Last week a news item caught my attention. I went on to read it and found to be very interesting. This news was about employees hitting the reply to all button of their emails and eventually sending that to thousands of people on the list. According to the news this has created very high system loads and plenty of embarrassment. I have given the link at the bottom of this page so that you can refer to the exact news item after complete reading this article.
Suddenly I remembered the series of posts I published describing the possibility of using lean manufacturing concepts in the context of communication
. I think you will have to go through this series again and refresh yourselves so that you will never do these kinds of communication mistakes. We do live in an overly communicated world. In simple words it is too much of communication to add little or no value. If something doesn’t add value to the customer it is a waste. So it is very important for us to be lean in our communication.
Incidentally I found another interesting article on Mark’s leanblog on with the title 5S for email. I think this might give you some interesting ideas as well.
BTW I think this article is interesting, so you can hit the Forward button and send to your friends.
I have been writing about the possibility of applying principles and concepts of lean manufacturing in the field of communication. In fact it is very necessary to streamline the process of communication in lean efforts.
Information is the key in today’s competitive world. It can lead to disasters if not handled correct. Therefore it is very important to make sure that information we send and receive is correct and also the interpretation is correct. As we discussed in our earlier posts on this subject, information can go wrong due to problems in the system itself. Overloading, data accumulation, longer channel lengths are among them. Wrong or erroneous information is the equivalent of defects in lean explanation of waste.
Wrong information, delays and misinterpretation of information can lead to disasters. With the increased freedom and lower costs of communication methods it is very easy to communicate. But for me the effectiveness of communication has gone down in today’s world. Over communicating, that is endless emails and phone calls and chats are wasting our valuable time. This also leads to problems in communication.
This again shows us the importance of a prime lean concept. We should start from identifying the requirements and using tools to achieve those goals. No tool will solve your problem unless you have understood the concepts and requirements correct.
With this we end the series of posts on lean communication. Visit our archives to find earlier posts on the same subject. It is time to map your communication channels and find out the effectiveness of communication in your organization. Find out your wastes and eliminate them continuously. You will be happy after sometime when you have to answer very little amount of phone calls and reply only few important emails. Won’t it be a good reward for your efforts?
We have been talking about the possibility of using lean manufacturing concepts to improve your communication process. We have already talked about two wastes occur in traditional communication channel, which are overloading
. Today we will concentrate on the third. This is the long length of the communication channel. This is the equivalent of the higher transportation in lean manufacturing.
In most of the organizations one piece of information will be passed through many people without any processing of information. For an example a manager to his assistant and from the assistant to the clerk who is actually use this information in his work.
Every additional point in the communication channel adds unnecessary delays and creates the possibility of making errors. People don’t understand the fact that large amounts of information is passed through them because this is done mainly electronically. But this adds up to the lead time of the manufacturing since in every moment that information is waiting for the processing is adding up to the lead time. This also wastes people’s time since they have to process unnecessary information.
You will find this problem of information flow within your organization. You will also find problems like this between your organization and customers and suppliers. Think with lean manufacturing cap on. Draw a communication diagram and map your information channels. Find out unnecessary mid points and get read of them. Make your communication channels short and focused.