Improve your process

Use the techniques below to find the problem areas in your process and then improve the process by eliminating the problem areas or by reducing their occurrence

5 Whys

Ask why, to get your causes via

5 whys

Brainstorming

Get your team involved do  Brainstorming

ECRS

Eliminate, combine,rearrange , simplify with help of 

ECRS

Problem definition

Do you the know the problem you are trying to solve , see

Problem Definition

Gemba Walk

Go see, observe your process to find issues and best practices , see

Gemba Walk

JFC

Make sure you have cross trained staff and know how many are required at peak , use

Job Flexibility Chart

Flow Chart

Draw up your process and find improvments , use

Flow Charting

5 Whys

5 Whys is one of the most common root cause finding method. When you find a problem in the process, get the folks who know about the subject and do the the work into a room with a board and question away to find the root cause.

More about 5 why, "how to", examples here 

Brainstorming

To improve your process you need to take the team along - Brainstorming is great tool to work with the team. Brainstorming can be used to come up with ideas on the problem areas and then prioritization tools can help you pick the one that you finally work on. 

Brainstorming is a tool that can be used at the start to settle team rules, then for find probable causes and solutions. So to me , its a tool that should be mastered by all trying to do a project 

Its a team oriented method, where the team together creatively thinks and shares freely on the topic

Learn about how to brainstorm, various types and rules here 

ECRS 

This is perhaps one of the lesser known techniques. Expanded as Eliminate, Combine, Rearrange & Simplify

It is one of the lean improvement methods. Idea is to look at the process and ask ECRS questions and then execute to remove / reduce waste.

Find out more about ECRS and suggested questions to ask here 

Problem Definition

To solve a problem or to start a project, with a team, you first need to arrive at an agreement, what is the problem you are trying to solve. 

This in fact is true in our personal lives as well. 

Problem statement helps you write the problem in a manner which ensures all necessary facts are captured. This makes it easy for you to arrive at a consensus on the problem.

Its a statement that conveys the description of the issue at hand in a concise manner

Read on more  - when to use a problem statement, how to write a problem statement and see an example 

Gemba Walk

One of the techniques from lean, which should be done by every leader. Gemba is Japanese for "real place". In Lean we mean this is the place where the work takes place

Lean insists on "go see" and Gemba - so go see where the work happens

Through this technique -- leader should go to the floor to observe and collaborate, to know, improve the processes

How to do Gemba walk 

JFC - Job Flexibility Chart

It is chart or skill matrix - which helps you in several ways, ultimately improving the process. 

A Lean tool, to understand peak staff requirements and ensure availability of trained staff, manage it in a visual manner

How to make a JFC  and see an example here

Flow Chart - Process Mapping

Mapping a process, is perhaps the most visual and easy way to understand and explain your process. 

Once a map is there - immaterial to the level to which it is detailed - it is also easy to compare it against the what happens on the ground and what we thought it is. Also we can use the map to with more details, to find the bottle necks. 

How to make flow charts and how to use them