Kaizen, continuous improvement, is about taking small steps. This is one of the most important pillars of lean working. Both the implementation and the process of improvement are equally important.
In an office situation improvement – especially the smaller ones – aren’t visible immediately. This makes it hard to value your work and that can be pretty demotivating. Keep following through, though, because many small improvements give result in the long term as well.
Small effort, high value
Meetings are not for everyone, including myself. Still, meetings are an excellent ‘event’ for improvements. For example: the agenda is usually a boring document. It doesn’t ‘live’ and is large for the main and subtopics. Of course a topic overview is necessary, but it can be made more dynamic.
This is an example of my current agenda: a PowerPoint presentation which projects the topics through a presentation screen or a beamer. All participants receive the presentation on forehand, together with the attachments. Where ever possible, I add the attachments to the presentations, and they are projected in any case.
In the beginning, this takes some more effort, especially because you have to look for suitable pictures, but the effect is huge. The participants (my customers) have no need to print the agenda (after all, it is projected) and the pictures make the agenda lively. Another improvement step – which can be taken immediately – is to create a collection of these pictures which can be added to a presentation.
The effect for as far as I have noticed: a meeting where participants are involved and where the attention is directed towards the meeting. It makes me proud that this way of presenting the agenda has contributed to that. Let’s move on to the next meeting.
The chair(wo)man is my customer as well, so I always check which format is preferred. Not every meeting is fit yet for a more dynamic agenda.