To use the six thinking hats technique for process improvement, it is important to start with the blue hat. The blue hat helps us to organize our thoughts and plan out how we want to approach our process improvements. Next, we should put on the white hat and focus on gathering and evaluating data related to our process. While doing so, we should also keep an eye out for potential issues or inefficiencies that might be present in our process.
After we have gathered as much information as possible, it is time to switch over to the white hat of other people's views. In this phase, we should try to imagine what different stakeholders in our process might think about our existing way of doing things and consider their perspectives when designing improvements. Once we have a good idea of these perceptions, we can move on to the yellow hat phase, where we focus on the positives that could come from improving our process. We should think about ways that any changes we make could benefit both ourselves and others involved in the process, such as by increasing efficiency or reducing costs.
Once we have identified potential improvements based on the six hats, it is time to turn to black and green hats - criticality and creativity - in order to develop more ideas for how we could implement these changes. In the black hat phase, we should try to anticipate any potential problems that might arise from our proposed process improvements and brainstorm ways to mitigate these risks. During the green hat phase, we can let our imaginations run wild and come up with as many creative solutions as possible for how to implement our desired changes.
Following on with the red hat, we should now take some time to emotions and feelings when considering our process improvements. How will our changes make us feel? Are we comfortable with the risks involved? What will happen if things don't go as planned? By thinking about these questions, we can gain a better understanding of how we personally feel about our proposed changes before moving forward.
Finally, we arrive at the blue hat once again. Now that we have considered all of the different aspects of our process improvement project, it is time to step back and assess the situation as a whole. What have we learned? What are our next steps? By taking the time to reflect on our journey through the six thinking hats, we can develop a clearer plan for how to proceed and ensure that we are making the best possible decisions for our process.
Use the six hats in the following order for process improvement discussions:
- White (Other People's Views)