Can't Get No Satisfaction?


Are You Satisfied With Your Continuous Improvement Program?

Mick Jagger once sang, “I can’t get no satisfaction”.  Are you humming that song to yourself as you review the 2014 results of your Continuous Improvement Program? 

If so, why do you feel this way?

Is there a lack of progress to goals?

Is morale suffering as a result of instituting lean practices?

Are you not seeing the bottom line results from your efforts?

January is a time for reflection on the successes of the previous year, and a look at where we fell short.  If your Continuous Improvement (CI) program is in the latter category, here are some ways to re-energize your program in 2015 so that you can sing the “Happy” song instead of that old Rolling Stones tune when you do your next program review.

Focus on the goals

To measure the success of your CI program, you need to set goals and monitor progress to those goals.  However, recognition of those goals can go to the wayside in the midst of the daily fires that we all must put out. 

As 2015 begins, gather your team and review your CI program goals.  Are they still realistic, or do they need to be updated based on improvements made?  Create a steering committee that will review the goals and progress to them on a monthly basis and help address roadblocks to progress as they are encountered.  Create a communication plan to ensure that goals and progress to the goals are communicated to all employees in a clear and concise manner.

Ensure that all employees are trained on Lean Manufacturing concepts

Knowledge is power.  But, lack of knowledge can be extremely detrimental to progress on lean efforts. If employees are not educated on the concepts of lean, but then are asked to participate on CI teams, aren’t they at a disadvantage compared to the educated team members?  Their ideas won’t be informed by accurate information, which will limit their ability to contribute to the team.  In addition, employees become frustrated and morale suffers if some get training and others are not deemed “worthy” to receive the same instruction. 

Versatech offers an 8 hour Lean Manufacturing Overview with Simulation course that teaches the Lean Manufacturing concepts to attendees in a fun, interactive manner.  Best of all, the investment for this training is only $375 per person (or less if grant funding can be applied to the cost of training).  This is a very small price to pay to ensure that you see the maximum results from your CI teams and to maintain morale.

Get an outside perspective from a qualified source

Sometimes we all get so mired in the day-to-day operations of our facilities that we end up with tunnel vision when it comes to making changes.  In my position as Business Development Manager, I get the privilege of visiting many companies and getting their honest feedback on this very situation.  Leaders are frustrated that there are no new or creative ideas.

One piece of advice I pass on to these frustrated leaders is that sometimes it just takes a new look at a process to get new ideas and re-energize your program.  Versatech Lean Consultants have provided this very “outside set of eyes” for a number of customers.  And, the satisfaction ratings for this type of work (and for the Lean Training Course mentioned above) show that our clients are very satisfied with their investment in our expertise.  Based on an ongoing analysis of the satisfaction surveys clients fill out at the end of each Versatech Lean event, on average, Versatech instructors receive a 4.9 rating on a 5.0 scale on the quality of their delivery and the overall satisfaction rating for our service offerings is a 4.8 on a 5.0 scale. 

Are you getting the same satisfaction levels with your program?  If not, consider a consultation with a Versatech Lean Consultant to see if we can help you “look outside your box” and see transformational results from your efforts! 

If you are interested in a deeper discussion about any of the topics above, or in scheduling a consultation with a Versatech Lean Consultant, please contact me at 618-977-8570 or by email at

Now, let’s all sing and clap together as we step into 2015…

“Because I’m happy…happy…happy…happy”