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Improvement - the 7I's of Kaisen - Interrogate & Investigate




The champagne glasses have been clinked and the new year has been toasted in and off we headed back to work. The fireworks to launch 2024 on New Year’s Eve have fizzled and now it is time to start the new year. New Year often brings in the reflection of a fresh start and what will I aim for or improve in 2024. In this series of blogs we have been looking at the improvement principle of the seven I’s of Kaisen and how we help engage people in collaborate and continuous improvement

  • Involve employees

  • Identify Problems

  • Invent a solution

  • Interrogate (test) the solution

  • Investigate the results

  • Implement (standardise & adopt)

  • Iterate (Repeat the cycle)

 

We have seen how we involve employees in a change, work with them to identify the real change that is needed and invent a solution. Often people then zoom into implementing a solution across the organisation. Often resulting in problems and hassle. All because they miss the next two steps:

a) Interrogate the solution and b) Investigate the results

 

Interrogate the solution

I quite enjoy my current car but when I come to the point of needing a new car, I would have to test any new car against certain criteria such as whether the boot can fit the training kit I carry to training and whether it has the comfort in the seat I need. The test drive is crucial. The same is needed for our solutions to improve something. We need to test out and interrogate whether the solution that we have will work.

 

Creating a working party to test the solution can be a great way of doing this. When forming the test group, it is important to not just choose the positive yes people. Pick some who are slightly cynical as they will find the problems and you can then work on ironing these out before rolling it out to the whole organisation. You will also then have someone to testify, ‘I thought it would not work but I have found it to be great now’.

 

Investigate the results

When you run the trial, look at the results. What has worked well? What has not worked quite so well? Check if there are any things that may have affected the results positively or negatively that you need to take account of.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is needed?

  • Where is this solution meeting this?

  • How effective is it?

  • What else is needed or needs to change?

 

Involving those working on this is crucial as their first-hand experience is key to understanding how well this worked.

Don’t be afraid of running further trials and delaying a start.

 

Personal Progress

This same principle of interrogate and investigate can also be used for our personal improvements. We can test out something and see if it is working. If you want to get fitter, you can try a gym class and investigate how it felt afterwards without signing up for the whole term and direct debits. If it is a diet you could try it for a week and see how it feels in that time.

 

Next steps

If you have a potential solution, then explore how this can be trialled. Who could you ask to trial it? Who are those who can give you frank feedback and find the faults so you can rectify it before launching it with everyone? It could just save a lot of heartache and get it right for that big launch.

 

 

 

If you would like help to improve things, contact us at Everyday Leader. We can empower you to gain clarity with some simple questions to help you understand and manage it better. Give us a call at 01449 710438 or email colin@everydayleader.co.uk if you would like us to help you explore this and empower you.

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