Learn to Work Smarter, Not Harder!

Posted by on Jun 5, 2013 in Continuous Improvement, Efficiency, Lean, Process Improvement | 0 comments

Many employees go to work each day frustrated because of all the non-value-added activities that occur in their work day.  Good, accurate information is hard to get, answering all the emails that come each day, interruptions that occur, and unproductive meetings are just some examples of the daily activities that cause anxiety and frustration.  On top of all this, no one seems to care and the days drag on and frustration builds.  In today’s environment everyone is busy, but there is little consistency and a lot of waste occurs in most organization’s processes.

So, what does working smarter mean?  What could an employee do to work smarter and create joy and happiness in their jobs?  It all begins with making processes more consistent by reducing variation and identifying and eliminating waste, or non-value-added activities that occur everyday.  Inconsistency, or process variation, is caused by what is known as the 6Ms, i.e., Man, Machine, Material, Method, Measurement, and Mother Nature.  These are the variables that create havoc in organizations.  For example, lack of a method causes all kinds of variation because everyone will do something in a slightly different way.

Identifying and eliminating waste begins with understanding the 7 categories of waste and how they affect every process.  The 7 forms of waste are:  Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Over-production, Over-processing, and Defects.  They affect every product and service both in manufacturing and administration processes.

Many of you are probably thinking you don’t have time to understand the 6Ms and 7 forms of waste!  But I can attest that in just a couple of weeks an organization can make substantial differences in how they work and become more effective and productive.  All it takes is to realize that there is a better way to work smarter!

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