Donnerstag, 16. November 2017

Lean Structures? - Five Major Drivers to Success

When talking about lean structures, Toyota always comes in mind. They developed a lot of popular tools like poka-yoke (error proofing) or kaizen (continous improvement). But despite the fact that Toyota did well with these tools, did it work the same with other companies?

Most of these tools were introduced with a lot of effort, including external consultants. But reality revealed that most of these tools or concepts where not succeeding, the outcome was poor even if the concept fitted the actual needs to improve performance.

Reasons for failure where manifold, employee´s resistance, lack of skills and motivation, poor leadership of project responsibles and finally the concept needed to much effort and ressources to be implemented.

Consequently, following the key drivers listed below will improve implementation process of new management tools or concepts.

Make it understandable
All concepts have to be clear and understood by all team members involved. It´s important to win the team's motivation. Vague concepts were neither success nor the effect on corporate´s performance are measurable, are simply failing because of their incapacity of moving the people for them. Only when the staff clearly understands the need for the restructuring process, the employee´s minds and hearts are won.

Small steps - big goals
All goals must be split up into single measures, where success is reachable within months. This motivates people to go for the next measure. Start with small test projects which focus on spot improvements, then go for bigger scales.

Who´s affected must be involved
One of the main problems in the stage of implementation is that not all of the people affected are involved in the process, they get their directives and have to follow them without understanding why and for what purpose. This creates resistance, followed by bad mouthing when success doesn´t come out. If at this point management does not fully support the restructuring team, the project will fail! The project head has to have excellent communication skills to convince the affected employee´s of the need of implementation and change. Most implementation teams are lacking communication skills or simply don´t have the capacity to speak the right language which everybody understands - starting from the management board all the way down to shop floor.

Measure the progress
You can´t manage what you can´t measure. First of all, set metrics to every step - this could mean costs to be cut, turnover per client, marketshare, reporting tools etc - combined with a clear timeline and a clear responsability within the team. All these must be aligned with the overall goals steered by the project head. Second of all, measures must be flexible, often first ideas don´work out and the concept is not the paper worth for. In this case alternatives must be found in order to reach corporate goals. Usually, on top there is a steering committee installed, to which the project head reports, and which decides important issues during the implementation phase.

Hire the best resources available
When it comes to implement changes in processes which affect a big part of the employees, the responsible manager needs to have a lot of experience combined with the right personality. Only professional staffing used for the restructuring process will capitalize the company´s effort and create sustainable values.

About ReManagement:

During crisis, usually the entire wealth of the owners is put at risk, it’s about rescuing a lifetime work. No tips and fancy concepts put on shinny paper will help – only quick action and real upshot will do the job. The need for practice-proofed advisory together with taking responsibility for recovery is the only helpful hand lend to companies in order to succeed during downturn.

In more than ten years of experience we managed winning the trust of our clients, by dealing every problem with the required amount of attention from our top level professionals. Pointing out outcome-oriented solutions, integrating actions and keeping an upright management is what distinguishes us. We believe in performance as a team result and quality in our accomplishments. This is what makes us proud of our tasks. This is the key to our joint success.

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