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?
A - Analogy
Use an image
Use a feeling
You can open up new ideas and view things from a different perspective giving a vision of something positive
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
Look at opposites
Male - Female
Top - Bottom
Left - Right
What if you do the opposite?
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
S - Substitute
Can you substitute, replace anything?
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?
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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!