Suggestion boxes are one of those seemingly good ideas that can easily backfire. When we are studying a process area we create a big wall map which is a visual presentation of how the process works. It makes it easy for employees to see how and where their part of the process fits into the whole.
World-class, or best-in-class, are terms that organizations like to use to either describe themselves or to use as a benchmark comparison. These terms are often used as some kind of blanket description.
Contrarians have an innate desire to be skeptical, take opposing viewpoints, and want to do things differently. Although it can be slightly irritating for others in a social setting, it’s very helpful when you are looking for opportunities in a business.
Whenever we see overtime over 5% an analytical red flag goes up and we start to suspect that there may be too much cost built into the process. Many organizations use overtime to offset peak volume periods.
A consultant spent three hours watching a production line trying to find opportunity. It was a simple quality inspection area where the product flowed in a continuous stream past a number of trained inspectors.
In many operations, back up assignments can be a useful means to even out daily workflow. By providing a “ready backlog” of work that can be pulled if the main task is delayed for whatever reason, a manager can help optimize the productivity of an area.