Putting the Framework to work – steps 3 and 4
By James Reyes-Picknell & Uri Wittenberg
It is vital to get Planning right, so it will take some time to execute. This is where some of the philosophies, concepts and tools, conveyed during the Awareness portion in concert with past knowledge and experiences, will help assemble the overall implementation project plan with all its pieces. It should consider cross-functional daily interaction between all areas in the organization vital to the successful operation of all business essentials.
3.1 Cascading Strategies
At this stage, critical outputs created during the SLT Facilitation and Leadership Hoshin Kanri sessions will be considered as inputs. We will assist the next levels of the organization comprised of Planning Forum & Review Team members, to continue drilling down to the more tactical levels of the organization, determining what needs to be accomplished in which areas in what fashion. Additional facilitation sessions are recommended for these levels to determine additional issues and concerns which need to be addressed and rectified.
In-depth analysis will be conducted at the operational levels unearthing all the weaknesses and shortcomings of the present operational workflow. We use value-stream-mapping to analyze “as-is” and generate “should-be” process maps. The gaps between the two will point to all the areas of waste and delays which will have to be changed and corrected.
While generating the “Change Management Game Plan”, it is important to consider projects already in progress and their contribution to the overall effort and resource utilization.
3.2 Measuring What Matters
In many organizations, the Balanced Score Card is used as a very effective tool to capture organizational results across the entire enterprise. Our cascading use of Hoshin Kanri helps to set that up. Following our Hoshin Kanri sessions, it becomes important to continuously monitor and update project progress and results on all cascading levels.
An important task during the planning efforts of the Asset Management initiative is the “scientific” definition of Key Performance Indicators for all project elements and deliverables. Accurate and timely updates of all results across all enterprise levels, will provide top Executives with realistic accounting of how well the various strategic goals.
3.3 Accountability & Communication
Accountability and Communication are keys to success in any change initiative. Holding individuals who are named as responsible for the various elements and activities to account for results as well as for implementation is important. It is not enough to take actions and effectively toss the results “over the fence” expecting someone else to run with it and have success. Communication is also very important. One failing in many change initiatives is that throughout the organization, change will be evident but details of what is going on, why and what can be expected are often lacking. The absence of information produces a void that fills with rumor and conjecture. Keeping the entire organization fully informed and answering whatever questions arise both honestly and expeditiously is important.
Visual Enterprise is an effective tool to support a communication campaign. This could comprise fixed communication boards, spread across the organization. Another very effective method is the use dynamic display boards showing instant results as they happen. Both static and dynamic communication vehicles must be kept up to date and accurate at all times.
4.1 Strategic Blueprint
The Strategic Blueprint is both a process and a result. During the process we develop detailed action plans that cascade through the entire organization from strategic intent to the level where implementation actions must occur. This effort produces a detailed plan of action, usually for one year of activities with a longer term high level framework that is to be detailed later in the first year of effort. The Strategic Blueprint acts as a project plan to manage the implementation.
Once the Strategic Blueprint is created it will be implemented using project management methods and in accordance with the Project Charter created during the Environmental Scan. That will include details of the project’s intended outcomes, how the effort will be governed and what must be put in place to ensure long term sustainability of the results once the project phases are at an end. The scope and tasks of steering committees, management teams, action teams, etc. will be defined, along with their interactions. The integration of change management, project management and governance activities will be defined to fit the organization’s implementation plan and the ensuing results. In concert with implementation, activities will be provided to ensure both the technical aspects and the change management aspects of the project are executed.
4.2 Project Governance & Results Optimizer
Project Governance provides tools for Business Excellence. The Project Governance Coordinator role it is to organize and monitor the monthly project review sessions and schedule. Project activity representatives will be invited for brief updates of where their project or initiative stands and to report to the reviewing committee as to the status of key deliverables and key performance indicators. The coordinator will generate minutes from all review meetings outcomes and circulate them to all affected stakeholders. He/she will be accountable for generating appropriate updates for all communication vehicles and post them accordingly.
This same forum will be used to escalate any issues arising from individual projects, as a gateway to close completed projects and to initiate and introduce new ones as need arises. In addition, Lessons Learned sessions are conducted to highlight pros & cons of each project closed and to highlight considerations that must be made for potential changes in future projects.
The Results Optimizer is used to ensure that actions are taken, results are checked, expectations are being met and if not, finding out why, determining what must be done to correct the situation and initiating that corrective action. The monitoring function allows successes to be celebrated, shortfalls dealt with quickly and unforeseen concerns that could impact any actions to date to be offset.
4.3 Performance Evaluation & Continuous Improvement
Performance Evaluations are required to ensure that new / changed processes, methods, etc. are sustained over time. Continuous improvement requires that after we’ve taken steps, we then check that those steps remain in place and that results are aligned with our goals. We cannot assume that things will always work smoothly. Reviews / Assessments / Audits (as appropriate) are well proven as successful tools to evaluate performance and for sustaining established changes. Not only do we ensure that the implementation project stays on course, but once it is completed, audits ensure the new processes are followed. In these reviews we collect and analyze feedback, diagnose any gaps and / or management resistance to the changes, define and implement corrective actions.
Continuous Improvement refers to the activities implemented as corrective actions in the Results Optimizer as well as in daily use once the changes have been implemented. In the project sense this can be seen as a “sort of” mini-project, implemented to correct whatever has arisen and get the overall Blueprint back on track for success. Even if all appears to be going well with the initiative, a Continuous Improvement team will review the entire effort to ensure that all of it is working as intended, the Blueprint is being followed during the project phases, that the Strategic Vision aligned with corporate values and likely to be achieved both short and long term, that results are being delivered, that governance mechanisms as defined in the Project Charter are being utilized and effective and that minor improvements continue to take place once the initial project effort is over and you are settled into “business as usual”. Like “Kaizen” in the Lean Manufacturing realm, Continuous Improvement is applied to ensure that changes occur to eliminate waste and other problems on an ongoing basis and without the need for formalized and major project efforts.
The Conscious Asset Framework ™ | Successful and Sustainable
Sustainable Business Processes are what we achieve from the entire Framework. Whatever the change it will reflect a combination of technical, change management and governance factors all working together in synchronicity. The right combination of those is determined through progressively more detailed scans that gather increasingly more relevant information about barriers and enablers as the nature of the technical change becomes better understood. The stumbling blocks and impacts on business processes, methods, procedures, practices, habits, culture, etc. are all addressed. By tailoring the Framework’s outputs to specific client requirements, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses it ensures that the right projects are implemented successfully and these projects are sustained into the future.
By providing sustainable processes the stage is set to iterate wherever future gaps in performance may arise enabling the organization to spot, act upon and close them. Sustained success is assured through the systematic implementation of the Conscious Asset Framework™ leaving in place processes, habits and culture that will endure alongside the flexibility to adapt to future needs.
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No Surprises! The Conscious Capital Asset Framework
If we are to be good at Asset Management we need to understand what it is and what it is not, begin to think of our business more holistically, consider our role as contributing to a greater whole and start behaving differently. Once we’ve achieved that, Asset Management should be sustained – it never stops. Putting it in place is not just a project with a beginning and end although it may start that way. It is really about putting in place a new corporate culture and continually improving it. This book speaks to those changes and how to go about doing it.
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