"Listening to the Voice of your Business Processes"

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Operational Excellence (OpEx)

 

"When each and every employee can see the flow of value to the customer, and fix that flow before it breaks down."

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 Operational Excellence is not easy to define. Some descriptions are too broad. Others set parameters so narrow that the ultimate definition seems too focused in scope. Often, we end up with definitions that seem plausible in an academic sense, such as “Being world-class,” “Being the best globally,” or, “Excellence in everything we do,” but are difficult to translate into practical actions. Worse yet, we end up with so many different interpretations of what “Operational Excellence” is that the organization as a whole lacks a precise definition and a roadmap to follow for achieving it.


    Operational Excellence is a philosophy of leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving resulting in continuous improvement throughout the organization by focusing on the needs of the customer, empowering employees, and optimizing existing activities in the process.


Operational Excellence stresses the need to continually improve by promoting a stronger teamwork atmosphere. Safety and quality improvements for employees and customers lead towards becoming a better enterprise.


Continuous improvement is not only about improving HR quality, but also it is about the processes and standards improvement.  You cannot improve if you do not measure. Metrics and KPI definition for any process is of pivotal importance. Once a metric value can be calculated, from the data coming directly from the process crucial measurement points, it should be logged.  Then continuous improvement means continuously improving on existing metrics and KPIs values.


Organizations should also be improved. OE'S main objective is to reduce operation costs and wastes, without affecting quality, timely delivery and cost of products and services one has to offer.


"Toyota has turned operational excellence into a strategic weapon. This operational excellence is based in part on tools and quality improvement methods made famous by Toyota in the manufacturing world, such as just-in-time, kaizen, one-piece flow, jidoka, and heijunka."

In 2010 the Opexgroep (a Dutch company) introduced Operational Excellence as the highest possible standard for reliable products and services.  In an era of widespread corporate fraud, deceit, and crisis, they state that a company’s management of quality and performance needs to be brought back to serving the interests of the client.  Their “Operational Excellence Framework” shows how the widely accepted interpretation of operational excellence as a way of “letting the interests of stakeholders prevail” is based on last century’s paradigms.  In the modern organization, this is replaced by models, methods, and instruments that re-acknowledge the need for reliable, honest products and services which provide genuine customer value.  They call this Reliability Centered Management (RCM).

One of the most important sets of skills for leaders and members are facilitation skills. These are the "process" skills we use to guide and direct key parts of our organizing work with groups of people such as meetings, planning sessions, and training of our members and leaders.


Whether it's a meeting (big or small) or a training session, someone has to shape and guide the process of working together so that you meet your goals and accomplish what you've set out to do. While a group of people might set the agenda and figure out the goals, one person needs to concentrate on how you are going to move through your agenda and meet those goals effectively. This is the person we call the "facilitator."
    So, how is facilitating different than chairing a meeting?


Well, it is and it isn't. Facilitation has three basic principles:

  1. A "facilitator" is a guide to help people move through a process together, not the seat of wisdom and knowledge. That means a facilitator isn't there to give opinions, but to draw out opinions and ideas of the group members.

  2. Facilitation focuses on HOW people participate in the process of learning or planning, not just on WHAT gets achieved.

  3. A facilitator is neutral and never takes sides.

   

Process Whisperer® Consultants have successfully completed a formal Lean Master Facilitator course at the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) in Norcross, GA.  The  Process Whisperer® also holds Virtual Facilitation Trainer Certification through NetSpeed Learning Solutions in Seattle WA.


Contact Process Whisperer® Consultants LLC to learn more about facilitation workshop offerings.