Continuous Improvement Validation – Continuous Improvement (CI) activities are intended to improve the performance of the business through eliminating wasted time, effort, energy and materials, through improvements in plant condition or performance and through improvements in safety or morale.
CI is a team-based approach involving everyone within the business regardless of level or function. CI is focused on eliminating the many small problems and issues that generally exist in businesses rather than focusing on major performance improvement projects, which are generally of an engineering nature. Many of the improvements implemented should be low or no cost
At Eggborough Power Station the business created 39 continuous improvement teams. These were based around natural work groups and led at a level below that of Group Head.
In order to drive involvement in the site’s Continuous Improvement (CI) programme, an element of the station bonus was linked to the delivery of a specified number of completed CI projects. To achieve the full proportion of the station bonus attributable to CI at the end of the year, the 39 CI teams needed to have delivered 800 completed CI projects.
To ensure that these projects were delivered correctly and brought a benefit to the business and ensured that the projects stood up to any internal or external scrutiny or audit. It was agreed that in order for any project to be counted towards the station target it would have to be externally validated to confirm that:
- The project was successfully completed
- It had delivered the benefits claimed
- There was a genuine improvement derived from implementing the project
This validation took the form of a documentary and physical (where appropriate) review of the project to ascertain:
- Project Scope and rationale
- Predicted benefits
- Actual delivery
- Actual benefits
- Opportunities for implementing the improvement in other areas of the business
If the project met the criteria for defining a CI project, was fully implemented and the predicted benefits (where appropriate) were achieved, then the project would be validated as complete and added to the list of completed projects to count towards the station bonus target.
In the event of a project not being approved as validated then there would be a number of courses of action.
- Project didn’t meet the criteria for a CI project (as defined in document on CI projects)
- In this case, the activity would not be re-validated and would not count towards the station target. This type of activity would be screened out at the new ideas stage of the CI process.
- Project not completed
- In this case, the validation of the project would be put on hold until further work was carried out and the project re-submitted as completed.
The validations were carried out by Philip Tugwell, Director and Head of Manufacturing, MCP Consulting Group Ltd. and assisted as necessary by Peter Gagg, CEO. The validations were carried out within the 2/3 weeks of a project being completed and the outcome of the validation was binding – there was no appeals process.
To initiate a validation of a completed project the project leader completed sections 1-4 of the CI validation document and forward it to Philip Tugwell, who arranged a convenient time to review and validate the project. Sections 5-9 of the form were completed at the time of the validation.
Completed validations are held on file as a record of completed projects.
The number of projects validated each month was reported at the monthly business meeting.