Business Success With Sprints

Home Speeding Up Success Business success is about innovating and reducing problems as quickly as possible.   Traditionally, this has just been a journey with no clear end and no intermediate points where you check progress and reconfirm the direction is still correct. The software industry found this approach led to frequent delays and over-budget problems.  […]

C2.4.2 Optimise100 – Types of Waste

Waste is a term very widely used in the various optimisation methodologies like Lean. There are many types of waste. Take the time to read though the 12Faces material on the sources of Waste and how to record and reduce it. For example, experts usually talk about 8 types of Waste in general and well […]

How to Double Your Personal Productivity in Under Two Weeks

There just never seems to be enough time in the life of a manager to
get all the things queued up in front of you done.

Do you know that feeling?

It doesn’t have to be like that though.

Two simple skills can make you up to 16 times more productive!

Read on to see how you can double your personal productivity in two weeks.

How Kanban Improves Work Flow

Kanbans are a tool for structuring how work flows into the work-in-progress queues so that workers do not get overloaded and can use their time most effectively. Kanbans, and variations on them, are widely used in software projects (e.g. Scrum and Agile) and manufacturing (e.g. Lean and Six Sigma). Blue Belt

LB4: Getting Stuff Done When There is Lots

As a business manager, there is always more to be done than you possibly have time for.  If you want to work reasonable hours and have a life outside the business, you will have to prioritise what you do.  This article describes several techniques that can help you reduce the often seemingly overwhelming number of things you have to do to a more manageable approach.  If you don’t learn to manage the workload, you will find yourself flitting from one task to another and not getting much of importance done. This article is a Yellow Belt tool to help you manage all the “stuff” to do.  

Take Advantage of Agile / Scrum / Kanban to Increase Productivity

In a smaller business there is always plenty to do and many demands on a managers most limited resource; time.  Often the owners time is the major bottleneck on the growth of the business (see the introductory article to Theory of Constraints).  Plenty of other businesses have struggled with prioritising time before you and several techniques that are very similar have evolved.  The three best known of these are named Agile / Scrum / Kanban.  Various references cite improvements in team productivity ranging from 25% to 300% by using these methods. This article introduces these concepts and a way of using a free software app named Trello  to manage the process.  A mix of Yellow and Blue Belt introductory material.

SM4.0 Business Efficiency: Waste Reduction Introduction

Eight Types of Waste

The well-known Toyota car company identified seven types of waste that had an impact on Productivity and Profit.  An eighth has been added more recently.  By gradually reducing these wastes, you can improve the Productivity and Profit of your business.  In Japanese, this is referred to as reducing “muda” (pronounced Moo-da).  This article discusses how these types of waste might show up in your business; and what to do about them.  Waste reduction is an ongoing and probably never ending process.  This article gives lots of examples of waste in each of the categories.   To be most effective, you should tackle the largest waste items first so as to make the largest gains first. Waste reduction is a team effort ideally as those on the front-line probably already know what is wasteful; they are just not empowered and trained to combat waste.

Read this if: you are working on making your business operate more efficiently.

Relates to: 80/20 Rule for finding the biggest issues, Kaizen for incremental improvement, Constraints and bottlenecks.  Our Campaigns; Optimise100 and Grow 365.

Degree of Difficulty: Yellow (entry level) .  The Skills Module on managing waste to improve your Profit is not hard to do but requires perseverance. 

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Why Multitasking is not your Friend

The ability to, and the act of, multitasking is sometimes seen as a good thing. However, it can be clearly demonstrated that multitasking is an inefficient process that can contribute to waste in any business.  Yellow Belt

What Parkinson’s Law Tells Us about Wasted Work

Northcote Parkinson, writing in 1955, semi humorously proposed his ‘law’ that “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion”. This is very true.  Staff will often take as much time as is available to them to work on a project even though that might mean unnecessary embellishments. Even good staff do this because they want to seem to be busy and not slacking off. You have to learn how to judge been useful work and time-filling work. Yellow Belt

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