Five Ways to a Better Lean Experience
Business Process Reengineering (BPR), Lean SixSigma Improvement, and efficiency seems to be on everyone’s mind these days.
I’d like to share a few comments that might help your experience go more smoothly.
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From Process Metrics to Process Management
We discussed in an earlier post the importance of closing the loop in your methodology – process feedback is the only way to ensure that the gains made in your improvement initiative last beyond implementation or ‘go live’. The management function of monitoring and controlling a new process doesn’t necessarily mean supervision, though. On my first tour in the navy, the ship’s Plan of the Day carried the banner, “Eternal vigilance is the price of safety.” Eternal vigilance doesn’t have to be the price of process excellence or even process control.
How do we ensure that our processes remain ‘in control’ or that our new way of performing functions delivers the designed results? Don’t we need a supervisor to watch the operators to ensure they’re complying? (And a manager to ensure the supervisor is checking the operators?) This is the norm in some organizations. I’ve worked for those whom I call ‘nano-managers’, where productivity and effectiveness suffer as management layers and inspections proliferate. Clearly, the proxy for direct inspection is performance measures – capturing metrics without increasing headcount or sacrificing productivity.
Input, Process, Output Metrics
Assuming we can capture metrics from the process, what should we be looking for? Chances are, you’re already dealing with reams of reports, each filled with periodic numbers which you are ‘managing’. You may also have a balanced scorecard that your organization has developed. Great start! For management, financial numbers usually suffice. For operations insight, however, you need an additional perspective. If you think of the boundaries of the project you’re working on, there are inputs to it and outputs from it, with some value-creating function in between. We need to look at all three of these phases.
Consider the Cloud computing enables businesses to access on-demand, cost-effective technical resources. Cloud computing has quickly become a game-changing trend in the IT services industry. More than 70% of firms in the developing world, along with 46% of firms in the developed world, are reviewing their IT services alongside the new market offerings1 in order to transform their businesses, improve responsiveness, shore up weaknesses or decrease costs.
Types of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is offered in several variations, but the most common three types of offerings are: Software as a Service (SaaS), providing on-demand applications over a remote, usually public, network; Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) delivering storage, processing and network capacity over public, private or hybrid networks; and Platform as a Service (PaaS), providing the network and technology in remote data centers so that IT teams can build, host and support applications.
WillowTree Advisors Provider of Business Transformation Services
Employing Lean and Six Sigma techniques, WillowTree offers a way to rapidly assess any back office operation (e.g. IT, HR, F&A, procurement, customer service and sales) and identify improvements that will make the organization more effective and efficient.
“If your organization is feeling sluggish, needs to get rid of redundant processes or has disengaged employees, it’s time to make a change,” said Kathryn Douglass, WillowTree Advisor managing partner. “All businesses need to take a look at their operations on a regular basis to determine if improvements need to be made, technologies need to be updated and organizations and delivery models reviewed and adjusted.”
The WillowTree Advisors team addresses business needs, eliminates waste and creates swift business value and change. They help organizations lead a successful transformation by linking refreshed activities to the business strategy, transforming approaches for customized environment, and developing an overall approach to managing change in the workplace.
“The application of Lean techniques to business processes can save time, reduce waste and eliminate costs – while improving customer and employee satisfaction,” said Douglass.
Questions to Ask your Cloud Provider:
Putting your data, software and hardware and important information services to the cloud is not without risk. While cloud service customers can save money in areas like software licensing, hardware costs, power charges and staff salaries, close attention must be paid to risk. The following presentation identifies six areas of risk you should be discussing with your cloud providers. Click on the Red Tabs in the presentation to view critical questions you should be asking.