This is the third and last of a 3 part series about the power of the 20 Keys principles to enhance productivity at home during lock-down.
ODI members are sharing some handy tips on using the 20 Keys during lock-down.
- In part 1, Joan Bull, Johan Benadie and Mike Foxon, placed emphasis on Key 6, 7 and 10 respectively.
- In part 2, Maryke Bergh, Angela Newman, Ilse Doyer, Gerda Holder and Valery Hansen referred to Keys 1, 2, 4, 5, 11, 15, 16, 18 & 20.
To see more details of each respective Key in the 20 Keys System for Operations improvement, go to our interactive 20 Keys wheel and click on a Key of your choice. Click here to access the interactive 20 Keys wheel.
Huibie Jones – Managing Director
In line with Key 19: Conserving Energy and Material, we have created greater cost awareness at home, and together the family have come up with ideas to conserve energy, and to improve the yield on groceries. One example of a cost saving has been to only use the washing machine when there is enough clothing to wash and not just because it is a particular day of the week.
Planning a menu carefully for the whole month, mainly to reduce trips to the shops, has also been excellent in terms of savings on grocery spending. It has led to some very interesting new meals – some really good, and some not so good.
With having to juggle so many different tasks at home now (including helping with History projects),, Key 17: Zero Monitoring has been essential. This little device attached to the outside tap means I can water the vegetable garden (also newly planted since lock-down started) without stressing that I will forget to turn the tap off. In Cape Town, we do not have a lot of water.
As always, I am a great believer in Key 1: Cleaning and Organising, and how it improves productivity. This particular Key 1 MODAPTS Drawer of mine has been in full use since 2013, and eliminates searching for the right tools for the job. No one in the family dares to take out an item, and not put it back.
It probably needs to be upgraded to the new ODI version, seeing as we hardly use an envelope opener these days – Key 18: Using Information System has made the opener a bit obsolete.
Gerald McKinnon – Director
One of the seven wastes found in Key 13: Eliminating Waste is waiting. I need chronic medication, and support my local small pharmacy near my home. Often I had to stand in a queue for my medication, as it is a two-man pharmacy. Since lock-down, I have arranged with the owner to telephone before I collect, with one day notice. Now, I don’t have to wait any longer, and keep safe through physical distancing. I walk in and walk out, and if there is any payment, I do an EFT transfer once I get home. Simple, yet effective, and still supporting small businesses.
Mbali Tshabalala – Consultant
We all know that technology is important, and that the rate of its application is increasing. At ODI, we use technology in line with Key 18: Using Information Systems, and Key 20: Leading Technology, to support our day-to-day activities, and we are busy with developing online learning platforms. We have also, for quite some time, been using Zoom or Skype for our mini-business meetings, and also systems like OneDrive. The lock-down period is accelerating all of this, requiring new skills from all of us. Working from home also got me thinking about the role of information technology at home.
Working from home, I had to quickly learn to use Microsoft Teams for coaching learners on the learnerships that I facilitate. It also requires careful scheduling, according to their available time and shifts, and then to accordingly work out an hourly plan. Some learners need more time, so I have to be sensitive toward their needs. Depending on the learners and their access to technology, I sometimes use WhatsApp, rather than Microsoft teams. This is a very different way of working, but I thoroughly enjoy it. I also realised that many employees do not have access to basic information technology, something that I think organisations should look at.
At home, my son Lethabo, has a school schedule to adhere to; they get a lot of homework, already at a young age! In order to complete all his assignments, we all had to learn some new technologies for submitting schoolwork, so we were doing some multi-skilling according to Key 15. Every time an assignment is submitted successfully, there is much happiness and celebration in the house. To ensure that we get everything done during the day, I get up very early to prepare breakfast. We use breakfast time to discuss the day, almost like a mini-business meeting. Late afternoon, we all clean house accordingly to a schedule, like having a Small Group Activity, with everyone allocated specific responsibilities. Daddy makes lunch, and he is the teacher, something which he hasn’t always had time for, but it turned out that he is a level 4 (like on a skills matrix) teacher!
Jamey Wheeler – Office and E-learning Administrator
For a working mom, Key 16: Planning and Scheduling is important. I found out that being at home during the lock-down is even more challenging in terms of fitting in work, looking after children, and doing the usual household tasks. I quickly learned that I have to plan, so every evening for 30 minutes, I pre-plan the kids’ school work, to fit into my own and my husband’s new schedules of working from home. Careful scheduling is done, with time slots during the day, so that school work is done in stages, without conflicting with my, or my husband’s work commitments and other tasks. We also plan for keeping the kids occupied mentally; small kids can be quite a handful, and demanding when they are not kept busy, which will disrupt our work. In between, I need to maintain the household; not an easy task to balance all these responsibilities, I think in Key 16 it is called some Japanese word, Heijunka, which is about work levelling. Without proper planning and scheduling, things will often go wrong, and be disorganised. In real life, things of course do sometimes go wrong, like when a colleague requests some support (and in ODI we do it immediately), just when you start school work with the kids – quick re-scheduling, and some overtime working is then necessary!
George Meiring – Senior Consultant: Eastern Cape
I have focused a lot on water conservation, inspired by Key 19: Conserving Energy and Material. Port Elizabeth is a drought-stricken area, and over the past few years, we have, systematically, been working towards reducing our dependency on water supplied by the municipality (limited resources from the dams in the Eastern Cape). We installed tanks with a total capacity of 10,500 l to supply the household. A 5000 l tank, a 2500 l tank, and three 1000 l cubicle thanks were installed. Two of the 1000 l cubicle tanks were connected with a pressure sensitive pump that supplies water to the toilet in the main bedroom. The 500 l capacity tank is also connected with a pump, to supply the whole household with rainwater. For human consumption, we installed a filter unit to filter the rainwater (really nice tasting J). During this lock-down period, we were almost totally independent of municipal water. The only time that we needed to switch over, is when the power was down. At the peak of our consumption, about three years ago, we used a maximum of 28,000 l per month; this has been reduced dramatically to 4000 l per month. During this lock-down period, from 3 April, when we had about 5 mm of rain, we have used zero water from the municipal supply; only rainwater has been used. We only require about 20 mm of rain per month to remain totally independent from municipal supplied water. We only switched back to municipal water when the rain stayed away, and our tanks were empty. During this lock-down period, there were three days on municipal water.
Another area is electricity conservation. Energy conservation is a big thing in our household, driven by Marita, my wife. During lock-down, she recorded our electricity consumption meticulously, on a daily basis, and made some notes as to what appliances were used. Our average electricity consumption turned out to be about 11 units (kWh) per day. We determined that the water conservation, described above, added about 1½ units (kWh) of electricity consumed per day. The electricity conservation was achieved by installing two solar geezers that only needs electricity during the night (no sunshine). Our electricity conservation during lock-down was achieved by switching off the electricity supply to geysers. What also contributed was that we had no guests in our house. We have determined that when a guest is in the house, the electricity consumption jumps by 25 units per day.
While in lock-down I was also forced to really enjoy my garden more. It made me very aware of Space utilisation. I worked out a way to run around my house, through the living area, and round and round and round and round. It did add some graphics to our garden, in that there is now a footpath through and over the lawn.
The pictures of the running maps show the 10 km done around my house while on level 5 lock-down, while the second picture shows the level 4 lock-down. I’m lucky that the beach is exactly 5 km from my house.
In terms of work, Key 18: Using Information System has been very important. I rely on the use of computer technology to coach learners.
Lock-down has forced us to move forward faster in terms of our adoption of the fourth industrial revolution in our own lives as well. Having to coach a team of learners at a factory in the Free State, from my house office in Port Elizabeth, we started using technology to do that. This worked out quite well, as the photos show.
Pieter de Bruyn – Consultant
For a DYI person like myself, it’s important to be multi-skilled and multi-tasked as far as possible. It was, therefore, necessary to revisit my skills, Key 15: Skills Versatility, during lock-down, to identify any shortcomings.
Being more at home than usual, you are requested to do tasks normally not done by you, and you have limited knowledge about it. An outside DYI man seldom has any domesticated skills. My domestic skills were limited to making my bed (from military days), and sweeping the kitchen. I have received some training and coaching for the first two weeks of lock-down to improve my competency level at home. Currently I am rated as follows on my various skills –
- gardening = 4/5,
- home maintenance = 4/5,
- general home assistance = 3/5.
My biggest problem has been the speed at which I am required to perform certain tasks. More practice and coaching have been recommended.
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