It's All About Time

If you run a lean boat, your employees' hours are already filled to capacity. When you initiate a new process or bring on a new service vendor, etc., there are no 'extra' hours in which to fit the time that the new process takes. Instead, it is necessary to drop something else to make room. Because of this, you must carefully consider all of the ramifications:

1. Is the new process replacing an old, less efficient process that will save time and/or money?
2. How much time, exactly?
3. How much money, exactly?
4. What will be dropped to make room for the new service?
5. Can this afford to be dropped, or should it be shifted?
6. Is there somewhere/someone to realistically shift it to?
7. If not, will the new process result in the necessity of hiring more staff (and increasing overhead)?
8. If so, will the new process's cost and/or time savings more than cover the increased overhead?

When you look at a new process in this light, what initially seems like a good idea may not seem so shiny. Bear in mind, this realistic viewpoint is not intended to stifle innovation or positive change - only to ensure that the change at least pays for itself, and does not cause more problems than it cures.

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