A Leaner Workplace: 4 Practices That Make Work Processes Lean

A Leaner Workplace: 4 Practices That Make Work Processes Lean

Here at LegalMatch Philippines (LMPH), our employees diligently use lean production practices in their tasks as part of our conscious effort to prevent or reduce inefficiency and waste in the workplace.  Many of our employees are regularly using these practices which have resulted in better productivity and efficiency for them. Here are some of our successful lean methodology practices and tips on how you can apply them in your workplace. 

 

1. Use a Checklist for Your Priorities 

A good lean thinking practice is listing down the priorities you need to do and finish within the week. From the list, identify top three priorities that you need to accomplish each day. If a task is too big, break it down into smaller sub-tasks which are more manageable. 

 

A specific lean methodology practice for task listing is using a checklist consisting of a series of steps that you need to do to accomplish your tasks. Use it to keep things organized by scheduling the daily and weekly tasks you need to complete and easily check off the items that are done. Using the checklist helps you to swiftly identify the items that are facing delays and to pinpoint any steps you might have missed that are causing the roadblocks.   

 

2. Take Advantage of Lean System Management Tools 

An important part of a good lean thinking practice is using efficient project management tools. You should choose the right project management tools that are relevant for the specific lean production system practices you are using for your work processes. 

 

One of the effective lean process management tools we use at LMPH is web-based Kanban boards – a visual representation of work items on a board shared with the team. If you’re a team leader or project manager, you can use a visual board to help you see the progress of your team’s tasks and streamline the process for them.  

 

With the shared Kanban board, you can make a smooth transition of a work status such as a task going from “To do, in progress, for review and done”. Using the visual board helps you to easily identify who are facing any issues with their work. You can use the tool to pick out the people without any issues and have a light workload so you can re-assign them to the projects that need more assistance. This effectively prevents other members from being overburdened with tasks they can’t complete.  

 

3. Encourage Efficient Team Collaboration 

lean concept of teamwork that emphasizes efficient collaboration allows the group to closely work together to accomplish a project. If you lead a team, you can: 

  • Equitably delegate tasks to all members with clear instructions on what to do.  
  • Keep an open communication line with each member.  
  • Encourage each member to utilize their skills to their full potential.  
  • Get inputs from each member on problem solving and encourage them to jointly come up with the best solution.  

 

4. Measure and Track Work Processes 

Documenting the work processes that you use in your lean system management practices helps you to pinpoint the procedure that works, needs improvement and what doesn’t work at all. An example is a comprehensive spreadsheet that measures and tracks the workflows of a project.   

 

Documentation helps you identify the work process that doesn’t directly create any value to the project. When you efficiently measure your work processes, you can identify and understand the workflow that needs improvement so you can come up with the solution for that workflow.  

  

Benefits of Using Lean System Management Practices 

Using a checklist organizes the procedures you need to accomplish your tasks and helps to pinpoint items in the list that are facing delays. Kanban, JIRA and other collaboration or management tools help you optimize lean process practices by reducing the time allocated for repetitive tasks. Efficient team collaboration provides your group with better focus and cooperation. Clear documentation of process improvements helps you to effectively evaluate the results of the improvements you implemented. 

 

These lean process improvement practices have produced beneficial outcomes in LMPH and also worked for other companies. There’s no limit to how many practices you can try to be more efficient in the workplace. But focusing on those four that we have mentioned will surely make small incremental improvements that can build momentum over time.  

Best Practices to Improve the Productivity of Remote Workers

Best Practices to Improve the Productivity of Remote Workers

Work from Home Productivity of Remote Employees

The covid-19 pandemic has posed a challenge for companies on how they can ensure the productivity and efficiency of their employees who have to work remotely. As an HR manager or project manager, you have to monitor your employees’ productivity at home and make sure that the level of productivity that they performed at the office can be maintained or even exceeded when they have to work from their homes. Two solutions that can help in tracking your workers’ productivity are carrying out several working from home best practices and using tools for monitoring the progress of their tasks.

Working from Home Best Practices and Tools

It’s important to emphasize to your employees that the practices and tools you want them to adapt can help in optimizing their productivity at home. Those practices can also create satisfaction on the part of company management from knowing there are tools you are using to track your employees’ efficiency in working remotely.

Here are some of the working from home best practices for your remote employees:

  • Dedicated work space –

    Tell them to designate a specific place in their home as their work area that is preferably away from the TV, bed and the kitchen because it can distract them to watch TV, take a quick nap on the bed or take breaks every now and then during work hours. Also encourage them to put their cell phone in a spot away from their home workstation so they won’t be tempted to use their phones to play mobile games or check their social media sites. Point out to them that getting rid of distractions at home will allow them to focus on their work and avoid non-work activities.

  • Regular working hours –

    Establishing consistent work hours for your remote workforce can help them to maintain a healthy work-life balance which is good for their physical and mental health. Several work from home productivity studies show that an effective work-life balance encourages employees to work harder and make them more likely to stay longer in the company. However, you should also allow them to have some degree of flexibility, such as when they are forced to start much early or late from their schedule so they can compensate for any work hours that they had to shorten or extend.

  • Task planner –

    You can require your employees to prepare a to-do list or planner of the tasks they have to do and finish for each day. The planner allows you and the employee to keep track of the progress of the task and if they are meeting the target goals for that task.

One of the best working from home solutions or tools you can use for tracking your employee’s progress of specific tasks is requiring them to submit regular daily, weekly and monthly reports. You can use these regular reports to monitor the progress of their tasks, to see if they are meeting or falling behind the targets, and identify the roadblocks that are causing any delays or problems. Another effective tool is constant communication with your employee via chats or online calls. You can use these regular talks to find out if they are encountering any issues or problems with their tasks and help them to come up with solutions to solve them.

 

LegalMatch’s Work from Home Productivity

LegalMatch Philippines (LMPH) is a pioneer in software applications for the US legal industry that develops technologies and software solutions for lawyers and their clients. With the majority of our employees working from home for more than a year due to the covid-19 pandemic, we actively promote the productivity of our remote employees by giving them all the support they need so they can work from home effectively. LMPH continues to expand its operations in the midst of the pandemic by continually recruiting skilled talent like senior Java developers.