Lean and quality improvement are an excellent way to drive operational excellence across your organisation, empower staff in process improvement and drive customer satisfaction.
The thought of quality improvement can be daunting as you’re ‘really busy’, and ‘it’s just not the right time to be thinking about an improvement project’.
You can become a Lean, mean, quality improvement machine. Answering the following questions will help to overcome concerns, formulate an initial improvement strategy and to increase confidence that you are doing the right thing;
1. Where do I start – there’s so much that needs fixing?
Top Tip: Get some meaningful and timely performance data, analyse it and look for the 80/20 Pareto rule that will give you insight into where you will get the biggest bang for your buck. Be careful of paralysis by over-analysis.
2. What do I do – there are so many tools?
Top Tip: A SIPOC (supplier, input, process, output, customer) map will help to give a high-level view of your current state. Follow this up with a Value Stream Map to add the next level of detail. These tools will give you a real detailed view of current process efficiency and effectiveness. Follow this up with problem solving to ‘fix’ your pain-points
3. How do I do it – reading about Lean and doing Lean can be two very different things?
Top Tip: Follow the PDCA (plan, do, check, act) framework. This will give you a structured approach to your improvement activities
4. How do I engage and empower my workforce in the change process?
Top Tip: Communicate, communicate and communicate more. Pro-actively answer the question of why we need this project?
What has been your experience, has it been positive and if it wasn’t what made it so difficult? If you’ve liked what you’ve read please do share this article with your network?
This article was originally posted for the Greater Manchester Chambers of Commerce.
About Exceed Excellence
Exceed Excellence are process experts that get things done. We know you are busy and that your time and improvement resources are finite. That’s why we take a very pragmatic and practical approach to everything that we do. Working with you, we ensure that you achieve sustainable change and realise required benefits.
With hands-on multi-sector experience, our expertise lies in consultancy, Lean Six Sigma, coaching, facilitating process improvement projects and delivering training and master-classes.