Friday, August 21, 2009

Improving my IT Service Desk...

OK...I'm going to depart from home and family improvement for a post...or two...or three.

I work as a manager at an IT Service Desk and we use Lean and Kaizen techniques all the time in our business. Here's a kaizen idea that one of my employees turned in:

An employee that transferred in from the night service desk noticed that she had some of her old functional access allowed her to solve certain problems that day time staff couldn't. During the day, service desk analysts had to escalate these types of problems to other teams. She submitted this idea as a Quick and Easy Kaizen. Upon investigation, no one knew why the daytime staff didn't have that access and so it was granted. Now, everyone of my staff can resolve these types of calls without escalation.

  • Better caller resolution
  • Faster resolution with no waiting
  • Elminated the waste of uneeded escalation

What have you improved today?

Dan Lafever, Kaizeneer

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Camp Kaizen

For the last several years, I have been directing a week long church camp for fathers and sons called, "Dads Camp". Each year, I use continuous improvement techniques to make the outing easier, cost less, and reduce preparation time. Here's a story about improving the financial aspects of our event.

In 2008, a number of fathers spent their own money for camp expenses and once camp was completed, it took weeks to straighten out the mess and get everyone paid. Receipts were unclear, the process was not understood, and miscommunication occurred. So, using lean improvement methods, we made the camp expense process much easier by changing the following:

  1. All camp expenses had to be pre-approved before the actual event or they would not be reimbursed.
  2. Several required camp items were paid with the church credit card in advance eliminating the need to front all the expense money.
  3. Expense forms were brought to the camp so that they could be completed and sent back to the church office immediately for faster turnaround.
  4. Thank you gifts were purchased in advance of the outing for distribution at camp instead of weeks later.

These kaizens made the wrap-up process so much easier and I am pleased to report that our camp budget was in the black. Using kaizen techniques, we didn't need a bailout. Even a few small changes can make a difference and there will be even more improvements next year.

What have you improved today?

Dan Lafever, Kaizeneer

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quick and Easy Kaizen #12 - Text your kids on home changes

Taking a page from my ITIL training, I send out "Home Change Alerts" when changes are made at our house that would affect my kids away to college. For example, I recently moved the dog cage into a vacant bedroom that my college students share when home from school. Our puppy now goes to sleep in his kennel in their room and they have been informed of this change. Home change alerts are simple, easy, and to the point.

  • Improved communications among family members
  • Children away feel more involved with the family
  • Changes can be sent at one time to a group instead of being repeated over and over

What have you improved today?

Dan Lafever, Kaizeneer