The Lean Six Sigma wastes, time lost or time invested?
How often do you hear people say « I don’t have time for that »? Even when you offer ways to save them time, they claim they don’t have the time. Eliminating Lean Six Sigma waste is a fast, easy effective solution to their problem.
So why don’t they do it? The real answer is that they either truly do not have the time – or they don’t understand how removing waste works.
I don’t have the time
Time is relative, I understand why you might feel overwhelmed if you are barely meeting or even falling short of your production goals.
After all, our goals are how other people (and ourselves) measure how good we are at our job. but the truth is you do have enough time. It’s just that you are focusing on short-term goals at the expense of the long-term ones.
I go for a walk (almost) every morning. If I were to sprain my angle one day, I could just pop a Tylenol, keep going, and complete my daily routine. But I would have made it harder on myself.
I would walk more slowly and less efficiently, and might even further injure myself. So what is the solution? It’s obvious. It I were to twist my angle, I should stop walking and give myself time to heal and regain my strength.
The same goes for work.
Carve out 15 minutes a week
It is important to develop the habits of regularly setting aside a few minutes to identify waste and remove it. And the waste doesn’t have to be massive, either. The changes add up and will increase your productivity.
Invest 15 minutes a week, at a time when you are the least busy and have the best chance of being left alone to concentrate.. This might be a half hour after your day starts, after a break, or towards the end of the day – it depends on your schedule.
Here are some ways to find that time. Some of them may fit your personality better than others :
- Eliminate or shorten meetings. Ask yourself if that meeting could be an email or phone call instead. If not, one-hour meetings can still usually be shortened to 45 minutes.
- Schedule it. By blocking off time on your calendar, you stand a greater chance of actually doing it.
- Check your email less often. Choose 2 or 3 key times a day to go through your inbox. Keep your replies to no more than 5 sentences.
- Just say no. You don’t have to do everything yourself.
- Delegate. Again, you don’t have to do everything yourself.
Use those 15 minutes to root out and eliminate waste. This will free up another 15 minutes to eliminate even more waste. Repeat the process and encourage your team to follow suit until you have exceeded your production goals.
In my next post, I will show you the impact that removing waste can have on productivity. To get early access to the article, subscribe to our newsletter.
To learn more about the 9 types of Lean Six Sigma wastes, check out our video series.