Monday, July 23, 2007

Sustaining the Gain

At a recent ASQ meeting we were brainstorming training programs to offer during the coming year. We got your typical training ides; Lean, Six Sigma Yellow Belt, Six Sigma Green Belt, and other standard ASQ certification primer classes. I was hoping for newer and more exciting programs.

I then asked the group this question, what issues are our members and their businesses facing? From meetings with other members and local organizations, I believed that many organizations were having difficulty sustaining the results from the projects that had been completed. I believed that we should be offering classes around sustaining gains.

I asked the team to brainstorm ideas on why some project results were not sustained. We then affinitized the results into 3 themes; Leadership commitment, Culture, and lack of process / operations acumen. No surprises here.
In the coming weeks, I will dissect each of these themes into further actionable themes.

However, at a high level, I believe leadership commitment is a result of a couple things, the leadership merry go round (leaders are in their current assignments for short periods of time and are not considering the long term implications of their short term draconian policies. The next leadership issue, is the lack of strategic planning and communication of the plan. How many of you can name the top 3 strategic imperatives for your organization and the metrics being used to monitor the progress towards the strategic imperatives.

Culture is the organizations coping mechanism to the constant change in leadership
and lack of a clear organization strategy.

Lack of process / operations acumen, I believe that they're many people in the roles of process / operations managers or leaders who don't have formal training in managing their process or operations, I believe this to be especially true in transactional functions.

What are you thoughts?

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Are the stars aligned?

I have a challenge for you.
Can you name your companies top 5 Strategic Goals?
If so, you're most likely one of the few people who can. But I doubt you know them.
Most people don't have a clue what their company's strategy is or it's key goals.

Why is that?

If you don't know your companies most critical strategic imperatives, how do you know if your work isn't counteracting / damaging the companies strategy?

You need to immediately go and find out what your companies key strategic imperatives are and determine how you can help the company achieve its goals.
So, where do you start?
Find the companies strategy document. Every company should have one. Yeah right! If one doesn't exist, post your resume on immediately.

The strategy document should contain, ha ha ha, goals, objectives, measures (yes, measures that should be tracked), targets, and key initiatives that your company will supposedly execute to achieve its goals.
Once you have researched the strategy, align your work with the companies key initiatives.
Got it.
If you don't, give me a buzz. We can work through this together.

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