As we wrote about before, we always ask a few questions of the attendees of our monthly webinars, so that we can get a feel for what they're working on, the challenges they're facing, and how we can improve our software and services.
Some of the attendees at a recent webinar shared with us that their most pressing continuous improvement roadblocks include:
‘Lack of time”
“Extreme scarcity of all resources”
“Resistance from leaders and front line staff”
In my experience, people want improvement. They want things to be better. But, they might naturally (and understandably) resist ideas that are being forced on them by others. That’s why we have to engage everybody and solicit ideas broadly. Presenting Lean as a way for people to improve their jobs and their organization gives them the opportunity to voluntarily get involved in improvement, and decreases the resistance often found when orders are issued from above.
“Making people buy in the improvement process and change management”
“We have over 100 ideas from employees, but no one has the time to implement and most of the ideas are quick fixes.”
Quick fixes are a problem if people are just fixing symptoms rather than fixing underlying root causes of problems. Giving people a little guidance in this area will go a long way toward getting the ball rolling with improvement, and helping people get better at solving root causes. However, If the complaint is just that people are identifying small improvements, that's ok! Small improvements add up to make a big difference, and with a good culture of continuous improvement, we can build up their confidence to where they are more willing (and able) to take on bigger challenges.