Operational Excellence by Design eNewsletter – April 2018




Issue: 2018-04
April 2018

Founder’s Corner
Leveraging Technology in Pharma

by Joseph Paris
I am not easily impressed by technology.  In fact, I am often a contrarian and don’t easily buy into the hype of the “next great thing”.  It’s probably a combination of factors.
One being that I started my professional career during the 1980’s and 90’s – a period of time when there was a veritable explosion in new technology.  A period of time when technology titans such as Apple, Microsoft, Intel, and Oracle (to name just a few) were born.  A time when mainframes were giving way to distributed computing and the internet was coming of age.


Another factor was my increased disillusionment in technology as I saw people needing to serve technology instead of technology serving people.  Where I saw very smart people (those with the 50-pound brains) glued to their screens looking at spreadsheets and feeding their ERP beasts data instead of applying their minds to efforts that are more value-add; to the point where they are almost fearful of making a decision unless some system tells them what decision to make.

And lastly, that the arrogance in technology companies habitually, even chronically, oversell and under-deliver on their existing products and promises of their future products – leaving businesses and consumers wanting…


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Featured Events

IISE Annual Conference & Expo 2018

May 19 – 22, 2018 | Orlando, Florida

Join us in Orlando, Florida in May, where internationally renowned Keynote speakers and experts in industrial engineering and management will set the tone for the various sections of this superb annual conference.
Our own Joseph Paris will be delivering 3 Plenary talks at this events, respectively entitled; “Information Systems for Strategic Transformation; State of Readiness; and Red-Teaming and Debriefing”
Join us for this most enriching learning experience, develop connections and share experiences!



Featured Article

CASE STUDY: A new prescription for improving business performance at GlaxoSmithKline

This article will share how we started, scaled up and began to embed the ADP (Accelerating Delivery and Performance) way of working in GSK between 2009 and 2012.  We begin with the background and initial objectives followed by a summary of the journey overall.  We will then highlight the OD theory that has informed and contributed to this highly practical initiative along with our metrics for success.  We continue with our plans for the future and the general lessons we have learned.  We conclude with a prologue in which we reflect on our key learnings as OD Practitioners.  Significant turning points and the overall impact on the Business are illustrated by comments from line leaders and colleagues in GSK…


by Jacqui Alexander


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Thought Food

                             Leading with inner agility



Featured Article

Sustainability contest: System Vs. Human

According to the BTOES Nov 2017 Operational Excellence survey, sustainability is the biggest focus area for Operational excellence in the coming year, how should this be achieved? Through a system based approach or through a human-centered focus?

What do we mean by a human-centered focus for sustainability?

There are several elements to a human based approach. The first is to implement the basics of team employee involvement, which involves the creation of team.  It is surprising how many employees do not belong to a team in today’s working world. Outside of manufacturing there is no tangible product to help define the process that people work in -so their work gets defined by the task and the function they work in. The employee needs to belong to a team which is defined through the processes that employees work in as well as the technical expertise provided by their function.


In manufacturing this is relatively easy as the work can naturally define the group. In the office or business process, however the focus on task and function mean that teams evolve differently and do not respect the process. In this case a balance needs to be struck between the needs of the process, customer value and functional expertise. Teams need to be of the right size to stimulate innovation whilst avoiding larger groups which can splinter and form sub-groups…


By Neil Trivedi



Trust me…


    Connect with us…

The Outliers Inn Podcast

Episode 28 – Business Process Tangles
Join Ben and Joe with their special guest Brian Hunt as they discuss business process tangles and how to un-tangle them…About the guest:
As organisations grow organically or as a result of acquisition, their business processes can become tangled, causing inconsistency, delay and error. Brian can help untangle these processes into clearly documented, simplified and lean business processes that show what people do, why they do it, how they do it and who they do it for. He creates To Be/Target Operating Models, perform gap analysis and agree action plans to prevent future tangles.

Listen Now!


How to utilize AI on the way to Operational Excellence

Associate Events

   Calendar of Events


OpEx Vault

I say tomato, you say pomodoro


Communication.  We talk about how important it is.  How critical it is to have in any endeavor in order to move the ball down the field and, ultimately, for success.  Yet in almost every instance where there is failure, we can almost always trace back to one of the root-causes for the failure being a lack of communication – more specifically, effective communication.


Get Ready, Be Ready, Stay Ready.

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 Contact the Editor


Thank you for being a valued reader. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments related to this publication – or if you might be 
interested in submitting an article
 for consideration in our eNewsletter.


Gretchen Lubbe – Editor

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