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VIII. Professional Guidance

No, I don't necessarily mean a consultant! I mean an experienced, successful, professional educator, facilitator and coach. Some form of professional guidance is essential. An organization that has no professional guidance is a 1. When your company uses professional guidance on an ad-hoc basis for fire-fighting and refereeing that's a 3. Having and executing a plan for the use of professional guidance, intelligently applied, and effectively and efficiently man­aged is a 5.

IX. Project Team Education

Education is communicating what and why. Training is communicating how. The Project Team members and the Leader must be thoroughly educated and trained. Merely reading several books or attending some seminars to obtain a grasp of the concepts and theory is only a 1. You may score yourself a 3 if your people have attended how to seminars and workshops. It also helps that you have people that have prior experience. Score a 5 if you have a structured, compre­hensive effort underway. Not a Program! Everybody in the organization is participating and completing the education and perhaps achieving professional recognition and certi­fication such as APICS' CPIM, CFPIM and CIRM.

X. Solution Selection

This is the ideal situation for a committee and/or consensus decision. The system must serve and provide for the needs of the entire enterprise both now and into the future. If selection was based on Have I Got A Deal For You, be generous and give yourself a 1. If you determined what the key and/or critical factors are but only looked at current needs score yourself a 3. If Your solution selection was based on a clear understanding and agreement regarding the list below rate yourself a 5.

• All of the enterprise's functional requirements
• Implementation considerations
• Impact of the system on the entire enterprise
• Economics (Cost/Benefit)
• Technology
• Business strategy in future

XI. Implementation

This is where the rubber hits the road. The decisions and action have been taken for hardware and software. Now we need to get the team working and start achieving the promised payback. Too many organizations focus on instal­lation. Installation is a very short term task easily accom­plished. Implementation is an ongoing process of continu­ous improvement. If there is no detailed (to the best of your knowledge) customized implementation plan, rate yourself a 1. You found a generic plan and you're focusing on specific areas or functions. Many companies focus on finance and inventory accounting (not management and/or control). If this is you then you're a 3. A 5 is executing a detailed customized plan that is targeted on using the system to run the business. The effort is recognized and accepted by all as an enterprise wide effort and process.
XII. Performance Monitoring

Establishing the parameters to be monitored, putting the stake in the ground, establishing the benchmark(s), what­ever you want to call it, it is imperative to be able to demonstrate, illustrate and indicate the status and progress of the efforts.
You have failed to define or have improperly defined the parameters to be monitored. This means you have also failed to properly and adequately justify the effort and expenditure. If you are guilty of these charges, be kind and give yourself a 1. The 3's have established some parameters but monitoring and reporting are erratic. You, generally, very hurriedly, gather information and data only when somebody, somewhere, has called a meeting and needs to be updated as to what's going on. When you have clearly defined parameters that are meaningful and supportive of the company's goals and order winners and they are monitored and reported on a regular basis, you're a 5.


You have now entered your score for each of the 12 Critical Success Factors on the Self-Assessment Worksheet.

This is the real picture in that it represents the beliefs and perceptions of several of the key people in your company. It also represents the real opportunity for recognizing and identifying real opportunities. A facilitated session, to determine where and why the differences in perception, understanding and attitude, will lead to a plan to accom­plish what needs to be done to reach 5's across the board and achieve the paybacks and benefits initially planned for.

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 01


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