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Making more of that 30 per cent

THERE’S a scary figure bandied around that about 30 per cent of the time spent by a work group or team is wasted. That is, 30 per cent of the time is spent in non-productive activities or engaged in re-work related to avoidable errors or sloppy standards. Now, you will never get to 100 per cent of the time spent only on productive activities because some of the time is spent on work socialising and relationship building activities. And they are very important. So, while there is no way your work group or team wastes 30 per cent of their time, just how well are you reducing waste, re-work and errors? Review this checklist and answer the questions: what needs to happen? What could we do better? • Things we do which appear to be a waste of time are identified and explored. • We identify (without blame or consequences) where most errors and re-work occur in the processing of work. • The consequences of waste and errors for our area and for our customers (internal and/or external) are fully understood. • The causes of waste, re-work and errors are explored. • We explore ways to reduce wasteful activities, re-work and errors. • We provide additional coaching or training to those people who need help to eliminate errors in their work. • We rectify any faulty equipment or processes that may cause waste, re-work and errors. • We change systems or procedures that need changing to reduce waste or errors. • We ask other areas what they think we do that appears to be a waste of time. • We discuss with other areas things that we do that causes them to waste time or redo work. • We discuss with other areas the things they do which waste our time or cause errors. • We discuss with other areas ways to eliminate or modify actions that waste our time. • We identify, define and document key systems and standard procedures and check that all team members are capable of and are following them. • We all suggest new, different and better ways to perform our work to reduce waste, re-work or errors. • Actions to reduce waste, re-work or errors are implemented and followed through. • We check that all team members comply with standard procedures. • Performance standards are agreed for all key things we do. • We check regularly that all team members are meeting performance standards. • We acknowledge the efforts of those who act to reduce waste, re-work or errors. • Management does what needs doing to help reduce waste, re-work or errors. Daniel Kehoe

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