The fourth critical planning step is ‘process excellence execution’ and follows on from the ‘definition’ step. Although it is the start of process excellence execution it still forms part of the planning step as it address the correct application of process excellence methodologies and utilisation of the right resources from the get go. It is well known in business that a bit of planning upfront pays handsome dividends in the long run.
By way of summary, the three proceeding planning steps prior to process excellence execution are:
Much has been written by various authors on the topic of challenges experienced when implementing process excellence. It is the firm experience of AchieveProcessExcellence.com that most implementations are frustrated by poor application of the above four steps.
The benefits of diligently, but with agility, working through these four step result in:
Let us take a closer look at the final step of the planning phase and the first step of execution, process excellence execution. And in more particular, process excellence methodology and resource selection.
Not all selected opportunities are created equal. That is, each opportunity has its own set of specific background and issue that need addressing. The danger lies in trying to address each opportunity with a one size fits all standardized approach. To use a metaphor, this often leads to using a sledgehammer where a small hammer more than suffices.
Opportunity types vary from just needing basic project management to implement through to heavy weight analyses tools to clearly identify the root cause / factors before developing solutions for implementation.
Factors that determine the correct methodology include (1) the complexity of the opportunity, (2) the span across the organization, and (3) its value promise to the organization.
Opportunities typically fall into two first tier categories, Innovation or Improvement. When an opportunity can not be address through the organisations exiting processes, it is most likely requires the application of an innovation methodology.
Improvement opportunities typically lie within an organisations existing processes. Depending on how well the opportunity is understood will determine if a basic project management methodology, a solution development only methodology, a predominantly LEAN, or predominantly Six Sigma methodology is required.
The flow chart above provides a decision tree flow chart to assist you in determining what the best methodology would be for your process excellence execution of a particular opportunity.
Once a methodology for an opportunity is clear, resources that have the required skills to lead its execution can be selected.
Execution resources may vary from in-process employees with basic project management or problem solving skills, to highly qualified Lean Six Sigma Masters to address highly complex, widely spanned, and high benefit opportunities that may require more sophisticated analysis.
With the method decided and the resources in place, leaders are well prepared to champion the process excellence execution of a portfolio of opportunities.
Its is the task of leaders, often referred to to as champions or sponsors once the opportunity is underway as a project. Key leadership execution tasks include:
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