You may already know that Lean creates value for customers by eliminating waste. But did you also know that Lean can create value in your daily and personal life by helping you to recognize what’s a waste of your time and to help you be more productive?
Leading organizations use Lean as a management system to decrease costs and engage employees. I use Lean to increase my productivity and ask more critical questions throughout my everyday process.
Continually Modify & Document Processes
As a part of a small business we often forget to write down infrequent tasks or small tasks — at least I do. After a recent experience bringing new team members on-board, I am motivated to document tasks even better and to continue improving those processes.
I can do this by revisiting and relearning the process(es) on a monthly or quarterly basis. The time spent on improving these processes will pay off in the future. Smoother handoffs to new team members? Yes, please.
Smoother handoffs to new team members? Yes, please.
Visual Management That Sticks
Bright colored Post-Its and 3M painter’s tape are essentials in my daily life. I use bright colored stickies for day of work tasks (call so and so before lunch) and I use them to enforce household chores.
- Need to vacuum on Sunday? There’s a pink sticky for that!
- Dishwasher is ready to be emptied? There’s a green sticky for that!
- Call mom! Pink sticky with hearts next to my phone charger.
- Send outstanding invoice reminders. This one is stuck right to my computer monitor where the task will need to be performed.
- Send Antonio a graduation card. I won’t forget his one since it’s next to the mailbox key.
Where else can I stick reminders? Please share your ideas below!
5 Whys Analysis for Personal Problem Solving
It’s a given that the 5 Whys analysis can benefit you in your workplace. But what about at home, school or a friend’s house?
How about just plainly asking “Why?” It can reveal the cause pretty quick! Just stop and do it.
I’ve been in disagreements before and have wondered Why can’t you just listen to me and understand I’m right?! OK so maybe that’s not the right type of “Why?” to ask. How about just plainly asking “Why?” It can reveal the cause pretty quick! Just stop and do it. Then ask it again four more times. Here are some initial problems that I’ve used 5 Whys analysis to solve at work and outside of work:
- Why is the Monday marketing process not written down somewhere?
- Why is the customer’s poster order delayed?
- Why was I late to this morning’s meeting?
- Why is my neighbor upset with me?
- Why is my boyfriend upset with the bathroom cleanliness?
Why am I not doing this more? This would bring my stress levels down both with work tasks and relationships. 5 Whys can reveal those “aha” moments and fill in the fishbone pretty quickly… am I right?