Continuous Improvement: Prevent frustrations related to the S curve

When implementing some solutions, like in continuous improvement, project managers better take care about the frustrations related to the S curve. The “S curve” is the shape of the performance curve over time. It describes a latency (t1) before the performance p1 takes off after the improvements have been implemented, then a more or less … Continue reading Continuous Improvement: Prevent frustrations related to the S curve

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Stuck with continuous improvement?

This post is a kind of post scriptum to “Improving  50% is easy, improving 5% is difficult” in which I described 3 stages of improvement and ended stuck with continuous improvement as the Return On Investment (ROI) in C stage was not worth going on. Now assume it is not possible to radically change the … Continue reading Stuck with continuous improvement?

What is Kaikaku?

Kaikaku is one of these Japanese words which found their way into the Lean lingo. Kaikaku is usually translated into “radical change” or breakthrough. my tiny Japanese dictionary proposes “reform”, “renovation” and “reorganization”. "Doing" kaikaku means introducing a major change in a process in order to drastically improve it (quantum leap). Kaikaku is therefore “opposed” … Continue reading What is Kaikaku?

Improving  50% is easy, improving 5% is difficult

It is with this enigmatic sentence that one of my Japanese mentors introduced the growing difficulty with continuous improvement. What it means is that at the beginning of an improvement program or when starting in a new area, the first and usually the easiest actions bring big improvement, hence the “easy” 50%. This is also … Continue reading Improving  50% is easy, improving 5% is difficult

Continuous improvement: how easily focus is lost

In an industrial environment improvement opportunities are literally infinite, especially if nothing has been done so far about improvement and maturity, about industrial best practices and considering methodologies like Lean, Theory of Constraints (ToC) or Six Sigma was nearly nonexistent. When starting to improve, it happens quite often: committed people get lost and lose focus. … Continue reading Continuous improvement: how easily focus is lost