Improving Processes & Services

Structured Problem Solving

Identifying Improvement Projects

This brief was designed to help a family group (people who normally work together) to use a simple brainstorming technique to identify possible improvement projects that they could carry out in their workgroup, and select the best ones to tackle. It usually takes about an hour and a half to complete.

It has been used numerous times in practice either as part of one of our training workshops or as part of a work group meeting. One small regional team of a Government organisation used it to identify 20 projects which they then tackled and implemented in small teams over an eighteen months period.

Brief - Identifying Improvement Projects

Step 1 - Brainstorming ideas

  • Form a group of 5 to 10 people and elect one person to be the Scribe

  • Select the topic to be Brainstormed, in this case: Bite-Sized Irritants that Waste time or money, or that Foul-up customer service.

  • For One or Two rounds, go round the group with each person suggesting an Irritant.

  • Write it on the Flip Chart.

  • Then Open-It-Up with members just throwing out ideas as they occur to them.

(Note: Follow the brainstorming rules under Tools)

Step 2 - Selection

  • Each person takes then 5 Votes and ticks with a pen, those that they feel are the 5 most appropriate for an Action Team in terms of:

    • Customer Service

    • Wasted time and money

    • Being Bite Sized (Manageable)  

  • Circle the Top 8 or 9 items in the Voting. These are the priority problems to tackle.

Step 3 - Refinement

  • If you wish to refine further, you can use Option Rating & Ranking described under Tools.