20 Keys

Implementation of model workplaces

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Implementation of model workplaces is an effective way in which to energise implementation of the 20 Keys system and to bring about quick and visible change. Such a model workplace must satisfy four requirements and these requirements are audited by a team of people which must include an ODI consultant, and if achieved, a certificate of achievement is awarded. To follow is a list of the various requirements: Requirement 1: Points on the Key 1 check-sheet The Key 1 check-sheet is used to determine the score on certification day. Requirement 2: Model desks, worktables and machines Model desks, worktables and […]

20 Keys

This is not an ice-cream factory

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Saw a good example today of the CAPDo cycle in action. Recently I did a 20 Keys progress review at Wispeco Profiles Department. It is quite a large workplace with five 5 extrusion press lines. Richard Muller and his team took the action list and meticulously scrutinised and implemented each action point. Review (Check) today a strong level 3.5, for a safe, efficient working and workflow, well organised and clean workplace. It is really satisfying to walk on the floor and being approached by operators asking what I think of their workplace? A day of happy people (and I am sure […]

20 Keys

There is always a way to innovate

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There is always a way to innovate yet there are many myths surrounding innovations and ideas for operations improvement in organisations. The 6th and last myth in our series of Myths vs Reality is: “An informal approach for getting ideas for improvement works best, with managers promoting big ideas, because small ones aren’t worth the time.” The reality is without a formal process for handling ideas, managers and employees face the challenge of figuring out how to deal with each idea that comes up. A simple and easy to use system for getting, recording, evaluating, supporting, tracking and giving recognition is most […]

20 Keys

Rewards based ideas vs sustainable ideas for improvement

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There are many myths surrounding innovations and ideas for operations improvement in organisations. One of those myths is: The best way in which to encourage ideas is to offer rewards based on the value of such ideas. The reality is that most companies that offer rewards for ideas get into big trouble. A system where a percentage of the value of an idea is given as a reward backfires in all sorts of ways, often with dishonesty and fraud involved. The most effective and sustainable ‘ideas for improvement’ systems offer no rewards for individual ideas. When a rewards-based system is discontinued due to […]

20 Keys

There are many myths surrounding innovations & ideas for operations improvement in organisations

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Operations improvement is a fundamental requirement, and requires continuous effort from any organisation that wishes to succeed in today’s environment of change and challenge. Yet, there are many myths surrounding innovations and ideas for operations improvement in organisations. The fourth myth in our series of Myths vs Reality is: “Creativity training results in more and better ideas from workers.” Reality is, most ideas are simple, common-sense solutions and responses to problems and opportunities that exist in the immediate workplace. Until a company can capture workers’ everyday ideas, creativity training to trigger more ideas can be a pointless and costly exercise. However, here is a warning – do […]

20 Keys

Do you think suggestion boxes are effective?

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Continuous improvement consists of initiatives and innovations to achieve best practices, but there are many myths surrounding operations improvement in organisations. The third myth in our series of Myths vs Reality is: “Suggestion boxes are effective for obtaining ideas for improvement” The reality is, suggestion boxes might be useful if you use it for comments about a new product name, or proposals for a new menu in the canteen, but practical experience indicates that it is not effective at all for generating ideas for operations improvement. I usually make a point of looking in boxes wherever they are used, and find almost 100% of the time […]

20 Keys

Do you think big ideas are where the action is?

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There are many myths surrounding innovations and ideas for operations improvement in organisations. The second myth in our series of Myths vs Reality is: “Big ideas are where the action is” Reality is, if you wait for big ideas only, you will wait for a long time, as they come along rarely, and unpredictably. Also, such ideas are easy targets for competitors, who quickly discover them, and counteract them. The real action lies with small ideas about quality, cost effectiveness, delivery, service and safety improvements, in and between functions in the organisation. Not only are there abundant opportunities for such ideas, they are proprietary, and they […]

20 Keys

Myth or reality? Managers are in the best position to come up with ideas…

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There are many myths surrounding innovations and ideas for operations improvement in organisations. One of these myths is: Managers are in the best position to come up with ideas The reality is, employees are in the best position to come up with ideas for operations improvement because they are the ones actually doing the day-to-day work. They know first-hand what is working and what is not, and they see all kinds of ways in which to improve performance, from simple, common-sense ideas for saving time and money, improving quality and safety to entirely new ways of doing operations. We need to strengthen the […]

20 Keys

A well-tended environment powers workflow

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A new facility can quickly deteriorate if the “broken windows” are not addressed. “Broken windows theory” is the concept that each problem that goes unattended in a given environment affects people’s attitude toward that environment and leads to more problems. When an environment is well-tended and problems dealt with as they arise, that also affects attitudes and leads to continued good management and maintenance.   Alida Labuschagne, Manageress of the Powder Coating plant at Wispeco Aluminium, Alrode, and her team didn’t make that mistake but implemented Key 1 of the 20 Keys System, from day 1 – keeping the “broken windows theory” […]

Kaizen of Operations

The Kaizen approach could be used anywhere…

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According to Wikipedia, Kaizen (改善), is the Japanese word for “improvement”. In business, Kaizen refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. It also applies to processes, such as purchasing and logistics, that cross organizational boundaries into the supply chain.[1] It has been applied in healthcare,[2] psychotherapy,[3] life-coaching, government, banking, and other industries.   The Kaizen approach is based on the belief that continuous improvement adds up to substantial change over time. When teams or groups implement Kaizen, they avoid the mistakes that often go hand-in-hand with major innovation. Very appropriately the Japanese word Kaizen means “good change.” While Kaizen is typically applied to […]