Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Table and Chair Shenanigans

We have our next Rapid Improvement Event (RIE), during the first week of February, which gives us four weeks to get the meeting room ready. Since before Christmas we have been looking at different types of tables and chairs. Who would have thought this would be such a minefield…?

The tables need to be robust, yet light enough to move about, for group work. We have looked at tables that fold down, and seem to risk trapped fingers at every opportunity, tables with wheels, great idea but they have the manoeuvrability of a shopping trolley; what is the optimum arrangement for eight people sitting around a square table, how much space is comfortable? Every new table style presents more questions rather than offering solutions.

Chairs are even more challenging, our criteria is comfort (really important when running an RIE), light enough to be easy to move around or with wheels and we are agreed that we like chairs with arms… We have been amazed at how sparse the information is in the specification sheets, it is really hard to make any decision without seeing the chairs. We now have an assortment of chairs wending their way to our office, so that we can make our final decision

No doubt our strict requirements are infuriating our colleagues who need to source these items, but it is vital that we get this right. Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ identifies the fundamental requirement to satisfy people’s physiological needs. Our participants will be in the room for long periods of time during an RIE and their comfort is an essential component; this will help to create the right environment for working together to improve our processes.

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