Make Time to Improve

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004).

When We Understand Our Work and We are Given the Ability to Improve It – We Will

– Jim Benson

First, make sure you understand your work. Ask why you do things the way you do. And if you can’t see obvious things to question, question the things you don’t see a need to question.

Many things can be justified, but it isn’t uncommon for them mainly to be the result of history. Processes were often put in place as people were trying to get through the day or week; rarely are they the result of a well thought out choice to find the best possible solution.

Think of how you can experiment to learn more and try out ideas to improve.

image of text - quote by Dr. Deming: "Improvement of Quality and Productivity, to be successful in any company, must be a learning process, year by year, top management leading the whole company."

How will you, or anyone else find the time? That is often difficult. But if you believe in improvement (as W. Edwards Deming did), you must make the time. And if you are responsible for how a part of your organization prioritizes what must be done, you must find a way to make sure time is devoted to improvement.

The choices we make matter. Failure to improve as much as we could is often largely a matter of not devoting time to allow people to improve how the organization works. Of course, how we think about improving and the strategies and tools used are important also. Many posts in our blog provide ideas for what to do to improve, if you make the time to work on continual improvement.

Related: The Principles and Methods for Improvement are the Same in Manufacturing and Service CompaniesUsing Checklists to Reduce Process Variation and Improve ResultsUsing Data to Seek Continual Improvement, Not Just Process Behavior (Monitoring)

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