Does Your Organization Continue To Have The Same Problems?

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Continuous Improvement, Problem Solving | 0 comments

Continuous improvement is an on-going effort to improve products, services, and processes in an organization.  It is typically conducted incrementally, i.e., making small frequent improvements versus breakthrough improvements where it is done in large steps.  Many organizations use the kaizen approach to making incremental improvements.  Key features of kaizen are:

  • Improvements are based on many, small changes rather than the radical changes
  • Since ideas generally come from the workers themselves, they are less likely to be radically different, and therefore easier to implement
  • Small improvements are less likely to require major capital investment than major process changes
  • The ideas come from the talents of the existing workforce instead of making costly equipment purchases
  • All employees should continually be looking for ways to improve their own performance

Organizations will always experience problems, but if kaizen is working properly and the workforce empowered to make improvements, the problems should be resolved within a reasonable amount of time.  However, my experience has shown that some organizations have the same problems on-going.  I think there are several possible explanations:

  • Employee’s ideas are discounted and not taken seriously — the old style management philosophy where employees are paid to work, not think!
  • Change is difficult for a lot of people, so let’s not rock the boat
  • Failure to document the best method and train everyone properly
  • Failure to communicate the critical process requirements
  • Lack of accountability — it’s not my problem, therefore it’s not anyone’s problem
  • Not sure how to begin or where to start to solve the problem

If your organization continues to have the same problems on-going, take some time to analyze where the real problem lies.  It probably an indication that there’s a more fundamental problem that needs resolved.

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