The following pages cover productivity improvement within individual organisations

They concentrate on what managers at organisation, process or task level should do if they are to manage their teams’ productivity levels well

Productivity improvement process

The following five-stage process enables any manager at any level in any sector to continually improve his team’s productivity levels, whatever its size   The first stage is strategic, determined by senior management – the other four are tactical viz: A corporate plan – – to clearly define long term goals and broad initiatives, and ensure all …

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Corporate plans

A good corporate plan should set out where an organisation aims to be in say five years time and, broadly, how it is to meet those goals   It should define the organisation’s business model  by explaining its choices of products, services and markets, and how it will make money, grow the business and meet demand   …

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Cardinal measures

If you want to manage productivity well, you first need to measure it well and let your team know how you’re measuring it   Every organisation, whatever its size, has plenty happening by the hour, week or year – customers seen, calls taken, transactions made, incidents attended, press releases written, widgets produced – so which …

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Analyses of scope

When the actual value of a cardinal is so far off target that alarm bells ring, a fast and comprehensive process is needed whereby the manager of the unit involved can establish the most likely causes of the problem, where best to act and how The analysis is a diagnostic process, essential because there may …

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Special improvement projects

There are several acronyms on offer, each offering much the same steps, including: DMAIC from Six Sigma PDCA from Dr Edwards Deming SREDIM from R. M. Currie and Work Study  

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Continuous improvement

So far, productivity improvement has been prompted by cardinal alarm bells ringing   However, managers should not wait for this to happen – they should be forever looking for different ways to improve   ‘Kaizen’ is the Japanese word for continuous improvement (CI) – kai is change, zen is good – it’s the Japanese way …

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Tools available

There are many different improvement approaches and tools on offer – they are usually designed to improve just one of the set of cardinals and are certainly not appropriate for them all Some are more effective than others however The following selection are thumb-nail sketches of the more popular approaches in use Opinions on their …

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