of L

'Designing KPIs to Drive Process Performance' now available in paperback

I'm pleased to announce that my popular KPIs book is now available in paperback via Amazon. The book is aimed at Operations Managers and Directors that need to define key performance indicators that will help the business to improve their performance levels. If you need to improve your on time delivery rates, reduce your costs or improve quality levels then this book can help you get you on your way. If done right, your KPIs can help you to react and steer your business in the right direction, not just tell you how bad (or good) things have been! To get your copy of the book please visit: US : UK : Enjoy the read, 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

Most Improvements Don't Happen Instantaneously

Time is a funny thing. As a society we often contemplate it, and some of us (including me!) have written on the topic of managing it as best we can. So, why is it that there are so many improvement, delivery and project plans that seem to ignore the simple maths that lie behind the scheduling of activities?

Get real about your processes… if you really want to improve

Many times when I speak to a business for the first time I have to get past their mask. The mask I am referring to is the perfect business process maps that they cling to. To get into meaningful business improvement activities it is vital that you can get past the process maps that adorn your walls and quality management systems and get into the ‘warts and all’ reality of your business’ activities. This article looks at three areas that can help you jump start your improvement activities when you are mapping out what takes place in your business.

Business Process Re-engineering now available in paperback!

My popular Kindle / iTunes book ' Business Process Re-engineering ' is now available as a paperback. To get hold of your copy please visit your local Amazon site and search for the title of the book. Or, if you are in: the UK - the US - Enjoy the ideas, 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.