One of the concepts on which companies harps and an emphasis should be put more, in my opinion, is developing with ‘innovation.’ Being able to innovate is based on change and improvement. With this aim, I guess we all agree with how important chance and improvement is. So what is the last time have you changed or improved anything in your job? When did you, I do not talk about an invention that changes the world, produce an innovation?
Unfortunately, even if the importance of change and improvement is an indisputable fact, we see that many companies have made much progress in this field due to the busy schedule of the company. We are so busy with managing the present operations and completing them in a daily busy schedule that we have difficulty in finding the time and the courage to make chance and improve the present one. There is a common utterance; the way you know is the shortest way. Yes, it is a fair approach in a short term to save the day. However, what about the opportunities we lost on the paths that we did not try, for the sake of protecting the present status quo.
In general the feedbacks we have got about change and improvement are excuses concerning that there is no time for those or the present situations is satisfactory enough to carry further. Yes, time is needed for change and improvement. We should evaluate ourselves and what we have done by having a break to daily rush occasionally to provide these facts. At this point it is important that managers encourage them. However, it is unfortunately not an acceptable excuse that the present situation cannot be improved further.
I would like to share an example, I found very interesting, which reminds us improvement can be achieved all the time. Did you know that Northwest Airlines, which unites with Delta Airlines in 2008, saved 500 thousand USD in a year by making the lemon slices, served in the flight, smaller? The only thing they did is, to serve the lemons in 16 slices contrary to 10 slices as they had done beforehand. Thus, they made such an improvement that can be defined as important with a simple change without facing any customer complaints.
Improvements can be done in every field and all the time. You need to show the courage to change and try in order to achieve that. Sometimes putting a spanner in the works, although may result in some hardships in a short term, can produce value in medium or long term. The time you spared for improvement, as in the example above, will return to you in folds in the future.
Mehmet Yitmen – CSM, PSM I, PSM II, PSPO I, PSPO II, PSMT
Mehmet Yitmen serves as ACM’s Managing Partner and Agile consultant. He has been actively looking for ways to improve the efficiency and quality of the Turkish software industry. Mehmet is the founder and president of the Agile Software Development Association in Turkey. After graduating from Bilkent University with an Industrial Engineering degree, he worked in the logistics industry and then continued on to join ACM. Mehmet Yitmen continuously carries out studies on using Agile approaches within ACM and while adapting these approaches to the culture of the company, improves his expertise of Agile. Mehmet is also a consultant and participates in many projects as a PSMT (Professional Scrum Master Trainer) and a Scrum Master.