Paramix Talk: Itemize And Iterate

Itemize and Iterate

By: Eddie Baki, 16.5.2011, 06:06

Consistent improvement, a prerequisite for competitiveness and quality of life, takes time and can only be achieved by optimizing details in microscopic and repetitive steps. No big miracles and definitely no quick fixes.
Two steps to tackle each problem or each entity:

1. Itemize:

Specify the system to be improved in a clear and detailed manner.

“Cutting costs” is not a clear and concrete goal. You have to itemize it further, until you get something like “reduce all non-work related car mileage”.

2. Iterate:

Introduce detail improvements to the item at hand and test these. Repeat this process until you're not able to improve any more.

Back to our “reduce all non-work related car mileage” example:
Version 1
Reduce supply shopping trip to one per week

Version 2
Car-pool those weekly supply shopping trips with neighbors or friends.

Version 3
Walk if trip involves no heavy loads and is within 2 km. Use a bicycle if trip is within 10 km.

Version 4
Check if certain journeys can be avoided altogether.

Each version or iteration introduces its own improvements and includes all previous advancements.

You'll be consistently deciding on how much you're ready to invest for each improvement.
Are you willing to car-pool for your supply trips? Would you use public transport instead of your car? How much walking can you handle? What do you do if it rains?

Obviously an itemize and iterate process is no quick fix. It takes time and lots of iterations to reach an acceptable solution. The wrong way is to give up on things altogether, as this approach is often not sustainable.

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