Scrutinize the Reports You Receive

Here’s a lean exercise for you.

Many of us get reports via email or by paper on our desk.

Do you look at them? Why or why not?

I was in a meeting recently where I made reference to a report I was looking at regularly.

Immediately, someone told me, “That report doesn’t tell the whole story.”

Quickly, we discussed how the report could be improved to tell the whole story.

It reminded me. Every report created has a history. They get created because someone wanted to monitor something.

Sometimes, the thing that was getting monitored gets fixed. The report remains but the interest in the report goes away.

Every report takes effort. The people creating the reports are serious about their business.

But, a report that doesn’t tell you what you want to know or one that when you see it, you delete it, isn’t lean.

Study the reports you get. If they can be improved, explore with the report creator about whether those improvements can be included.

If you aren’t using the report, tell the creator so that you are eliminated from the distribution.

Every report needs to be scrutinized. Let’s get rid of the ones we don’t need. Let’s improve the ones we do.

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Posted in: Communication, Improvement, Lean

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1 Comment

  1. Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance December 14, 2011

    It has happened to me a few times. It is always an awkward feeling when you’ve taken the time and expended some mental energy to try to use the report or document as a tool. If tool in your toolbox is flawed or damaged, you would like to know that before you are impacted by its defective nature.


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