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Supply Chain Implementation
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As resource management professionals, a lot of time is spent thinking about and developing solutions for prob­lems and challenges faced at work. The times that we think about these challenges aren't limited to the time spent at the office. Many ideas come to us while com­muting, taking a shower, or even watching TV. The hu­man mind doesn't seem to ever slowdown. When faced with a challenge, our minds continually process the data, performing what-if scenarios and trying to account for all variables and possibilities. It gives us the ability to be confident in making decisions and developing solutions to implement. Typically the critical point in the success of any solution is the methodology and tools used to implement. There is a lot of personal ownership as well as personal accountability tied to the success or failure of the program. How can you communicate the same energy, enthusiasm, stress, anxiety, and pressure to the internal and external partners that are going to be re­sponsible for implementing your supply chain vision? The answer is you cannot. Each member of the team is going to have his or her own unique pressures and anxi­eties to get tasks done in addition to your project. To start, be cognizant of the fact that your project might not be the most important task for each of your team­mates. By keeping the program in perspective, minimize the negative emotion that could be generated, and keep focused on the process instead of the people.

Another important concept to remember is that when preparing your vision for execution in its current state, it is one-dimensional. That is to say, it is your thoughts, your idea, the one you have constantly thought about for the last few months. To make it truly three-dimen­sional, you will need to allow others to discuss options, test theories, and make changes that help them support your original concept. In this utilitarian approach, a team makes decisions based on the greater good of the team as opposed to any one individual. Exhaust all avenues be­fore forcing any one partner to conform. Use techniques of compromise and negotiation to find an equitable so­lution for all partners. Besides, forcing a partner to con­form generates anxiety and negative emotion, and that can be detrimental to a successful implementation.

A final consideration in preparing to communicate the vision is your role in the implementation. As the facilitator, outline the preferences and concepts of the vision and then encourage open discussion among the partners to define the tactical solution. If you sense the team is losing focus, note the discussion on a separate list for later review and help them recover back to the topic at hand. Be a neutral mediator between differing opinions and, if the situation warrants, as a last resort, an arbitrator to resolve. It is impossible to be an expert in all areas that are required to implement the supply chain, so rely on the professionals in their respective groups to organize and define what is best. Do not al­low the team to digress on too many details or adminis­trative tasks. Share the work and responsibility and reduce the stress any one team member is subjected to.

To Be Continued

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

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 13


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