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Manufacturing Change

Part 2 of 3


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Process Performance Measurements

Establishing proper performance measurements is essen­tial to any organization. The "financially driven" measure­ments of the past prevent the majority of the organization from focusing in upon the top management goals, simply because the critical mass cannot relate to how they contrib­ute toward goal attainment. A much better approach is to define goals and objectives in the form of internal customer and service provider built around business processes.

If these business process centered goals, objectives, proce­dures and job outlines are properly engineered, every employee can relate to how they personally are contribut­ing to the profitability of the organization. Once every individual is focused upon their contribution to profitabil­ity, the organization is reaping the benefits of synergy by all individuals.

Imagine for a minute how a shop floor machine operator would respond to a question such as: "How are you contrib­uting to the Return on Net Assets for the corporation?" Not only would the operator star gaze at the question, he would either feel that management was crazy or that they deemed the machine operator position as menial. A much better approach is to align performance measurement along natu­ral business processes which have been engineered to eliminate waste and whose customers and suppliers of services agree upon the quality, delivery and time invest­ment goals.

Process performance measurements must be developed with agreement from the internal customer and their respective supplier of services. An overall guideline may be beneficial to define the breadth of tolerances and tie to the pertinent policy guideline. However, the measurement itself must be hammered out by those in the trenches who have to perform the duties on a day-to-day basis.

Accountability and empowerment must be taken and can­not be given. Responsibility can be assigned, but account­ability mustbe championed by every individual. Therefore, to more easily gain ownership of the process and its measurement, each individual must participate in the design of the process and respective measurements, if true accountability is to be attained.

Peer review should be an integral aspect of the process performance measurement. If peers are involved in the design and measurement criteria and peers are the process owners, then the standard will result as meaningful and embraceable by those living with the results.

These process oriented measurements must be developed by all facets of the business. If designed properly in the trenches, it will result in higher level process improvements. If continuous improvement guidelines are champi­oned, then these process measurement are being continu­ally challenged with waste removed, bureaucracy being compressed and approvals decreasing over time.

A Changing Role for Leadership

Management must be the champion of the change process. A change revolution is needed to pave the way for a new entrepreneurial spirit to be breathed into the organization. Without management instigation and daily involvement in the change process, the results will be lukewarm at best.

Management must (1) relay its vision to all segments of the organization, (2) help ensure that goals and objectives are clearly defined in terms understood by every employee, (3) ensure charters are developed and executed.

Management must be the torch bearer, cheerleader and "barrier to success remover" if this change process is to occur within a reasonable time period.
Change must be inspired and leadership focused. Imple­menting change involves a financial investment, therefore determining the cost of this cultural change is essential to prudent management.

Management must provide an environment conducive to empowerment, and, then, they must become cheerleaders, motivators and "barrier to success" removers so as to support the empowering process.

A significant empowerment issue is conveying to the em­powered employees that management leadership is "truly committed" to passing along the authority. This barrier will take more than words to overcome. In practice, this can only be overcome by management living the example, being a fire-breathing advocate of the process and cheering on the successes in a very visible fashion. Cheerleading, in this regard, is more that just accolades.

Cheerleading is a day-to-day commitment to seek and destroy all barriers to the success of the process, to the extent that, a significant part of top management's job becomes championing this transition process. The premise also assumes that "all members of the executive staff" participate in the champi­oning process. This cannot be delegated to one executive only, unless that one executive is the chief executive, in which case, by definition, it is practiced by the CEO's subordinates.

To properly lead the transition, the following Critical Success Factors are needed to help ensure proper priority is maintained:
• Expressing a sincere desire to change
• Defining specific measurable goals and objectives
• Developing a time-phased action plan
• Continually expressing confidence in the ability of the organization to change and do it quickly
• Demonstrating absolute determination which displays to the organization that change is imminent
• Top management functioning as the daily example
reinforcing that the change has been breathed into their practices and consequently will be fulfilled throughout the organization.

To be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:
Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 02


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