Thursday, December 08, 2005

Project Kaizen: Rapid Improvements for You!

“My life is a pain. How do I make it better?”

No, this isn’t a lonesome lover’s blog (just in case you were wondering…). Our discussion on Project Kaizen moves today to the individual.

The most significant work on this topic comes from
Norman Bodek, particularly captured in his excellent book subtitled Quick 'n Easy Kaizen. I got this book when it came out a few years ago, applied it, verbatim, and it is superb.

The essence of Norman's work is captured by writing down the completion of two simple and then taking two simple actions:

I currently have a problem with …

I could improve this if I ….

Write it down.

Show it to others.

And this is the kicker. Lots of our folks know how to improve their work, to make it more enjoyable. Yet, writing it down is downright difficult.

So, I humbly present my Top Ten List of Why to Write Small Local Improvements.

1 Writing forces you to think.
2 You capture the problem or at least a part of it.
3 You learn to see more clearly by writing.
4 You help others see your world.
5 You find a practical, incremental improvement.
6 You show that saving 30 seconds a day is a good thing.
7 You build a history of improvement.
8 You can measure your focus on improvement.
9 You learn from the attempts that don’t work.
10 You get involved in your work world, rather than just passively accepting life as it is.
Make it a habit:

1. Make a simple, half-page form with these questions on it.
2. Write two local improvements today.
3. Show both of them to two co-workers. Today.

Read my friends’ comments on this today.
Bill Waddell
Chuck Frey
Hal Macomber
Jon Miller
Mark Graban
Norman Bodek

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