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
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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