The Efficient Organization
Critical Success Factors
efficiency and productivity improvement in organizations is a strategy
and a management philosophy. It is not just a process to drive out
One of the best
ways to implement efficiency and productivity improvement is to adopt a
Lean Six Sigma philosophy-it is a way to ensure that the organization is
doing the right things at the right time and in the right way.
efficiency and productivity improvements in your organization, consider
the following six critical success factors:
- Identify and
manage key measures of efficiency and effectiveness of all processes,
not just functions of the organization (i.e., identify key measures of
success for each process that will be improved)
- Assign high level direct reports as the process owners; ensure they accept responsibility for processes under their purview
engage process owners in process improvement projects (i.e., management
[process owner] takes role of project champion on projects)
processes to corporate objectives-processes must be effective first
before they are made efficient (i.e., ensure you're doing the right
things first before embarking on improving the process)
that facts and data are used as the primary drivers for making
decisions (i.e., use dashboard measures for each sub-process to make
the need for performance improvement at all levels of the organization
and as frequently as possible-leaders cannot "over-communicate" the need
for performance improvement
improving efficiency and productivity is never a one-off project-it is a
continuous cycle of assessing, modifying, implementing and then
repeating the process. And keep in mind, also, that not all projects are
One of the key
differences between efficiency and productivity improvement projects and
other initiatives is active management involvement. This means that
management does not sit on the sidelines of projects where
traditionally, their only involvement is reviewing project status
improving efficiency and productivity is time-consuming; some may even
say it's "all-consuming." However, the benefits of improving efficiency
and productivity far outweigh the inefficiency and low productivity with
which organizations grapple.
money through more efficient use of raw materials and technology,
improving efficiency and productivity allows you to cut your waste
disposal costs, reduce your impact on the environment, and improve your
reputation with customers, suppliers, and current and future employees.
In addition, engaging in efficiency and productivity improvement
projects can boost morale of existing staff.
Pursuit of Profit
organizational efficiency and productivity relies heavily on
communication. If done incorrectly or infrequently, the impact of
messages can get lost in the myriad of available messaging streams. But
there are ways to ensure that messages are not only heard, but acted
upon, as well.
communicate their commitment to organizational efficiency and
productivity improvement by using several media streams. This includes:
contact. When you encounter staff, use the opportunity to ask what's new
with improvement projects underway in their department.
- Presentations. Use meetings to present and discuss improvement projects and how they impact overall organizational productivity.
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs). Set up an FAQ section on the corporate Intranet.
site. Set up a separate intranet section for posting updates on
efficiency and productivity improvement strategies and projects.
memos. The CEO can demonstrate support for the organization's
efficiency and productivity improvement initiatives by sending a memo to
all staff about the initiatives and how they link to the organization's
Include information about the initiative in the organization's
newsletter or set up a separate newsletter that deals only with the
efficiency and productivity improvement strategies.
Set up interactive "quizzes" on the intranet to allow users to test
their knowledge about efficiency and productivity. An example of quizzes
can be found here: http://mncconsultinggroup.com/free-resources/test-your-knowledge/.
- Hotline. Set up a telephone hotline to answer specific questions or provide assistance.
bag lunches. Use a brown bag lunch forum to answer questions about the
projects. Also, providing a free lunch to all participants is a great
way to get more participation.
- Suggestion box. The key to using this medium is to reply to all suggestions promptly.
In addition to
these communication tools, conduct milestone recognition events to
ensure that the organization's productivity improvement strategy is
top-of-mind. You may even have a nominations process where staff may
nominate "Best Team Member" or "Best Lean Team" or "Best Six Sigma
also use employee surveys to gather feedback about projects. Others
print posters or provide shirts, mugs and other paraphernalia with
special logos for team members.
Regardless of how
you choose to communicate, the key is to communicate frequently and
consistently. And whenever possible, include face-to-face communication
for best results.
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)
Face-to-face communication is a
dying sport. E-mail, texting, voice mail, and social media such as
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc., are turning us into zombies.
We no longer possess the ability to accurately interpret messages-tone,
intent, true meaning-the words are getting in the way. Since 90% of
meaning comes from something other than the words themselves, we're only
getting 10% of the message if we're not in face-to-face conversation.
"Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation."
Judith Martin ("Miss Manners")
About MNC Consulting Group
Our goal is to help you to dramatically increase efficiencies that immediately boost your profit margins.
Profits is a monthly electronic newsletter discussing how leaders can
be more efficient and areas where organizations can save more
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