Reverse Delay
Your Projects

Does your business feel slow and unresponsive? Perhaps it’s time to reverse delay….

If you’re familiar with the concept of the 7 wastes you might recognize the waste of ‘delays’ in the title. For many businesses, delays significantly affect their speed and flexibility.  By reversing these delays you immediately start to improve your business’ performance. This short article offers some starting points for your own journey and explains how the PDCA Complete application can assist you with capitalizing on these changes.

Change the Handovers in the Business

Many delays are invisible within a business. We make them invisible because we don't watch many of the delays that we face. On the other hand, If you personally get stuck waiting for something to happen in your organization then you become acutely aware of that delay. You must remain in a holding position until the delayed task occurs.

So, where do I find a lot of significant delays? At the handovers between the steps in a process. One department hands over to another department and then the product (or data) sits in a queue.

When studied, we find these invisible queues everywhere.  Yet too often we cannot see or appreciate a huge jump in performance that they offer until we removed them.

Slicken up the handover, reverse delay, and manage the queues if you want to eradicate these kinds of delays.

PDCA Complete is an organizational task management system with built-in continuous improvement tools. Includes projects, meetings, audits and more.

Built by Quality Assurance Solutions.

PDCA Complete

Are Your Meetings Frequent Enough?

Another potent source of delays is decision making, often via meetings. Waiting for a decision to be made can cause lead times to bloat and perceived responsiveness to (internal and external) clients to drop.

To reverse delay, simply increase the frequency of the meetings (or at least the decision making portion of the agenda). Or make sure someone has the authority and responsibility to make decisions in between meetings.

I like meetings, if they’re effective and short. In my experience, having a shorter meeting, but more frequent provides a better effect on the business when compared to longer infrequent ones. Making decisions quickly (with the right supporting data) more often results in making better decisions and normal business activity becomes more efficient.

If you recognize this kind of problem then I recommend that you review your regular meetings and determine if anything could get delayed due to their frequency. If the answer is ‘yes’ then consider upping the frequency of these meetings, make them shorter and reverse delay.

Flush the Support Team’s Queues

The third source of delays form around supporting business services.  These services within your business work on project activities rather than the order fulfillment business processes. This might be the HR team with their queue of requests for training, the maintenance department with a queue of maintenance tickets, or the design department with their queue of design modifications.

Reviewing, prioritizing and managing these project delays can significantly reverse delay. By identifying the types of queue present in these functions and reviewing the effectiveness of the capturing, managing and flushing of these queues you can often find improvements quite quickly that can have an almost immediate impact on the business.

PDCA Complete is an organizational task management system with built-in continuous improvement tools. Includes projects, meetings, audits and more.

Built by Quality Assurance Solutions.

PDCA Complete

Reverse Delay...From Three Weeks to One Day

I recall working with a client that had a very poor method for launching production orders into their factory. The factory often delivered late, despite having a four week lead time to deliver against.

From some quick analysis it transpired that the pre-production process took up to three weeks, leaving one week for production. By converting the analysis into an action plan the three weeks was dropped to just under one day – significantly improving the on time delivery performance of the business. We successfully reverse delay.

Simple Analysis Tools

If you wondering how we carried out this analysis, please let me introduce you to the PDCA Complete software tool. QAS designed PDCA Complete to take out the hassle of identifying and managing continuous improvement opportunities. Its built in tools allow you to reverse delay with its built in templates and then allow you to record and convert your observations into practical actions.

PDCA Complete includes a powerful action management module that allows you to optimize the improvement plans so that your teams work on the most effective actions at any one point in time. For the above task, we enacted the Process Analysis tool and the Concern-Cause-Countermeasure tool. We converted both into actions and managed these with the prioritization tool ‘BCS’. BCS stands for Benefit, Cost and Speed and allows you to quickly evaluate an action and then prioritize accordingly.

Should you find yourself strapped for time, but need to identify and manage process improvement projects then check out PDCA Complete and what it can do for you and your business.

But, in the meantime, review the three main points above and see if you can find any reverse delay improvements sitting right in front of you. With just a little bit of review and analysis you could be eliminating delays from your business and transforming the business’ performance in a  very short period of time.

Article written by Giles Johnston of Smartspeed Consulting Limited for Quality Assurance Solutions. Article edited and posted by Quality Assurance Solutions

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