Rapid Improvement Workshops

Achieving better results, faster and with greater buy-in

Rapid Improvement Workshops have demonstrated how a short-duration, focused event can progress change activity more rapidly than the conventional approach of many (one-hour) meetings spread over several weeks.

We have run many events in a variety of workplaces. Some examples include:

  • Shop floor manufacturing: kick-starting 5S; implementing quick changeovers; halving manufacturing lead-times
  • Councils: office process improvements; reviewing management of walk-in day care centres; working with children with disabilities; substance misuse workshop
  • Government office: improving communications between departments; process lead time reduction; service quality improvements

The advantages of this focused, rapid improvement workshop approach are:

  • participants are engaged in the change process and feel ‘in control’
  • overall, the management of many diaries is much simplified (though an effort of commitment to block out two to five days is required by the core attendees)
  • decisions on actions can be made more rapidly, given the representative stakeholders are present
  • a greater ‘buy-in’ is achieved, as actions and resolutions are developed by the stakeholders
  • in addition to the core team, other stakeholders are consulted (before and during the workshop), better capturing the ‘voice of the customer’
  • change is achieved very quickly and the benefits are soon realized

The term Rapid Improvement Workshop is synonymous with Rapid Improvement Event and Kaizen Blitz. These terms are more normally attributed to workshops which focus on localized (often departmental) issues and processes, with a view to a resolution and execution within the timeframe of the workshop (three-five days). Nevertheless, the approach provides the same benefits as listed above, even when applied to larger or non-process issues.

One key ingredient of success of these workshops is the provision of a facilitator, who will manage the process of the workshop in the preparation phase, during the event itself and in the follow-up phase. Whilst we provide expert facilitation, our preferred approach is to help develop in-house competence by transferring our skills to the organisation’s people. We have a very successful programme for training facilitators to handle a variety of improvement events.

Click here to see a typical agenda for a Rapid Improvement Workshop.

Click here to see an example programme for facilitator development.