End of Summer Checkup



David M. Powe – Lead Consultant AIOPX Management Consulting


Where I live, in upstate New York, signs are all around that Summer is over. Days are shortening, the the school busses are rolling and there are even leaves starting to turn. Summer is over! sunset-beach


If you are running a business or responsible for an operation, now is a good time to take a look at the business goals you set for the year. If everything is on track, relax and keep doing what you’ve been doing to make sure you close the year strong. Maybe you can start looking at ways to raise the bar on your organization next year. But if you have goals that are in jeopardy, it’s not to late to get things back on track



Here are a couple of OpEx tools to help you reach this year’s goals and one to help you prepare for next year:


Hold a Kaizen Event

I regularly encounter managers who resist the OpEx approach to process improvement because it “take too long”. While there are many reasons why this excuse is problematic, the most obvious is that there is no reason that productivity improvements can’t be accomplished in a few days. That’s the idea behind Kaizen events – rapid improvement! Here is a link to a great article on how to plan and run a Kaizen event. Pick one of your goals that you need to get back on track and get started. There is still time to reap the benefits before year end.


Implement Stand-up Meetings

Does a Kaizen event sound too complicated for you to pull off (it really isn’t). Try implementing stand-up meetings. These 10 to 15 minute meetings each day will engage your employees and provide an instant boost in productivity. Be sure to make departmental objectives clear and measurable. And it helps if your processes are well defined. Here is a link to some other excellent tips for running standup meetings.


Start Building or Updating Value Stream Maps   

Next year’s goal setting has to be a tops down process. But wherever you are in the organization, making good decisions about 2016 goals and objectives requires a quantitative understanding of the key processes in your business. Vale Stream Maps are a great way to organize and visualize the areas that are most in need of improvement. If you already have value stream maps, make sure they are updated with any changes that have occurred in 2015. If you don’t have them, now would be a good time to kickoff a value stream mapping effort. They can be a powerful tool when trying to pick critical improvement objectives and setting realistic goals.

Do these things now and you will improve you chances of making this year’s goals and they will set you up to be in better shape at the end of Summer 2016.


David close up2

David has over 30 years of experience and expertise in implementing the philosophies, methodologies and tools of OpEx. If you need help implementing any of these tools or want to learn more, schedule a free consultation