Stephen Parry • Hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year, or a Happy Holiday which ever suits.
Thank you to all who outlined the proof your company looks for when trying to create a Sense and Respond Lean Enterprise.
I think the problem faced by most companies is they have usually already decided which KPIs they need to hit and want Lean to help them hit their existing targets.
However what we know from Sense and Respond Lean is that the company’s measurement system is usually the second problem which needs to be addressed – come to the first in moment- After all the measurement system reflects what the business thinks is important but the vast majority of company measures are usually based on mass-production thinking.
So we come to the first thing to be addressed and that is changing the company thinking from Mass-production theories to Lean Theories where the design of the measurement system (and ultimately the design of the whole company) is centred on Customers and Liberating Employee creativity and ingenuity to better serve them.
Most of you who have been involved in Sense and Respond know instantly when seeing a set of company KPIs the basic underlying theory and thinking behind the design and behaviour of the organisation, it’s from this point we must start thinking about the re-education entry points.
The Measures matrix on page 78 of the Sense and Respond book is a good place to start. Most people fill this matrix out thinking their measures are important to the customer and indeed work end to end.
Having done that the trick is to then walk the value stream together asking questions from both the customer’s and employee’s perspectives. Once completed ask them to do the same Measures matrix exercise again.
Usually the second time around most of the measures are placed in the ‘functional’ and ‘does not matter the customer’ - lower left quadrant.
There is usually a sharp intake of breath at this point, the point at which they realise they are measuring the wrong things, feeling pain about the wrong things i.e. waste pain. Its only from this point (new thinking) can we now have a discussion about what sort of measures need to have in the top quadrant i.e. ‘Matters to the customer’ and ‘ work end-to-end’
Some of you reading this will have had this experience, perhaps you can tell your own story on this subject.
Warm Regards Stephen.