What is Reactive Improvement and why aren’t more companies embracing it?

We have found the most effective Continuous Improvement Strategies include Reactive Improvement, Stable Production or Work Plan, and Pro-active Improvement.

What is Reactive Improvement and why aren’t more companies embracing it?

by Ross Kennedy, 7 March 2019

To achieve Operational Excellence, organisations need a Continuous Improvement Strategy. Like all good strategies, that look at how we are going to win, it should focus on a few key activities. We have found the most effective Continuous Improvement Strategies will include Reactive Improvement to ensure you have effective daily management, Stable Production or Work Plan to minimise fire-fighting caused by unplanned changes and Pro-active Improvement to take you to your Improvement Vision of world class performance.

Unfortunately many organisations get so focused on Pro-active Improvement through capital projects or initiatives such as Lean, Six Sigma, and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), that they lose sight of the importance of Reactive Improvement and having a Stable Production or Work Plan.

Reactive Improvement develops the capability and discipline within the organisation to be able to rapidly recover from an event or incident that stops you from achieving your expected or target performance for the day, shift or hour and most importantly, your ability to capture the learning and initiate corrective actions so that the event or incident will not re-occur anywhere across the organisation.

As such, Reactive Improvement focuses on improving Daily Management through your Daily Review Meetings, your Information Centres supporting the Daily Review Meetings and your Frontline Problem Solving Root Cause Analysis capability at all levels, especially at the frontline.

There are 7 Key Elements of Reactive Improvement that need to work in concert for Effective Daily Management:

  1. Supportive Organisation Structure to support development of your frontline people so they have ownership and accountability for the performance of their area of responsibility;
  2. Effective Frontline Leaders to ensure everyone else in the leadership structure is not working down a level;
  3. Appropriate Measures with expected targets that are linked to the site’s Key Success Factors for Operations to ensure Goal Alignment, and are relevant for the area being focused on;
  4. Structured Daily Review Meetings at all levels or tiers to identify opportunities (problems / incidents) and monitor progress of their solution so they don’t happen again;
  5. Visual Information Centres that visually display daily and trending performance along with monitoring of actions to address problems / issues raised;
  6. Frontline Problem Solving Root Cause Analysis Capability across the site; and
  7. Rapid Sharing of Learning Capability across shifts, departments and the organisation.

If you would like to learn more about CTPM – The Centre for Australasian TPM & Lean, and our approach to Reactive Improvement and Improving Daily Management, contact myself Ross Kennedy at ross.kennedy@ctpm.org.au or purchase my book on Daily Management using this link.

This was a review of the “Understanding, Measuring, and Improving Daily Management” book, published by CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group – Productivity Press.

Daily Management Book Cover