Stopping Work Complications

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“Nothing is more frightening than ignorance in action.”
- Goethe

Many organizations have embarked on process improvement projects to eliminate waste and increase efficiency. However, cleaning up processes is only phase one of the battle; keeping them clean is the next phase and the biggest challenge! Over time, the new and improved processes can become as clunky and complicated as they ever were.

How does this happen?  We should expect just the opposite. The more we use processes the more streamlined we should make them. Our work should become easier, not more complicated! The culprits for this complexity? - Band-aid solutions and bad decisions.

Unknown causes

First, failing to investigate and correct the actual cause of a problem seems to be the norm rather than the exception. Problems are attacked with temporary fixes and “work arounds” without first finding the true cause of the problem, a “solution” is inflicted onto the situation and then, through inattention and neglect, it becomes a permanent part of the process (i.e. a work complication.) The perception is that proper problem analysis takes too long. That’s simply not true anymore.

What people need are up-to-date problem solving methods that match the tool to the problem, quickly and accurately determining the true causes of problems. The methods must be quick so people will use them instead of temporary fixes. When the true causes of problems are known proper corrective actions are taken as a matter of course. In this way, over time, a series of corrective “adjustments” fine tunes a process optimizing efficiency and utility.

Poor quality decisions

Many decisions are narrow and short sighted. When any unit makes a decision that fails to fully consider the needs of its “customers” and “suppliers” the organization suffers and another aspect of internal functioning gets incrementally more complicated and inefficient. What is needed are

decision making methods (and procedures) that support the identification of clearly specified objectives which are derived from a clear statement of purpose.  A proper decision making methodology should consider the effects of the decision on everyone downstream.

How to stop work complications

If perfecting your company’s human and technological systems is essential to long term survival, then reliable problem solving and decision-making tools are essential. Make “do it right the first time” apply to how everyone solves problems and makes decisions. This will stop work complication at the source.

“The biggest gumption trap is inadequate tools.”
-Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
- Robert Pirsig

Summary

If you want to keep your processes fresh, with that smooth streamlined flow they had immediately after your last “process improvement” effort, please contact us. We are happy to demonstrate how to maintain smoothly running, unfettered processes by getting to the root causes of problems and developing optimal solutions. BPI methods match the right tool to the problem-solving job. Up to 80% of everyday problems call for BPI’s Systematic Problem Solving approach and the rest are teed-up for alternative approaches. Give your teams the gift of complete and streamlined thinking tools. Learn how to “shift problem solving gears” exactly when needed.

Stopping Work Complications

Business Processes Inc. * R & D * P.O. Box 1456 * La Jolla, CA 92038
www.critical-thinking.com

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