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Work Focused Improvement®
Management Essentials for
Daily Use and Ongoing Improvement
By Sam Pratt
© 1986-2013 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Module 18a
Continuous Improvement
& Advancement Process Basics
Continuous Improvement in a
Nut Shell
1. The requisite mindset is simple: No matter how good we
get, we always can and will get better
2. The system must be able to do this:
a. Build a list of all key initiatives, projects, and
problems to be solved
b. Prioritize the initiatives
c. Assign people and other resources where needed
d. Energize the entire process
e. Ever increase the rate of progress
© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Continuous Improvement
Improving a Team
 Is there opportunity for your team and the rest of the
organization to improve?
 For your team, and parts of the organization your team deals
with, how many things could be done to improve?
 Do other people on your team have ideas on how to do
things better?
 Are some ideas better (more valuable) than others?
 Could some of the ideas fail to gain the expected results?
 Do you expect technology, training, systems, structures,
and business mechanism to continue to get better over time?
 Do you have a list of all these improvement ideas?
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Tools
 Have you ever used?
– A grocery list
– Golf or bowling score sheet
– Mailing list
– Checking Account Log
– Map
 Why did you use them?
 What is good about these mechanisms?
 Would some similar mechanism be useful
to your team?
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Work Focused Improvement
Underlying Assumptions / Environment
 Managers / Leaders know their areas
 In an area at any given time, there are far more known
improvements to make than resources to make them
 A Manager / Leader’s day is fragmented
 Only large cost / risk ideas require detailed justifications
/ return on investment calculations
 Most local improvements go unreported
 Reporting, tracking, energizing, and analysis
mechanisms should be simple
 Trust is always an issue
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Advancement
STAGESOF RESPONSE
1 Kickoff (varies by level of response
and is Customized to Organization)
 8-Square Associate Awareness Module
 9-Minute Impactor Presentations
 What Counts
 Environmental Analysis
 Technical Analysis
 Social Analysis
 Flow Charting with overlaid variances & roles
 Balanced Brainstorming
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Advancement
STAGESOF RESPONSE
1 Kickoff (Continued)
 Purposes of the Kickoff
– To rapidly get people to know each other and the
essence of the Work Groups they represent
– To draft an Advancement List or Lists and secure
immediate gain
– To foster collaboration, trust, tradeoffs, and
tolerances for partial solutions and risk taking
 The end of the Kickoff is never neat & tidy
… not a problem...
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Advancement
STAGESOF RESPONSE
Stage 2 Ongoing Effort, focused & energized
by succinct Advancement Lists
 Celebration of both successes & non-successes
... both add to the knowledge base
 Alternate nudging & use of energizing
mechanisms
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Stage 2 Advancement List Essentials
 Resist temptation to track more than
– Priorities [1,2,3,C,H,X note that highest priority is at top
– Half line description starting with a
thoughtfully selected action verb
– Guessed quantified expected gains
– % chance of success [never 100% - reduces stress]
– Leader and maybe a Deputy
 Sort the list by Priorities, then Amount of Gain,
then % Certainty
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Stage 2 Advancement Process Essentials
 Hold periodic meetings that are unstructured,
casual, relaxed, upbeat & fun
 Focus on the work, enabling, creativity & gains ...
not tracking
 Value & defend a pervading atmosphere of trust
and cooperation
 Take the position that there is no such thing as
closure … partial solutions are just fine, and
everything can be revisited
 At the same time, if closing the loop requires
standardized practices, keep them as simple,
concise & visible as possible
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
WFI Team Advancement Meeting
Expected Outcomes
 Improve bottomline performance of organization
 Enable the organization
 Enable individuals and teams
 Emphasize inter-departmental communications
 Foster cooperation and respect
 Build a robust organization with widespread ownership,
understanding, and alignment
 Assure that all key business mechanisms are continuously
improving and working in concert
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Advancement Lists
Cover Page / Overhead / Explanation
The attached, following, or posted list(s) are used to
 Focus and organize effort
 Energize response
 Expand participation
While Leaders are identified for most items, people
from anywhere & everywhere are requested to
 Add items
 Improve items
 Request roles as leaders or helpers
This is a simple, proven way to improve!
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Advancements Why They Work
 Bureaucracy minimized
 Creativity maximized - “living body of work”
 Stress minimized
– Certainty is never 100%
– Celebrate learning from discarded trials
 Pick & choose nature of lists is collaborative
 “Cream comes to the top”
 “Bad ideas settle to the bottom”
 Lists generate debate & refinement over time
 Normally, the big gain items are the fun items
 Items get done without the “boss” even knowing
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Advancements Why They Work
 “The power of the pen”
– Action words can be selected to reflect status of idea
o Study …
o Design ...
o Choose …
o Install ...
o Upgrade ...
– Collaborative efforts can be orchestrated
 Completed & excluded items provide a diary of progress
 Lists can smooth implementation of other programs
 High visibility of everything: Results, Tools,
Mechanisms, and the “Living Body of Work”
(Continued)
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Advancement List - Example
Pr # Item Gain Cert Lead Dep
1 1 Develop owners of KPIs, targets, and business mechanisms 5.50% 50% ATK
1 2 Review strategies & mechanisms to reduce disruption of "fires" 5.00% 75% SF GG
1 3 Perform Calibration exercises 4.70% 80% SHP
1 4 Build forums safe to encourage open communications 4.50% 75% BBU
1 5 Improve horizontal communications, collaboration, and cooperation 4.00% 75% KL
1 6 Review recognition & reward mechanisms & needed outcomes 3.40% 66% ATK
1 7 Review mechanisms / strategies to make Ops & Mgt a cohesive unit 3.30% 80% CRD BBU
1 8 Determine steps to insure that hygiene is 1 on 1 and in background 3.30% 75%
1 9 Asses current high level meetings (review comments, suggestions) 2.90% 70% BF
2 10 Consider Leadership training and design options 8.00% 66% GG
2 11 Review Pay Systems components to insure "fair to individuals & company" 6.10% 66% RSP
2 12 Use Balanced Brainstorming or Fishbone Analysis Session to build team 4.00% 80% RSP
2 13 Review Business Information needs, timeliness, and formats 3.40% 75% KL
2 14 Use 8-Square Associate Awareness Module to build understanding 3.00% 90%
2 15 Study issues & options related to Mission(s) 2.70% 75%
3 16 Design Advancement Kick-off Session with selected exercises 4.00% 80%
3 17 Use 9 Minute Impactor Presentations to tear down borders 3.00% 90% THP
3 18 Use temporary "Employee Swaps" to improve horizontal understanding 3.00% 80%
H 19 Design and use scoreboards 5.00% 75%
H 20 Design & Implement Cross Training System 3.00% 60%
X 21 Design cross functional marketing teams 0.44% 75%
Advancement
Quick
Directions
© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Advancement List is …
 The body of work of an organization or team
 A prioritizing tool
 A resource allocator
 A concise communications mechanism
 A team building endeavor
 A diary of successes & failures learning experiences
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Performance Improvement (WFI) ...
Making It the Way Of Life
 Keep Ongoing Lists of PI items [Advancement Lists]
 Give PI Highly Visible Publicity
– Agenda Item(s) on Team Meetings
– Bulletin Boards, Newsletters, Ad Hoc Efforts
 Have Various Mechanisms Support PI:
– Performance Plans, Business Plan, Pay Systems, [panaceas] ...
– New efforts & initiatives
 Get all levels of the organization involved in project planning,
design, & implementation
 Periodic reporting meetings should be laced with celebrations
and loosely structured
 Have appropriate levels of bureaucracy for the size and
uncertainty of the project ... maximize the fun part
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Team Advancement
Meeting Guidelines
 Focus on the work (performance and enabling of
organization)
 Stay away from personalities, politics, turf, blame, rigid
positions, and “me” issues
 Let it be known early in the discussion if a decision will be
Type I, II, or III (I decide, I decide with your input, we
decide)
 Emphasize the understanding and use of Key Performance
Indicators
 Value listening & cooperating more than persuading &
winning
 Spend enough time on issues to develop widespread
understanding and support
Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Standard Agenda for Advancement Meeting
1. Quick Hitters / Urgent issues
2. New items form Advancement List
3. Updates for existing items
4. Changes of any Priorities in view of above
5. Anything else
Note: Discussion & debate are welcome on all 5 above
© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited Continuous Improvement
Which of the following is not a function
of the Advancement Process / List ?
 To Do List
 Diary
 Resource allocator
 Delegating tool
 Gain estimator
 Brainstorming mechanism
 Communications vehicle
 Newsletter
 Meeting agenda
 Prioritizer
 Simplest effective bureaucracy
 Justification tool
 Team energizer
 Help wanted mechanism
 Stress eliminator
 Meeting Minutes
 Living document / process
 Global Positioning System
Continuous Improvement
Answer:GPS
© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Pragmatism, Culture, Reality, Etceteras
Summary
 Don’t expect rapid changes of culture or values.
 Never give up on changing culture over the long haul
 Recognize that attempts to transform the culture overnight can
be counterproductive due to reality / perception / expectation
gaps [management can look incredibly naive]
 Use multi-factored pay systems to change short-term conduct
and long-term culture
 Use a wide variety of management tools & techniques to bring
about change
 Manage with facts
 Push for rapid changes in technology and conduct
 Assure that culture is moving in the right direction, and worry
less about the rate of change
Organizational Dynamics© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
Note: Module 36b gets into the details of
the various mechanisms and then extends
process to closing the loop which includes
the ongoing Performance Review Meetings
Continuous Improvement

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Module 18a: Continuous Improvemnet & Advancement Process Basics

  • 1. Work Focused Improvement® Management Essentials for Daily Use and Ongoing Improvement By Sam Pratt © 1986-2013 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited Module 18a Continuous Improvement & Advancement Process Basics
  • 2. Continuous Improvement in a Nut Shell 1. The requisite mindset is simple: No matter how good we get, we always can and will get better 2. The system must be able to do this: a. Build a list of all key initiatives, projects, and problems to be solved b. Prioritize the initiatives c. Assign people and other resources where needed d. Energize the entire process e. Ever increase the rate of progress © 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited Continuous Improvement
  • 3. Improving a Team  Is there opportunity for your team and the rest of the organization to improve?  For your team, and parts of the organization your team deals with, how many things could be done to improve?  Do other people on your team have ideas on how to do things better?  Are some ideas better (more valuable) than others?  Could some of the ideas fail to gain the expected results?  Do you expect technology, training, systems, structures, and business mechanism to continue to get better over time?  Do you have a list of all these improvement ideas? Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 4. Tools  Have you ever used? – A grocery list – Golf or bowling score sheet – Mailing list – Checking Account Log – Map  Why did you use them?  What is good about these mechanisms?  Would some similar mechanism be useful to your team? Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 5. Work Focused Improvement Underlying Assumptions / Environment  Managers / Leaders know their areas  In an area at any given time, there are far more known improvements to make than resources to make them  A Manager / Leader’s day is fragmented  Only large cost / risk ideas require detailed justifications / return on investment calculations  Most local improvements go unreported  Reporting, tracking, energizing, and analysis mechanisms should be simple  Trust is always an issue Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 6. Advancement STAGESOF RESPONSE 1 Kickoff (varies by level of response and is Customized to Organization)  8-Square Associate Awareness Module  9-Minute Impactor Presentations  What Counts  Environmental Analysis  Technical Analysis  Social Analysis  Flow Charting with overlaid variances & roles  Balanced Brainstorming Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 7. Advancement STAGESOF RESPONSE 1 Kickoff (Continued)  Purposes of the Kickoff – To rapidly get people to know each other and the essence of the Work Groups they represent – To draft an Advancement List or Lists and secure immediate gain – To foster collaboration, trust, tradeoffs, and tolerances for partial solutions and risk taking  The end of the Kickoff is never neat & tidy … not a problem... Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 8. Advancement STAGESOF RESPONSE Stage 2 Ongoing Effort, focused & energized by succinct Advancement Lists  Celebration of both successes & non-successes ... both add to the knowledge base  Alternate nudging & use of energizing mechanisms Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 9. Stage 2 Advancement List Essentials  Resist temptation to track more than – Priorities [1,2,3,C,H,X note that highest priority is at top – Half line description starting with a thoughtfully selected action verb – Guessed quantified expected gains – % chance of success [never 100% - reduces stress] – Leader and maybe a Deputy  Sort the list by Priorities, then Amount of Gain, then % Certainty Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 10. Stage 2 Advancement Process Essentials  Hold periodic meetings that are unstructured, casual, relaxed, upbeat & fun  Focus on the work, enabling, creativity & gains ... not tracking  Value & defend a pervading atmosphere of trust and cooperation  Take the position that there is no such thing as closure … partial solutions are just fine, and everything can be revisited  At the same time, if closing the loop requires standardized practices, keep them as simple, concise & visible as possible Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 11. WFI Team Advancement Meeting Expected Outcomes  Improve bottomline performance of organization  Enable the organization  Enable individuals and teams  Emphasize inter-departmental communications  Foster cooperation and respect  Build a robust organization with widespread ownership, understanding, and alignment  Assure that all key business mechanisms are continuously improving and working in concert Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 12. Advancement Lists Cover Page / Overhead / Explanation The attached, following, or posted list(s) are used to  Focus and organize effort  Energize response  Expand participation While Leaders are identified for most items, people from anywhere & everywhere are requested to  Add items  Improve items  Request roles as leaders or helpers This is a simple, proven way to improve! Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 13. Advancements Why They Work  Bureaucracy minimized  Creativity maximized - “living body of work”  Stress minimized – Certainty is never 100% – Celebrate learning from discarded trials  Pick & choose nature of lists is collaborative  “Cream comes to the top”  “Bad ideas settle to the bottom”  Lists generate debate & refinement over time  Normally, the big gain items are the fun items  Items get done without the “boss” even knowing Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 14. Advancements Why They Work  “The power of the pen” – Action words can be selected to reflect status of idea o Study … o Design ... o Choose … o Install ... o Upgrade ... – Collaborative efforts can be orchestrated  Completed & excluded items provide a diary of progress  Lists can smooth implementation of other programs  High visibility of everything: Results, Tools, Mechanisms, and the “Living Body of Work” (Continued) Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 15. Advancement List - Example Pr # Item Gain Cert Lead Dep 1 1 Develop owners of KPIs, targets, and business mechanisms 5.50% 50% ATK 1 2 Review strategies & mechanisms to reduce disruption of "fires" 5.00% 75% SF GG 1 3 Perform Calibration exercises 4.70% 80% SHP 1 4 Build forums safe to encourage open communications 4.50% 75% BBU 1 5 Improve horizontal communications, collaboration, and cooperation 4.00% 75% KL 1 6 Review recognition & reward mechanisms & needed outcomes 3.40% 66% ATK 1 7 Review mechanisms / strategies to make Ops & Mgt a cohesive unit 3.30% 80% CRD BBU 1 8 Determine steps to insure that hygiene is 1 on 1 and in background 3.30% 75% 1 9 Asses current high level meetings (review comments, suggestions) 2.90% 70% BF 2 10 Consider Leadership training and design options 8.00% 66% GG 2 11 Review Pay Systems components to insure "fair to individuals & company" 6.10% 66% RSP 2 12 Use Balanced Brainstorming or Fishbone Analysis Session to build team 4.00% 80% RSP 2 13 Review Business Information needs, timeliness, and formats 3.40% 75% KL 2 14 Use 8-Square Associate Awareness Module to build understanding 3.00% 90% 2 15 Study issues & options related to Mission(s) 2.70% 75% 3 16 Design Advancement Kick-off Session with selected exercises 4.00% 80% 3 17 Use 9 Minute Impactor Presentations to tear down borders 3.00% 90% THP 3 18 Use temporary "Employee Swaps" to improve horizontal understanding 3.00% 80% H 19 Design and use scoreboards 5.00% 75% H 20 Design & Implement Cross Training System 3.00% 60% X 21 Design cross functional marketing teams 0.44% 75%
  • 16. Advancement Quick Directions © 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 17. Advancement List is …  The body of work of an organization or team  A prioritizing tool  A resource allocator  A concise communications mechanism  A team building endeavor  A diary of successes & failures learning experiences Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 18. Performance Improvement (WFI) ... Making It the Way Of Life  Keep Ongoing Lists of PI items [Advancement Lists]  Give PI Highly Visible Publicity – Agenda Item(s) on Team Meetings – Bulletin Boards, Newsletters, Ad Hoc Efforts  Have Various Mechanisms Support PI: – Performance Plans, Business Plan, Pay Systems, [panaceas] ... – New efforts & initiatives  Get all levels of the organization involved in project planning, design, & implementation  Periodic reporting meetings should be laced with celebrations and loosely structured  Have appropriate levels of bureaucracy for the size and uncertainty of the project ... maximize the fun part Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 19. Team Advancement Meeting Guidelines  Focus on the work (performance and enabling of organization)  Stay away from personalities, politics, turf, blame, rigid positions, and “me” issues  Let it be known early in the discussion if a decision will be Type I, II, or III (I decide, I decide with your input, we decide)  Emphasize the understanding and use of Key Performance Indicators  Value listening & cooperating more than persuading & winning  Spend enough time on issues to develop widespread understanding and support Continuous Improvement© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 20. Standard Agenda for Advancement Meeting 1. Quick Hitters / Urgent issues 2. New items form Advancement List 3. Updates for existing items 4. Changes of any Priorities in view of above 5. Anything else Note: Discussion & debate are welcome on all 5 above © 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited Continuous Improvement
  • 21. Which of the following is not a function of the Advancement Process / List ?  To Do List  Diary  Resource allocator  Delegating tool  Gain estimator  Brainstorming mechanism  Communications vehicle  Newsletter  Meeting agenda  Prioritizer  Simplest effective bureaucracy  Justification tool  Team energizer  Help wanted mechanism  Stress eliminator  Meeting Minutes  Living document / process  Global Positioning System Continuous Improvement Answer:GPS © 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 22. Pragmatism, Culture, Reality, Etceteras Summary  Don’t expect rapid changes of culture or values.  Never give up on changing culture over the long haul  Recognize that attempts to transform the culture overnight can be counterproductive due to reality / perception / expectation gaps [management can look incredibly naive]  Use multi-factored pay systems to change short-term conduct and long-term culture  Use a wide variety of management tools & techniques to bring about change  Manage with facts  Push for rapid changes in technology and conduct  Assure that culture is moving in the right direction, and worry less about the rate of change Organizational Dynamics© 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited
  • 23. © 1986-2014 Samuel H. Pratt / SHP Consulting Limited Note: Module 36b gets into the details of the various mechanisms and then extends process to closing the loop which includes the ongoing Performance Review Meetings Continuous Improvement