Do you believe you can make a difference at work? I’m not talking about reading up on “The Secret" to think positive thoughts so they materialize in your life. It’s about working towards a goal that you accomplish which gets viewed as a successful feat by your peers and management.
After taking a leave of absence from corporate life, I was lucky to land the coolest job ever, teaching problem-solving at a university. I just completed my fourth year and wanted to share some real successes from young professionals who did more than just get a grade and post three-credits towards their master’s degree.
They convinced their colleagues at work that things don’t have to be status quo and that solving a problem which benefits the company will reward them with promotions, recognition, and rewards. Within a three-month timeframe and the help of my recipe for problem-solving, here are their success stories:
Looking at the paper flow for quality notices, this person minimizes the response time from eight days to less than five days. Also decreased the waiting time for approval signatures to less than one day.
A person automated a labor-intensive process to improve the quality of the workplace environment as well as the delivery time for customers. They saved $1.8MM in the first year.
Working with a hardware supplier, this person set out to minimize the duration to submit a purchase request, improve relationship between companies, and reduce hours of rework by 50%.
Redesigned a factory cell to meet the increased demand for more engines. Reduced the scrap materials by 25%, increased the machine utilization >80%, and improved their on-time delivery by 10%.
By simply putting in place a standard and improving the communications between departments, this person improved the process cycle time by 20 hours.
Questioning the benefits for risk mitigation, this person was able to save his company as well as the subsidiary companies a total of $8MM and 95% reduction in risk from process caused defects.
For confidential reasons, I have not placed their names, project titles, or the companies they work for. The important takeaway from this blog is to tackle the problems and communicate the successes that come out from challenges you face at work. They use lean six sigma techniques of problem-solving to change their situation at work. You can also move the needle to make your workplace a better place to work.
The only difference between these professionals and you may be the knowledge of the techniques or the lack of mentorship. If that is the case, go educate yourself! You can always reach out to us on our website as well for help. Remember, you have the choice to be a victim of circumstance or a competent problem-solver who takes action to improve your situation. What will you choose?