The importance of observing
Observation of processes is one the important steps in the continuous improvement journey. It’s a simple method, and you have to devote the time, effort and ask questions the whole time. The more you observe, and ask upfront the better you will understand the current process, this will give you a huge advantage when you have to map out the process.
Always include the customer of the process in the before, during and executing steps – this will engage the customer and the success rate will also increase when implementing the new process.
Even though I work in the electronics industry I like to network or get inspired by other industries, this always gives me new ideas how to tackle a problem and find a solution. Look around in your daily life and start observing the invisible details, David Brunt wrote an article about Learning to See LEAN right in front of you, here he describes how he has been watching coffee shops, ice cream shop serving their customers and how ‘good retail is about detail’. I will recommend you take at your own business and put yourself in the customer ‘shoes’, this will give you a whole new understanding of your company’s service no matter if is a coffee shop, marketing consulting company or an electronics manufacturer.
A daily life example is National car rental, they have enhanced the rental car experience by simplifying the process by putting the customer in charge of the decisions which leaves the customer with a feeling of freedom – read more here.