Process improvement project - Improve -

This tool is an Idea Generator and a creative thinker stimulator.  

CATALYST is an acronym, here is a checklist of questions and prompts you can use when generating ideas:

 

C - Combine

  • Can you group or merge things in some way? ...Process steps, service offerings

A - Adapt

  • How can you change things the way this process is used or performed?

  • Can you make some changes to it that enable you to combine some activities or take on some new features?

 

T - Technology

  • Do changes to the technology you use (ERP, SharePoint, O365 etc.) prompt opportunities for change in what is done or how you do it?

  • Things that may not have been possible in the past may be available now, have you investigated?

Lean tools applied to an office environment

S - Substitute 

  • Can you substitute, replace anything?

  • Equipment?

  • Materials?

  • Products?

  • Steps?

 

T - Transpose or Transform

  • Could you reverse or rearrange things?

  • Could you change the sequence of steps in your process?

  • Would the change make it easier to produce your output?

CATALYST

A - Analogy

​You can open up new ideas and view things from a different perspective giving a vision of something positive...

  • Use an image

  • Use a feeling

 

L - Listen and Learn

  • What can you learn from your customers?

  • What can you learn from your employees?

  • What can you learn from your internal customers?

  • Can you use some of this feedback as a trigger for ideas about what is not working well?

 

Y - Yin Yang

Try out Negative Brainstorming to turn negatives into positives.  There is always plenty of negative feedback about what does not work well in a process...

  • Look at opposites

  • Male - Female

  • Top - Bottom

  • Left - Right

  • What if you do the opposite?

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Summary

Take the time after measuring and analyzing to really question the full process.  In a team setting, you will be amazed when asking these questions just how many ideas can be generated.  And write them all down.  An idea which may sound crazy, out of the box, or too complicated to implement to start with may be your breaking point and offer the best improvement opportunity. Give it a go, and don’t skip questioning!

As a Lean consultancy, we are passionate about simplicity and Lean is a mindset that we apply in all our areas of activity. Our reward is when we know that we helped you meeting your business objectives, where both management skills and tools play a key role.