Situation: Senior members of the operations group at a major biomedical device manufacturer didn’t have time to focus on their critical work, largely because they were spending too much time in non-essential meetings. Intervention: We conducted an “A3” analysis to fully grasp the current conditions, quantify the costs to the company, identify root causes, and develop countermeasures. The analysis revealed that they were spending approximately nine hours per person per week in meetings with no real purpose, and more damagingly, that meetings were set according to a schedule, rather than in response to real customer demand. We set up a file on the shared server for information updates, initiated a system of ad hoc 1:1 meetings to address most issues, and reserved group meetings for more complex problems.

Resolution: Meeting commitments were reduced by one-third – 56.5 hours per month – and senior staff had additional time to drive projects to completion.