As we move into a difficult time are first thoughts are for our families and our livelihoods. We are correctly looking at the way we work and taking advantage of all the digital tools available. Others are rightly sharing their  knowledge and experience around the mental health aspects of remote working which is critical for performance. I have blogged about this before and I have been clear about the differences between required complexity and that is not required. Complexity is required in certain services and products, particularly where safety is paramount like the design of an aircraft, complex  chemical process or medical procedure. We have a tendency to add in more than we need particularly into business processes. Humans have a just in case mentality which adds more and creates more clutter partly created by some irrational fears.  This is where a “lean” mindset and some critical thinking can help. Manufacturing companies have been leaning out their processes  through appropriate simplification for forty plus years now, which have made them more agile and effective. This has all been done without necessarily reducing staff  but getting teams to focus on the right things. If we have a lean mindset and an approach to removing waste we will improve. We talk about the 8 Wastes and there is a very simple acronym  D O W N T I M E which can be put simply as areas in a process that generate  unnecessary complexity or waste. I will exemplify this below

D – Defects (Quality issues costing time and money)

O – Over Production ( Making components we don’t actually need to satisfy demand)

W – Waiting Time ( Waiting for materials, components , paperwork or approvals)

N – Not Engaging Our Employees (Teams Solve Problems not Individuals)

T – Transportation ( Moving things from A to B more than we need to)

I – Incorrect Inventory (Too much stock or stock-outs)

M – Motion ( More localised  movement or steps than is absolutely necessary)

E – Excess Processing ( Doing more non core activities than is absolutely necessary)

It is now time for us to asking some critical questions in our business. Can we make it cheaper, lighter faster ? Do we  process more paperwork internally than we need  ?  So one final reflection, when was the last time we looked at the TV remote and asked ourselves the question,  “Have I ever used more than 30% of the buttons ?”

Please reach out to us if you want to know more.

Unnecessary Complexity & Waste – Bin It

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