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Avoid Intimidating Your Largest Source of Improvement Ideas, Keep it Simple!

Posted by Kade Jansson

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Dec 13, 2017 7:05:00 AM

Successful change in an organization usually does not happen instantaneously when some new groundbreaking idea or process is introduced. Successful change happens incrementally, with many small changes taking place over the course of weeks, months, or even years.

Over the years, KaiNexus has discovered that our most successful customers typically share one common theme. Simplicity. It’s very easy to start a new process with the best of intentions, but as you begin to develop the process, it quickly becomes overly complex. We commonly like to use the phrase, “We’re not trying to boil the ocean overnight.”

At KaiNexus, we are huge supporters of bottom-up improvement efforts and we are firm believers that no one knows how to improve their job better than the person doing it. Soliciting information from your front line and sharing that information with others is vital to a successful lean culture. An employee on your front-line may not fully understand your three and five-year strategic goals, but he does understand that if he makes this small change to his daily process, he could save a couple minutes of time every day which would result in greater productivity.

A simple idea coming in from your front-line could result in something much bigger or may tie very nicely into one of your larger strategic efforts. When appropriate, KaiNexus makes it incredibly simple to convert an idea type into another idea or template type in the system. Allowing you to take a quick or simple idea, and growing it into something much larger or tactical. You also have the ability to easily nest these ideas within larger Project types if it fits in nicely with the initiatives of that Project.

Improvements_and_Projects.pngAn overly complex submission form in KaiNexus may intimidate some users and prevent them from submitting their idea entirely. If an employee is given the opportunity to hop into the system, submit their idea quickly, and be on their way...the likelihood of them submitting that idea largely increases.

These small ideas may not seem substantial on their own, but implementing these small changes leads to increased employee satisfaction while also increasing productivity and morale.

If an employee sees that their ideas are being taken seriously, the likelihood of them continuing to identify and submit new ideas will exponentially increase.

I am a big fan of the simple OI, or Opportunity for Improvement. I like to keep the submission forms of these ideas as simple as a “Title,” “Problem Description” or “Idea,” and an optional “Proposed Solution.”

Your employee submitting the problem statement or idea may not know the solution to the problem or who is going to be responsible for addressing it, but they know they have an idea to better the current process. They also may not know how this idea ties into the larger initiatives at your organization, but that process can always be completed later by the appropriate people after the OI has been captured.

 

 

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