I. Top Management Education and Awareness
How and what did your organization do in preparing top management
for the journey? If all that was done was handing out an article or
a copy of a book... you're a 1.
You're also a 1 if management merely attended a brief presentation
of the concepts and theory and became conversant with the buzz
words and TLA's (Three Letter Acronyms).
Score yourself as a 3 if some attended a brief course and perhaps
some of the management team have some prior exposure or experience.
You're at the top, a 5 if there was and is a defined, comprehensive
education and awareness effort and all of management attends,
participates and completes.
II. Executive Vision and Plan
We've heard it repeatedly.. ."without commitment from the top," etc.
etc. Just as true is the fact that the top executives must have and
actively communicate a vision and a plan.
If that vision and plan only exist when he/she is looking in the
mirror, you must score yourself as a 1. Documenting the plan and
clarifying the goals and objectives promotes you to a 3. However at
this level you haven't spelled out the strategy and tasks. They
aren't clear to all. You're a 5 when the strategy and tasks have
been clearly defined, documented, maintained, communicated and
discussed with all.
Why and What got you into this in the first place? If you looked
around and saw that your competitors were doing it and that was your
motivation ... you're a 1. If your customers approached you and
said that in the near future it would be a requirement and this is
what got you started, then you're a 1. You're a subsidiary and you
were directed to get into it, you are a 1. Score yourself as a 3 if,
internally, you recognized the opportunities for positively
impacting customer service, inventory and production. This may have
come about as a result of your participation in APICS or some other
professional organization. A 5 for those who have put together a
complete cost/benefit analysis. This is where they have defined the
monitoring parameters. They have taken into account not only the
current needs but have looked into the future. The view taken is not
a myopic, functionally driven perspective but an enterprise wide
Is this a program or a process? Did somebody put a bunch of money in
the budget and say get me ... this? Fire - Aim - Ready is the
typical scenario for those who are in the program/project mode. That
means you're a 1 on the scale. A 3 can be recognized by the
meetings, discussions and agreements. A 3 has someone who is
recognized as the driver or champion. Those who are 5's have
unanimous acceptance of what is being done and all are committed and
prepared to manage the business using the system.
V. Executive Steering Body
These are the people who must make critical high level decisions to
keep efforts moving forward. They are responsible for removing
roadblocks you may encounter along the way. If this group meets on
an ad-hoc basis and merely find out what's going on by receiving a
status update score yourself as a 1. You're reaching a 3 if there
are regularly scheduled meetings...but they're always being
rescheduled. It seems that this is not the #2 priority. (The #1
priority is to keep the business running.) At these meetings the
attendees receive a status report and update and provide decision
making and direction setting. What does a 5 look like? Fully
attended, regularly scheduled meetings. There is a budget, a plan
and a pre-distributed agenda for each meeting. The agenda lists the
items for action at the meeting, provides reference materials and
alternative(s) for the action items.
Attached to the agenda is a copy of the status/progress against
plan. The meeting will review obstacles, make decisions and provide
direction. These meetings should rarely last longer than one hour.
VI. Project Leader and Team
A properly structured team and leader must be in place. Too many
companies have a one-man band. In some companies it's the "MIS"
person or the "Production" person. With the availability of PC based
software, at relatively reduced costs for hardware and software, the
perception exists that implementation is simple. Hence the one-man
band. Some companies select a turnkey vendor. This type of
organization is a 1 because once the one-man band stops playing, the
music stops! A 3 is a company that has a project leader and team but
they are part time. They must accomplish their tasks in addition to
their other day to day responsibilities. Unrealistic timing is
established and lack of achievement is discouraging and defeating.
This results in either large unplanned delays or abandonment. A full
time leader and team, properly and fully educated, trained,
chartered, budgeted and planned is a 5.
VII. User Involvement and Concurrence
How much input did the users have in determining what to do and what
If the MIS Manager, together with the finance department made the
decisions and procurement you're a 1. You have a user community that
was in need of direction, had meetings, discussed issues and
requirements and provided input you can score a 3. You're a 5 when
the users were highly participative in the decisions, feel and
believe that it is an enterprise wide system. Most importantly, the
resources of the system are readily available to the users.
To be Continued
For balance of this article, click on the below link:
Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 01
stay current on manufacturing
please subscribe to our weekly bulletin, "Manufacturing. Basics
and Best Practices (MBBP)." Simply
fill in the below form and click on the " subscribe
also send you our Special Report, "6-Change Initiatives for
Personal and Company Success."
no cost of course.
personal information will never
be disclosed to any third party.
what one of our subscribers said about the MBBP Bulletin:
articles. Thanks for the insights. I often share portions of your
articles with my staff and they too enjoy them and fine aspects
where they can integrate points into their individual areas of
responsibilities. Thanks again."
Kerry B. Stephenson. President. KALCO Lighting, LLC
to Basics" Training for anyone ... anywhere ... anytime
6003 Dassia Way, Oceanside, CA 92056
West Coast: 760-945-5596
© 2001-2007 Business Basics, LLC