By Jon Miller | Post Date: June 10, 2007 7:43 PM | Comments: 4
10. Delays in approving ideas. Respond within the day to team member ideas whenever possible. The approval may be a "go do it" or to give coaching to ideas that require further thought and development. For complex or large ideas, respond within a week, or encourage the idea generator (person) to break the problem down into several smaller parts.
8. Backlog of suggestions needing approval or implementation. Ironically, asking for quantity over quality will force the identification of smaller problem that are easier to solve. This reduces the backlog as more of them are "just do it" ideas. This increases the skill and confidence of people to go through the problem solving process (thinking) as well as the action itself (experimentation).
7. Less than 99% of ideas implemented. An idea should be nurtured and the idea generator (person) should be coached so that basically every idea is approved. Provide guidelines on what is a good kaizen idea (e.g. small, very specific issues that focus on getting rid of 7 wastes + safety + environmental issues, etc.). Track approval rating visually and have a management team problem solve the gap between current condition and 99% implemented.
6. Inappropriate kaizen suggestions. Once again, clear guidelines for what is a good kaizen idea. Focus on the customer, improve your own work, keep SQDCM and environmental targets from hoshin (management policies) in mind. Process focus, not people issues, are appropriate.
5. Allowing anonymous suggestions. This defeats the purpose of kaizen as a people development tool since you cannot coach the idea generator. Sure, it's ok to allow anonymous suggestions where people feel need to "blow the whistle", but this indicates that the workplace is not safe professionally, emotionally or physically and is not a stable environment for kaizen or Lean. Fix that condition before launching suggestion systems and anonymous suggestions won't be an issue.
2. Lack of promotion and support of the kaizen suggestion program. Promote kaizen in all its forms (not just suggestion systems or kaizen events) in a variety of ways. Take a long-term view of kaizen a people development and communication strategy. Start by encouraging idea generation by teams, and aiming for quantity over quality. Hold periodic "championships" or promotional events based on themes.
1. Lack of timely implementation. You can do all of this well and still not get the ideas put in place quickly enough if resources (time, money, materials, skills) are not sufficient for the number of great ideas your team members are generating. The skill matrix is a great enabler for suggestion systems. Once again, the management should take this on as a jishuken theme and evaluate the gaps in the 4Ms (manpower, material, machine, method) resources to keep suggestions moving smoothly.
And a bonus for reading this far:
Number 0.5 Calling it a suggestion system. It is better to find a unique name that links the suggestion program with your ongoing kaizen, Lean, Six Sigma or other continuous improvement efforts so that it becomes a part of your culture and a part of your management system. The suggestion system is not about suggestions. It is a way to develop the creativity, craft skills and awareness. So find a proper name for it.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.