In the Kaizen process, it’s important to document our improvements – the before, the after, and the benefits.
Not every Kaizen will have a quantifiable ROI. Many do, but we don’t make that a requirement for approving ideas or for recognizing people.
To get people engaged and participating in Kaizen, we encourage people to identify any small problem and to fix it. This might lead to benefits in patient satisfaction, staff time savings, or other areas that are harder to put into dollars and cents.
But, as Joe and I say in Healthcare Kaizen, it’s important to quantify things when you can. When I’ve been coaching people lately and looking at their Kaizen write ups, I end up asking questions like:
- How much paper was saved each week? How many reams? What does that cost?
- How long do nurses wait for the system to log in? How many times per day do they do that? What’s the total amount of time? How much faster is the system now?
You should strive to quantify benefits when you can. Again, it’s not always about money. It’s good to know that a change was a “change for the better” and it’s even better to know “how much better” things are compared to the past.
Are you helping your staff and managers learn how to better quantify the results of your Kaizen improvements?