Carl Holte loves Hoopla. Not hoopla as in the form of exuberant celebration, but hoopla as in the name of an improvement technique used at the Web Industries Hartford, Connecticut unit where Carl is the plant manager.
Hoopla is a simple, quick improvement technique that is used at the end of every meeting or event. Participants are asked three questions:
- What Went Well
- What Didn’t Go Well
- What Should We Do Differently
The rules for participants are simple:
- All feedback makes it on the list as stated
- Keep feedback short and concise
- No debating anyone else’s feedback
- Everyone has a voice
- Be open and honest
Lists of the responses to the three questions are created, logged, and reviewed by the appropriate people. Improvement actions are decided upon and assigned. The process has proven to be an excellent source of employee improvement ideas. Because its application is so pervasive, Hoopla has helped to foster a candid environment of improvement as an integral part of Web Hartfort’s culture.
Hoopla is also used as a way to quickly get input on the performance of various processes throughout the operation. For example, about once a year, everyone in the facility is asked the three hoopla questions about the employee idea system. In this way, employee ideas are used as a way to improve the system for getting employee ideas.
Carl Holte also hates Hoopla. “Our people have gotten so skilled at Hoopla, that it seems no matter how good a meeting or event has gone, we walk away with a list of improvements we can make.” Then Carl grinned and added, “It seems like the better we get, the more improvement opportunities we see.”