This post is a quick reminder of the effect that tiny process changes can have on your business’ performance.

Many people are dismissive of tiny changes taking place in their business, but for those of us that embrace the Kaizen approach we know just how powerful these ‘nibbles’ can be at the end of the day.

These changes can go both ways, of course. Here are two recent examples that jump to mind:

  1. The additional of a single digit to improve the appearance of a stock location system disabled over 90% of a recently introduced system – most of the barcodes already located within their inventory system did not have the additional digit.
  2. The installation of a television into a production department allowed the data contained within their production databases to be viewed real time and allowed for more effective decisions to be made quickly, leading to improved on time delivery performance. The data had been in the business for years, but not used as it wasn’t ‘accessible’.

The first example was an oversight. What can the introduction of one number do to the system? It took a great deal of work for the team to rectify the situation (but they did get there!).

The second example was about releasing potential. They already had tools, and data, just not an easy way to use this information when they needed to. They already owned the TV too, they just needed to put the two items together.

Dismissing tiny changes as being inconsequential is a mistake. From the examples above you can see that they can take us a long way away, or towards, our performance improvement objectives.

The challenge I have for you is this:

“How can you embrace tiny process changes this year into your improvement plans?”

Have fun answering the question!


Giles Johnston

Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who consults with businesses to improve their on time delivery performance, ERP system performance and deploy Kaizen / Lean production methods. Giles is also the author of 'What Does Good Look Like?'.