At Process Improvement japan, we believe that lean office management is about thinking differently and challenging the status quo within your organization.
Here we discuss the dangers of the fixed number assumptions that offices often have and two great tools for office process improvement: Office Kaizen and the 5s Office System.
A lean office saves money and minimizes the risk of costly errors.
From the diary of Koji Suzuki...
Many people have a deeply rooted concept about fixed numbers. For instance:
1. A department has consisted of 10 people. If one person quits or is transferred, many people believe a substitute for the person is required.
2. If job volume has been increasing and 5 people took care of every job in the past. The increased volume requires 2 more people.
Sometimes, these assumptions are correct, but I believe that 80% of these requests are based on the concept of the `fixed number assumption.`
In the production area there are many indicators that show productivity. Unfortunately, we don`t have any effective ones that can measure office productivity. It is said that production can be easily shown by data and actual numbers, but office work cannot be qualified because of its diversity. I don`t think that is true. We need to make our best effort to establish the measurement and create a lean office.
Try to measure your productivity by the following formula:
Current Sales Amount ÷ Number of People
Current Sales Amount + Awarded New Business÷ Number of People
One of the starting points of lean management and kaizen is denying the concept of the `the fixed number` assumption. Please don`t confuse our office job with a baseball team that is required by the rules to have a fixed number.
Overheard in the office:
"Recently a co-worker left our office. we were pushed to do more. At first I was worried and felt pressure. But after my co-workers and I discussed our plan and became more efficient, we found it an empowering experience. It was really gratifying to get all the tasks done."
I.S Division Staff Member, Japan
A standardized office kaizen system will make your organization:
Not to mention, it`s a great employee engagement strategy.
For more information on office kaizen, click here.
Lean 5s is not just a manufacturing process improvement tool - it is essential, yet often neglected in the office.
"The amount of waste in an office is ridiculous." Says Angela Corriero, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Process Improvement Japan, "Challenge yourself, your team and your organization to think better. There are always wasted resources, wasted time and wasted motion. Get rid of all of this and you`d be surprised how efficiency goes up, costs go down and employee engagement is enhanced."