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Manufacturing Management Training

World Class Performance 


PART V. 


 

Solving project problems

As discussed in previous sections, we have identified many people-driven issues to address to move the project forward and enable it to achieve its full potential. In addition, we discussed scope and focus and a foolproof process as being issues. It has been our experience that to address these issues and put the project on track requires four key initiatives:

• Applied Education

• Formal plan with proper focuses

• Appropriate Performance Measurements

• Continuous improvement culture Applied Education

Applied education is critical when addressing the people-related issues to re-energize your project. This is defined as education in which participants learn what successful companies do and why; in other words, their reasoning for managing the business. Through discussion, participants develop an understanding of where they are in relation to this benchmark and where they can be. They prioritize activity and develop the action plan that will make this opportunity a reality. Team group activities dominate the education experience to allow each participant input on a plan to improve. In the end, there is ownership by each individual in the educational experience.

Extensive use is made in which case studies and vivid examples allow individuals to conduct non-threatening self-examination. Applied education becomes the catalyst for change in this environment. As a matter of fact, change is not the correct term, rather evolution as we involve all of our people in incremental improvements that culminate in large benefits.

Beginning with senior management and engulfing the total organization, many issues impeding our progress are ad­dressed in this educational process. A formalized ROI is part of the team group exercise. A clear vision is estab­lished as well as a road map to success. Through team group exercises and a non-threatening environment, ratio­nalization of performance becomes less of an issue and change cherished.

As we educate the total company, people become involved positively in moving the company forward to achieve the vision laid out by senior management. This directed involvement means many incremental improvements and a change in culture to a "team wins" approach. The project 

moves ahead because people believe and are given the charter to make beliefs a reality irrespective of politics.

Formal plan and tangible performance measurement

If you have a clear vision, the mandatory next step is to provide absolute direction of where we are going and when. If you don't have this direction provided by a project plan, people's efforts are not directed. A proper plan addressing the total scope of the project, technology, management processes, and simplification of the business is the road map to guide your people. It also makes a strong statement of commitment when communicated to the total company. Unlike other projects there are names and goals that are visual. Non-performance or non-cooperation is evident and the word commitment is defined. You cannot speak out of both sides of your mouth as readily—everyone knows what the objectives are and who is responsible.

Tangible performance measurement is also a very powerful tool. Tangible performance measurement and benchmarks keep the project on track and vividly show the commitment of the management team to change. It also allows us to focus our resources on the best opportunities and truly understand the interrelationships and cause and effects of the elements in World Class manufacturing.

Performance measurement greatly increases the likeli­hood of success, especially when these performance mea­surements are visible to all parts of the company and discussed on a regular basis. With the attitude of solving problems rather than blaming them on individuals, it focuses the project's effort and brings the total organization on board.

Establishing a continuous improvement culture

A continuous improvement culture is one in which the company encourages people to challenge and improve and rewards those who take risks. This is in direct contrast to

a culture of "group-think" where we continually institu­tionalize facility processes by shooting the messengers trying to implement change.

Using education as a catalyst, a formal problem solving approach to determine correct actions and taking the required time to improve will allow us to move ahead at breakneck speed, not only in our current project but in all initiatives in the future.

Conclusion

In conclusion, establishing a disciplined formalized ap­proach to project planning and performance measurement, using education as a catalyst to change, and establishing a continuous improvement culture will put your project back on track.


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