Written By: Paul Steven – KCTS Consultant
Recently I have returned to classic Time Management as a way to improve my Value Added to Non-Value Added ratio. I found that I am lacking the self discipline to ignore the interesting but ultimately Non-Value Added activities that were part of my routine, I needed a system to help me. Of course, systems are consistent to my vocation as a Lean Consultant, so Time Management, and specifically my 100 Day Planning Handbook, became part of my daily life.
The first habit was to keep it with me, thanks to colleagues and customers I have not lost the physical handbook yet. Despite my efforts to leave it on my desk, in meeting or on public transport, I still have it with me all the time. Secondly, I had to get into the routine of ensure planning my days, reviewing my action completion, and even rating my days via the “Moodometer”.
This is now a consistent habit as I work on Week 4. My challenge this week is to use my Daily Schedule. This presented a dilemma, as working as a Lean Consultant, each day is different. Some days I may be delivering problem solving with a leadership team, but equally I might be teaching theory & practise to a mixed group, or participating in TPM activities with operators and technicians, or presenting to executives, or coaching leadership techniques one-to-one or even delivering e-learning to hundreds of participants. How can I write a Daily Schedule? Words of wisdom came from our MD, I should concentrate on the generic activities rather than the specifics to build my version 1.
I have blocked routine times for my regular NVAR activities and I am now realistic about my current Value Adding activities each day. I have my previous 4 weeks of data to judge my estimating skills. They started extremely over-optimistic but quickly became too conservative and now include minimum & stretch targets daily. So my version 1 Standard Diary is as follows:
- Take kids to day-care (when not travelling)
- Emails & planning adjustment
- Electronic Daily Stand-Up Meeting (E-DSUM)
- 1st Delivery of VA
- Coffee, calls & mental break
- 2nd Delivery of VA
- Lunch with time outside of the factory/office
- Emails & re-planning, plus administration (expenses, printing, postal)
- 3rd Delivery of VA
- Coffee, Twitter & mental break
- 4th Delivery of VA
- Coffee & mental break
- Emails, Twitter, calls
- Review of Delivery & Plan for Tomorrow
This is still version 1, but by using a Standard Diary I know I can experiment and improve or return to current-best-standard as needed. The question is whether I can keep the rigour of looking at emails only 3 times per day. If you’re using a Standard Diary, please let me know how you’re getting on.