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How to implement the TBLS Strategy - the strategic workshop

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The TBLS business strategy implementation consists of 18 phases, 13 of which occur during the strategic workshop. The remaining 5 happens at the tactic workshop. This paper shows «the how» of the strategic workshop and establishes some links with the author’s previous papers that explore certain phases of the strategy which are only mentioned here.

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How to implement the TBLS Strategy - the strategic workshop

  1. 1. How to implement the TBLS strategy – the strategic workshop. Ricardo Anselmo de Castro ricardo.anselmo.castro@tecnico.ulisboa.pt Abstract The TBLS business strategy implementation consists of 18 phases, 13 of which occur during the strategic workshop. The remaining 5 happens in the tactic workshop. This paper shows «the how» of the strategic workshop and establishes some links with the author’s previous papers that explore certain phases of the strategy which are only mentioned here. Key-words: TBLS To take the best advantage of TBLS it is necessary to develop a strategic workshop. Up to three days, the goal is to provide high level training in TOC, BOS, Lean and Six Sigma while, simultaneously, to run the first 13 phases of the implementation itself. The entities that should attend to this event are: the system owner, the executive committee and the first line of directors. It is assumed that prior to this event there was a meeting with the system owner to sort out some goals and expectations. The opening of the event must be done by the owner so that everybody understands that this initiative will have top sponsorship. After this intro the first thing to be done is: 1. Identify the System and its Goal. This point was already elaborated in the paper “The system, the goal, the goal tree and validating the measuring system in the TBLS strategy”. In a nutshell, one can only improve something when the scope for improvement is known as well as its goal. 2. Executives biannual questionnaire – modus operandi baseline. In 9 different areas management scores company’s performance from 1 to 7. It’s assumed that these areas are relevant and reflect company’s performance. This assessment allows us to objectively recognize the state of the art, but also to create a sense of urgency for improvement. The results are given during the workshop. The assessment areas are: 1) Management system, 2) Products and processes development, 3) Supply chain management, 4) Operations management, 5) Customer relationship management, 6) Marketing and sales management, 7) Process decision making, 8) Process of identifying and problems resolution and 9) Process of recruitment and talent management. For example, the standard for point 1) is: The most important metrics are known by all and everybody understands how the company is measured and assessed. No contradictions among metrics (e.g.: improving one metric will no deteriorate any other metric). Scoring a 7 means “totally agree” and scoring a 1 means “totally disagree”. 3. Champion deployment and a supporting team nomination. The paper “Organizational dynamics in the TBLS strategy” addresses this point. During the workshop a rule of thumb may be: 1) Show the organizational chart to the audience (previously worked with the system owner), 2) Print each job identified in the chart (job description filled in already) and give out to everyone, 3) Identify parts of jobs description that people may disagree, 4) Work to solve those conflicts and proceed with the needed changes and 5) Verify if something needs to be added to each job description. 4. Building the goal tree. The paper “The system, the goal, the goal tree and validating the measuring system in the TBLS strategy” addresses this point already. The goal tree turns the goal, its critical success factors and necessary conditions visible to everyone. 5. Identify and scrutinize the measuring system (MS) in respect to the goal and the CSFs. The paper “The system, the goal, the goal tree and validating the measuring system in the TBLS strategy” addresses this point already. The idea is to better understand the relationship between each CSF and the goal, but also to guarantee no contradictions among metrics, something that would lead to serious conflicts in the system. Identify and scrutinize the measuring system (MS) in respect to the goal and the CSF. Identify the System and its Goal. START Champion Deployment and a supporting team nomination. Building the goal tree. Executives biannual questionnaire – modus operandi baseline.
  2. 2. 6. Follow the flowchart in order to find the area’s constraint. The paper “How to identify the area that holds the constraint“ answers precisely what to do in this phase. 7. By direct observation or predicted effect confirm that the area contains the constraint. This point is well explained in the paper mentioned. It is assumed that there’s only one constraint in the system and it’s observable. At this stage we intend to focus our efforts in what will bring highest return, goal units and also good stakeholders support. The area that holds the constraint should coincide with the lowest score area, assessed in point number 2. 8. Revise the goal tree and identify the corresponded necessary condition. The objective is to link the area that holds the constraint to the corresponded necessary condition written in the goal tree. It is assumed that this link is a triviality or at least it’s possible to add a new NC to find that link, if necessary. This is a good opportunity to scrutinize the tree. The team will make sure that a particular NC isn’t missing and the scope for future improvements is well defined. For instance, imagine that the team came to the conclusion that the area that is holding the constraint is at the supplier. The NC described in the goal tree most likely nearer that area could be: “raw materials short lead times, from order upon delivery”. That is, by the end of several improvement projects one is expecting to reduce aggressively the raw materials lead time, because this is the area that is stopping the company to achieve more of the goal. 9. If the NC is not a triviality identify what is value to the customer. Following the previous example, not always people agree on what “short lead times” is. When certain terms are poorly defined communication becomes faulty and the act of managing suffers. In order to minimize subjectivity it is important to confirm or discover what means value to the customer. Not only customer satisfaction is a necessary condition to a viable business but also it would be unthinkable to work on something that the customer doesn’t care. As a consequence, by the end of this phase we have to make sure that customer’s needs and requirements are well understood. This corresponds to the minimum knowledge a company must possess in order to thrive. 10. Identify the NC metrics, their actual and future state. Now that is clear what that NC means we turn our attention to measuring its current performance as well as defining a target. It is assumed that the NC is performing poorly, though is controllable and easily measured. The target is set in a way that, if achieved, the constraint will shift to some other NC. Imagine that in the previous example the NC metrics, their baseline and goals are: 11. Confirm that these metrics will put the system closer to its goal, and there is no conflict among them or with the Measuring System. At this stage we want to make sure that people agree with the problem. Otherwise, stakeholders that may be penalized with the NC improvements may show some active or passive resistance. For this matter it’s important to: 1) reduce resistance to improvement, 2) accept the scope of future projects and 3) change, if necessary local metrics. This exercise is similar to the fifth phase because we are also looking for causalities between this NC and others NCs and CSFs. 12. Nominate a horizontal process owner with influence over that NC. In this phase we want to give a title (action) to the horizontal process that is nearer the selected NC which, in turn, is holding the constraint. This will enable in the future (meaning tactic workshop) to map the value stream and hence to shift from systemic thinking to process thinking. Moreover we want to elect a process owner. The owner should be someone with autonomy to make changes, someone who is penalized or is benefited with the process performance and also highly respected. Following the previous example: Horizontal Process – Receiving order, transforming raw material “A” to finished goods and delivery; Process Owner – Company logistics’ director. If the NC is not a triviality identify what is value to the customer. Revise the goal tree and identify the corresponded NC. Follow the flowchart in order to find the area’s constraint. By direct observation or predicted effect confirm that the area contains the constraint. 80% 16 days Baseline 99% 7 days Objective 19%Due date performance 9 daysLead time GapMetric (Raw Material A) 80% 16 days Baseline 99% 7 days Objective 19%Due date performance 9 daysLead time GapMetric (Raw Material A)
  3. 3. 13. Developping organizational dynamics. The paper “Organizational dynamics in the TBLS strategy” addresses these points. In the workshop, time may be short to close this item, but some course of action has to be taken. If necessary “homework” is sent to who is accountable for the following: • training in TBLS • monitoring and reporting • recognition • TBLS assessment • communication CONCLUSION The strategic workshop is a fundamental tool to start the TBLS initiative with the right foot. This event should take place every three or four months so that any of the 13 phases may be revised and updated. The main deliverables of the workshop are:  System and system’s goal identified  Company’s performance self assessment  New organizational chart developed  Goal tree developed  Measuring system validated  Area that holds the constraint identified  Most affected necessary condition identified  Horizontal process and process owner identified  Organizational dynamics developed (or ongoing) The inputs used for the tactic workshop will be:  Necessary condition metrics and goals defined  Horizontal process to be improved defined  Horizontal process owner identified References [1] Castro, Ricardo A. (2014) O Proveito da Dúvida – troque o peixe pela cana de pesca. Leanpub. Nominate a horizontal process owner with influence over that NC. Developping organizational dynamics. Confirm that these metrics will put the system closer to its goal, and there is no conflict among them or with the MS. Identify the NC metrics, their actual and future state.

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