- On October 2, 2017
How to fix the buffet line
I was MC at a wedding last month. The meal was a buffet, and there were 80-plus hungry guests of all ages to feed. The line was moving slowly – so I got thinking, how do I fix the buffet line?
I managed how people entered the line. By asking table groups of wedding guests to come up one table at a time it managed the flow better, it relaxed the guests and I even solicited bribes from tables wanting to go up to the buffet next.
On reflection, if I’d also asked the venue staff to pull the table away from the wall so people could walk on either side, this would have moved more people through the buffet line, more quickly.
If you work on an assembly line, it’s likely that people think about these sorts of improvements for you.
But many of us are knowledge workers and leaders. We do dozens of tasks a day. It’s not as easy to notice where the bottlenecks are, so we have to look for them ourselves if we want to fix them and improve the way we work through our own ‘buffet lines’.
Have you considered the high cost of task switching? It probably takes you a little while to stop doing one thing and start doing another with efficiency, before you switch back to the original task. What happens to your productivity when you switch less often? Go on, try it!
And if you look around your organisation, there is always someone who is more productive at a given task than you are. Make a time to watch them and learn. On the buffet line the way you scan your choices, hold the serving spoon and reach across the table may be sufficient to change how quickly you get through everything.
Managing Safely programme now available from The Learning Wave
The Learning Wave have partnered with Construction Safety Council, NZTA, and ACC in the development and design of an innovative and refreshed Managing Safely programme. Click here to download an overview which provides more detailed information.
We are running public workshops for the construction and infrastructure sectors in Auckland starting on 30 October, to book please click the link below:
If you have five or more team members that you would like to attend please contact us directly, we are also able to upskill your internal training team if you have capacity to deliver training in-house.
The Learning Wave offer nationwide coverage and are committed to Constructsafe and the outstanding work that is being done in the industry around how we think and talk about safety differently, and how we provide a catalyst that will help change the face of safety in NZ.
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