Business improvement – turning around what isn’t working.

Don’t forget big improvements don’t need big budgets or heaps of time.

In fact it is often the small things that have the biggest impact. And the difference between a hugely successful business and an average business is often the little things.

If you are frustrated with something not working, please don’t ignore it because you feel it is too hard to too big.

It may be…but it may not be. 🙂

This week a client of mine had implemented a whiteboard system for tracking projects. It made the invisible visible – everyone could see where projects were up to and where attention needed to be directed. It worked really well for a few months and made a massive reduction in the number of projects delayed in starting. This was essential to boost revenue each month.

But on my monthly meeting with them this week the board was empty. Shock horror!

The person in charge was finding it was taking time to transfer data from the computer to the board.

This is a red flag. And opportunity. Whenever I see cracks appearing in a ‘system’, i.e. a member of staff not doing something, I know there is a deeper cause. I don’t just blame the person.
In this case it was literally taking way too much time to transfer data from the computer to the board and keep updating the board.

The solution is really simple and they will replace the white board with a very large inexpensive screen on the wall and connect it to the computer spreadsheet.

The first solution, the whiteboard, was a major improvement but it then proved less ideal.
The key I want to highlight in this example is:

– Never stop improving and finding better ways to do things. Especially when staff stop doing something or don’t complete something as they should – rather than blame them, examine the process/system including their understanding of it and their training. Note: some staff can be reluctant to criticise a process the boss has implemented so it can be hard to get honest feedback! And you get inaccurate info about it so do your best to help them feel comfortable being honest.

– If the first solution doesn’t work, don’t be wedded to it, change it or drop it!