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By Dr. Harry Tennant

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Where to look for opportunities to improve


  • Students often say they would like to sleep on their books and learn by osmosis. But alas, learning requires attention. The same holds true for improvement. It isn't likely to just happen. You need to give it attention and make it happen.
  • Have you just had a frustrating experience? Can't wait to forget about it? Bad idea. Instead, think about it. What made it frustrating? How could it go better next time? How will you be prepared to make it go better next time?

Monitoring: Automatic Reflection

  • If you keep track of key measurements, reflection becomes nearly automatic. As the run chart of your measurements show your performance start to fall, the question why? naturally enters your mind.
  • If you see your performance improving, it is just as important to ask why? and build upon your success.

Eliminate Waste

  • Sort tools and materials keeping essential items close at hand and rarely used items accessible. Get rid of what you no longer need. Got a minute? Look around for how you can make your physical or online space more convenient.
  • Shine: make your area clean and keep it that way. Got a minute? Is your PC file system a mess? Make it a little better.
  • Set in order: make your area and processes orderly avoiding the waste of time looking for things. Got a minute? Put something in order. 
  • Standardize: You can prevent wasting time, materials, effort and mental effort through standardization. Got a minute? Do you have a good set of templates, snippets and macros that you reuse? A little up-front time can save a lot of wasted time later.
  • Sustain: after making improvements and eliminating waste, revisit the issues to make sure you keep it going. Got a minute? The crud comes back. Keep after it.

Posted at 12:00 AM Keywords: continuous improvement 0 Comments

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