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Managing Change Concepts

Managing Change Concepts

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A RESOURCE GUIDE TO CHANGE CONCEPTS

(Excerpted from: Langley, Nolan, Nolan, Norman and Provost (1996), The Improvement Guide: A
Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Fransisco, CA.,
pp. 293 \u2013 359.)

While all changes do not lead to improvement, all improvement requires change. The
ability to develop, test, and implement changes is essential for any individual, group, or
organization that wants to continuously improve. But what kinds of changes will lead to
improvement? Usually, a unique, specific change is required to obtain improvement in a
specific set of circumstances. Thus, there are many kinds of changes. But these specific
changes are developed from a limited number of change concepts.

A concept is a general, abstract notion that is applied through a more specific
idea. A change concept is a general notion or approach to change that has been found to
be useful in developing specific ideas for changes that lead to improvement. Creatively
combining these change concepts with knowledge about specific subjects can result in
developing changes that lead to improvement. Many change concepts can be used to
develop specific changes that do not require tradeoffs between costs and quality.

This resource guide enumerates the change concepts that have already been
discussed in this book, as well as others that readers will find useful. The use of change
concepts was introduced in Chapter Five, and examined more specifically in Chapters
Ten, Eleven, and Twelve, in the discussion of the three categories of improvement. This
resource guide organizes these ideas in one place for ease of reference and use.

The seventy change concepts listed here are organized into the following nine
general groupings:
Grouping
Number of Concepts in Grouping
A.
Eliminate Waste
11
B.
Improve Work Flow
11
C.
Optimize Inventory
4
D.
Change the Work Environment
11
E.
Enhance the Producer/Customer
8
Relationship
F.
Manage Time
5
G.
Manage Variation
8
H.
Design Systems to Avoid Mistakes
4
I.
Focus on a Product/Service
8

A complete list of the concepts is presented first, followed by a discussion of their
use. The bulk of the resource guide further describes each change concept, and presents
some specific ideas and examples of how the concepts can be applied in different
situations.

Complete List of Change Concepts
A.
Eliminate Waste

1. Eliminate Things That Are Not Used
2. Eliminate Multiple Entry
3. Reduce or Eliminate Overkill
4. Reduce Controls on the System
5. Recycle or Reuse

6. Use Substitution
7. Reduce Classifications
8. Remove Intermediaries

9. Match the Amount to the Need
10. Use Sampling
11. Change Targets or Set Points

B.
Improve Work Flow

12. Synchronize
13. Schedule into Multiple Processes
14. Minimize Handoffs
15. Move Steps in the Process Close Together
16. Find and Remove Bottlenecks
17. Use Automation
18. Smooth Work Flow
19. Do Tasks in Parallel
20. Consider People as in the Same System
21. Use Multiple Processing Units
22. Adjust to Peak Demand

C.
Optimize Inventory

23. Much Inventory to Predicted Demand
24. Use Pull Systems
25. Reduce Choice of Features
26. Reduce Multiple Brands of Same Item

D.
Change the Work Environment

27. Give People Access to Information
28. Use Proper Measurements
29. Take Care of Basics
30. Reduce Demotivating Aspects of Pay System
31. Conduct Training
32. Implement Cross-Training
33. Invest More Resources in Improvement
34. Focus on Core Processes and Purpose
35. Share Risks
36. Emphasize Natural and Logical Consequences
37. Develop Alliance/Cooperative Relationships

E.
Enhance the Producer/Customer Relationship

38. Listen to Customers
39. Coach Customers to Use Product/Service
40. Focus on the Outcome to a Customer
41. Use a Coordinator
42. Reach Agreement on Expectations
43. Outsource for \u201cFree\u201d
44. Optimize Level of Inspection
45. Work with Suppliers

F.
Manage Time

46. Reduce Setup or Startup Time
47. Set up Timing to Use Discounts
48. Optimize Maintenance
49. Extend Specialist\u2019s Time
50. Reduce Wait Time

G.
Manage Variation

51. Standardization (Create a Formal Process)
52. Stop Tampering
53. Develop Operational Definitions
54. Improve Predictions
55. Develop Contingency Plans
56. Sort Product into Grades
57. Desensitize
58. Exploit Variation

H.
Design Systems to Avoid Mistakes

59. Use Reminders
60. Use Differentiation
61. Use Constraints
62. Use Affordances

I.
Focus on the Product or Service

63. Mass Customize
64. Offer Product/Service Anytime
65. Offer Product/Service Anyplace
66. Emphasize Intangibles
67. Influence or Take Advantage of Fashion Trends
68. Reduce the Number of Components
69. Disguise Defects or Problems
70. Differentiate Product Using Quality Dimensions

How to Use the Change Concepts

The change concepts presented in this resource guide are not specific enough to be
applied directly to making improvements. Rather, the concept must be considered within
the context of a specific situation and then turned into an idea. The idea will need to be
specific enough to describe how the change can be developed, tested, and implemented in
the specific situation. When describing the change concepts, we have tried to be

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