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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Low Hanging Fruit

Low hanging fruit describes the big bang for the buck projects that can jump-start Lean Implimentation for a Lean Project/Kaizen.
They are the  solutions to problems and opportunities that are easy to implement with relatively little effort and will have a significant impact on your goal for that particular project.
The following is a simple exercise to figure out what constitutes a 'low hanging fruit.' After the team has determined the various tasks needed to'complete a particular project or kaizen event, place each task on a post-it note seperately.  Then draw a 2X2 chart.  The horizontal line is labelled "Ease of Implementation" from 'Easy' to 'Hard'.  The vertical line is labelled "Level of Impact" from 'High' to 'Low'.  Now have the team determine where each tasks falls on the chart with regard to both ease of implementation and level of impact.  Anything that falls in the lower right-hand quadrant is considered Low Hanging Fruit and should be attacked immediately by the team.  If you have the resources to complete the items in the upper right quadrant, then have them done.  Your next quadrant to attack should be the lower left.  Your team should not spend time or resources worrying about the upper left quadrant.
Just don’t get into the habit of only going after the easiest projects.  The other tasks/solutions brought up by your team must be placed on what I call a 'Parking Lot' list for later completion.
As you attempt more challenging projects, you will see those skills grow. Fruit that used to be too high will become the low hanging fruit as you get ‘taller’.
Have Fun!

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