The idea of 2 second improvements was developed by Paul Akers of Fastcap. Paul is one of the great lean minds in the world today and a constant source of inspiration for me in my lean journey. One of his expectations of his employees is that each person makes one 2 second improvement every day in the workplace. That is each improvement made will save 2 seconds in a process. That’s 2 seconds per employee per day.
That might not sound like much, but consider this example. A company with 50 employees, each making a 2 second improvement every working day. There are approximately 260 working days in a year. So that means 100 seconds saved per day, times 260 days = 26000 seconds, or about 433 hours. To go a step further, if we divide that by 8 (average working day) we get about 54 working days!
Making improvements does take time, but that time is an investment rather than a cost. It will pay you back many times over during the course of your work/life. Another tenet of this style of lean is ‘fixing what bugs you’. If something about a task is bothering you then change it, make it better, less burdensome, more enjoyable. Not only will you save time in the future, but you will be more willing to do that task because it isn’t so much trouble anymore.
This short video demonstrates one improvement I made to a common task in my business. The short time it took to make this improvement now saves me time and hassle every time I do the task.
Remember, everything we do is a process, and every process can be improved.