Putting Lean Business Process Improvement in Context Steve Mackereth

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<ul><li><p>Putting Lean Business Process Improvement in Context Steve Mackereth</p></li><li><p>About Blythburgh Ltd (i.e. Me).Formed in July by its principal consultant, Steve Mackereth following:Seven years management consultancy in Financial Services and Public Sector Five years of commercial development and business process transformation with a major electricity utility.Seventeen years of manufacturing process development and production management.</p></li><li><p>Lean is an in term in Local Government....It has taken about two years for Lean to come from zero to be an accepted term in the sectors lexicon.Oh yes, Lean, of course we say without a hint of awkward self-consciousness. RIEPs commission training in it.Papers about it can be presented at regional events.There are some case studies coming through.</p></li><li><p>The logic for Lean Business Process Improvement is compelling....The key drivers on the LG sector are quasi-competitiveCustomer expectation is driven by Customer-comparison with a service economy.Active regulation.Cost and revenue pressures are ever-increasing.Leans focus on customers, customer value and waste removal is totally and elegantly aligned to this agenda.</p></li><li><p>Lean isnt new........Lean in the manufacturing sector is twenty to thirty years old.It incorporates and borrows from even older approaches such as Business Process Re-engineering, right back to Taylorism.It hasnt changed much as you would expect of something that is base on common sense. </p></li><li><p>So, if its so right and so mature.....Why isnt Lean as natural as double-entry book-keeping?Why has it taken/ is it taking so long to tackle the service sector and LG in particular?</p><p>Declaration of interest....I ask, not as a cynic, but as a bemused zealot!</p></li><li><p>My hypothesis......Lean Business Process Improvement (LBPI) for Local Government is approaching the crossroads......Either A. it becomes central to the design and delivery of public servicesOr B. it will become something else we tried that didnt work and join other such notaries as TQM and BPR in the initiatives graveyard Path B. will be a tragically missed opportunity. I am suggesting LBPI still needs some protection and nurturing to deliver path A.</p></li><li><p>Firstly, we need to set LBPI in appropriate context.....LBPI can provide....Clarity about what is requiredInsight into where and why there is value and non-valueVisualisation of improvement and what benefit might result.Objective rationale for organisation and resource deployment.LBPI cannot provide.....An alternative to tough decisions about resources.The necessary performance drivers for change and sustained improvement.An implementation plan for anything beyond the simplest changes.</p></li><li><p>LBPI is just one essential component of change leading to sustainable improvement......</p></li><li><p>To be ready to maximise LBPI benefits....</p><p>You should ensure thatSo thatOtherwise the potential will be limited byFocus is on performance accountability, not just resource accountabilityempires dont count.Hoarding.It is Ok to talk about business problems and what is stopping usWe address the most rewarding issuesHidingBe ready and able to take tough decisions based on customer-focused rationale, All tough decisions are objective and defensible Fudging.Have an up-front policy for dealing with the people whose skills and positions are displaced.Uncertainty for individuals is minimised and participation is maximised. Bridling. </p></li><li><p>Secondly, we need to invest the skills in management......</p></li><li><p>To deploy LBPI effectively ......</p><p>You shouldSo thatOtherwise you risk LBPI beingDevolve the knowledge and skillsIt becomes a mainstream activity integral to managing the business.an add-on burden </p><p>Support minimum standards from the centreThere is common terminology and a degree shared techniqueNon-interoperable, difficult to spread, inefficiently deployed</p></li><li><p>Summing upLean Business Process Improvement has powerful potential, but its not a miracle worker.It is a component capability of Transformation alongside leadership, performance management and change management.It is challenging, requiring an open culture and it doesnt substitute for tough decisionsLean Business Process Improvement capability needs to be nurtured carefully to ensure operational ownership efficiently supported. </p></li><li><p>Contact UsSteve MackerethBlythburgh ltd.Blythburgh House 2 Langham Drive Burton Joyce Nottingham NG14 5EJ telephone: +44 7515285853</p><p>email: steve.mackereth@blythburgh.com</p><p>I am experienced in</p><p>Strategic Option FindingPerformance ImprovementChange Management</p><p>I have worked on a wide range of front and back-office value chains.</p><p>What I will present is quite badly researched. It is drawn mainly from my observations and experience of working in the sector, those of other practitioners that I speak to, and how I interpret what I see in the public domain.*Two and a half years ago, I became aware of Lean as a term entering the sector.</p><p>Toyota and Ohno was a major touchstone . I was involved as a technologist when Toyota came to the UK at Burnaston, recognise the principles in action, but never heard it called Lean. </p><p>Lean has now become an accepted term in LG.</p><p>Why is this?A. Because it has an undeniable track record that is sweeping all before it?Because the consultancy sector and some significant champions within it have been heralding it (from the rooftops)?</p><p>My sense is that it is still a bit more B than A. </p><p>**I first got into these principles way back as a forge and electroplating manager was given a book called Quality Circles which I just lost on the train last week.*Following what we now package as Lean principles has never let me down. Its common sense in a box.Its helped me to sort out some big messes and deliver some radical change.</p><p> *What Im trying to get across here is that Lean BPI is more Michael Owen than Steven Gerrard can win you the game, but unlikely to do so on its own.</p><p>What Im also trying to get across is that Steven Gerrard cant win every game on his own i.e. Are the other three enough to deliver without the piece that it helping you to understand what needs to change?*If we dont maintain a focus on what we are trying to achieve then two things happen:</p><p>The process takes over it becomes about doing LBPI, not getting results.There is no incentive to break down silos and people protect turf at the expense of efficiency</p><p>If we arent prepared to do what it takes to align ourselves, then were going to fall short of the full potential.</p><p>Tension arises because:</p><p>The nature of the approach is that you dont know what is impacted until you have done the LBPI. It works best through collaboration and participation. </p><p>Not recognising and addressing the tensions and risks that result can doom the exercise.***</p></li></ul>