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Small tweaks in processes often change things dramatically - 2

Posted May 21 2010 7:04pm
Yesterday I wrote about how a small change in a process changed things dramatically in a software project. Today I am going to write about how a similar small tweak in process in my life changed things dramatically.

As you know, I have a technician that comes home to help with my dialysis. I am on daily nocturnal home hemodialysis. I dialyse every night of the week for about 7 hours on an average. For about four years now, Jayaram, the technician has been coming and starting my dialysis session and then closing it in the morning when the session completes. Jayaram is excellent in his work. He knows dialysis in and out and can handle any situation with ease. I have been slowly learning the process myself so that I can start dialysis myself. This gives me the freedom to start when I wish and not delay my session should Jayaram get late due to whatever reason.

I learnt how to start dialysis eventually and could do it myself. It was a pain however. After a hard day's work, to come back home and then have to do something which takes a good 45 minutes is not something I look forward to. However, the fact remained that I liked the flexibility it offered.

I did a little thinking. I found that there was one part of the process, the preparation of the bicarbonate solution that is used during dialysis that was the most taxing of all. It wasn't a very important part of the process too. It simply involved mixing of a few packets of powder in pure water and then pouring the solution into a can and then carrying it to the dialysis machine. I found this whole process very troublesome. I had to bend a lot while mixing and pouring and also, carrying a 20 litter can was quite a struggle.

I had to outsource this somehow!

I got Ram Murthy, our family handyman to come home one day and taught him how to do this. I figured that if he could do this, I could easily manage the rest of it. Ram Murthy picked this up quickly. Ever since, he has been coming home around 8 in the evening and preparing the bicarbonate solution. This has become a part of his job responsibility.

This small tweak in the process has made life much easier for me. I got the desired flexibility to start dialysis whenever I chose to and I did not have the burden of preparing the bicarbonate solution.

Often, in our daily activities, there are things that can be simplified and made better by such small tweaks. We just need to step back a bit and do a litle carefull thinking. The results will surprise us.
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