An Education and Certification Program
We have noticed that business improvement projects follow a predictable pattern. The company initiates a program in an operational unit. Within a short time, it scores easy victories and realizes gains. This justifies deploying additional resources to continue the positive trend. But after the low-hanging fruit is gathered, the program often stalls and disillusionment sets in. The program sputters for time before being abandoned or replaced with a new initiative.
To combat this too-common scenario, the Operational Excellence Society has developed Operational Excellence Enterprise Readiness — a certification program designed to create strategic alignment at all levels of a company while closing gaps and delivering results that are measurable, sustainable and replicable.
The program rests on a foundation of goal setting at the company level and business unit level. As priorities are set, Operational Excellence resources are trained and deployed, building capabilities across business units and capacity across the enterprise.
Internal leaders develop by exercising their knowledge and rising to the challenges of their particular discipline within the broad operational classifications of finance, cost of sales (COS), cost of goods sold (COGS), and general/administrative (G&A). In optimizing the performance of business units, they reinforce the business decision loop and process-execution chains to ensure proper alignment and timely decision-making.
Although certification at the macro-level is for the enterprise, program execution at the micro-level follows a teacher-scholar model for developing employees, leaders and teams — a model used in multinational organizations and government organizations such as the United States Marine Corps. It includes a broad, multi-discipline syllabus designed to increase the business knowledge and workplace performance of employees.
As business units achieve readiness, they are mapped to a simulation model where scenarios are tested before deployment. These simulated events also test the overall enterprise to determine readiness for transformational change.
It is important to understand that individual certification is not the goal, only a means to achieving the higher goal of company certification through Operational Excellence Enterprise Readiness. The result is a company that is ready to meet the continuing challenges and opportunities of the marketplace in a sustainable, upward spiral of Operations Excellence.
To achieve these ambitious but achievable goals, the Operational Excellence Society has created and offers education and training for the various methodologies and tools which, together, constitute the discipline of Operational Excellence.
Operational Excellence Enterprise Readiness: Is a set of offerings – including content that is delivered online, off-line, and in person, as well as training aids – all designed to facilitate a student’s becoming a successful Operational Excellence professional.
- Executive Orientation (duration 3-days): This course is designed to introduce the executive team to the principles and approaches of Operational Excellence and its value-proposition. It is designed for those who need to be aware of the program and its benefits, but not from the perspective of the practitioner nor to any granular level.
- Program Definition and Preparation (duration 1wk-2wks): This course is designed to define what constitutes success in an Operational Excellence Program. In addition to defining success and the future state of the company (or business unit), the course will also establish; an assessment of the present state, a road-map to the future state, a detail of what is required for the transition from the present state to the future state, and detailing the way-points along the journey.
- Foundations, Capable (duration, 4h/wk for 26wks): Designed for the entry-level practitioner, this course will introduce the student to the premise of operational excellence with an emphasis on learning and applying fundamental tools and techniques.
- Foundations, Proficient (duration, 8h/wk for 26wks): Designed for the practitioner who will also be a team leader, in addition to the material learned in Foundations Capable, the student will learn leadership and project management skills.
- Foundations, Expert (duration, 12h/wk for 26wks): Designed for the advanced practitioner and operational excellence program leader, in addition to the material learned in Foundations Capable and Foundations Proficient, the student will learn advanced leadership and project management skills – with a particular emphasis placed on effective communication, analytical skills, and accelerated decision-making techniques. Students will be evaluated for legacy skillsets and will be given exemptions from modules in which they can satisfactorily demonstrate pre-existing capability.
- Specialties (duration, varies): A variety of courses designed for the practitioner who has successfully concluded a level of foundations and wish to apply what they have learned to a specific business function or departmental activity. Specialty courses are established for;
- Revenue & Cost-of-Sales
- General & Administrative
- Business Readiness, Bronze (duration, 2x2dy): This course is designed to increase the awareness and collaboration of departments which should have natural synergies (ie. Sales, Marketing, and Product Design) and to accelerate the decision-making and strategy-execution process. The course is taught face-to-face and the students engage through a series of simulations.
- Business Readiness, Silver (duration, 2x2dy): This course is designed to increase the awareness and collaboration of all departments across an enterprise and to accelerate the decision-making and strategy-execution process. The course is taught face-to-face and the students engage through a series of simulations. A pre-requisite for the Silver Level of Business Readiness is Bronze.
- Business Readiness, Gold (duration, est.1x2dy): This course is a product of circumstance. Once a company and its students have completed the Bronze and Silver levels of Business Readiness, the Gold level of Business Readiness can only be achieved when the company has actually encountered a challenge (opportunity or risk) which involved a response for across the enterprise. The main activity for the achievement of the Gold level of Business Readiness is to perform a detailed debrief and report-out. The pre-requisites for the Gold Level of Business Readiness is Silver and Bronze.
- Leadership (duration 2dy): In this course, the student will learn basic and intermediary leadership skills. There will be an emphasis on team building, managing expectations, motivation, corrective action, establishing goals, reporting, and basic communication skills.
- Leadership and Communicating (duration, 2dy): In this course, the student will learn advanced communication skills including the Socratic Method and successful negotiating and debating. The pre-requisite for Leadership and Communicating is Leadership.
- A Frictionless World: This lecture addresses the various obstacles – the friction that slows us down that are between us and our objectives; to identify which obstacles we have control over and can remove or alter, and which we can’t – and what to do in either case.
- Blue Ocean Strategy: In this lecture, the student will learn about the different types of innovation, from evolutionary to revolutionary. They will learn methods for thinking in the abstract and applying the abstract to the tangible. And they will learn to seek opportunities where there is a lack of completion – demand creation.
- Guerrilla Transformation: In this lecture, the student will learn the about culture – whether its origin is in geography, politics, history, religion, or companies. We are a product of our upbringing and our heritage. The challenge is, how to introduce a change and get people to “defect” from the way they are to the way they need to be for the company to succeed – and how to do this so as to not cause offence and avoid a fight or flight reaction.
- When Information Becomes Noise: In this lecture, the student will learn the importance of being able to sift through the overwhelming amount of data we face every day with efficiency and accuracy – the be able to squelch-out what is unimportant static and to focus on and prioritize what is important.
- Accelerated Decision-Making: In this lecture, the student will learn how to make decisions more quickly, more decisively, and all from imperfect data. The student will learn the OODA-Loop and how that interplays with other approaches such as PDCA and DMAIC.
- Lessons from Mt. Stupid: In this lecture, the student will learn about the Hegelian Dialectic (Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis) method of reasoning and as it applies to transformational and disruptive introductions of new orders. They will also learn about the Dunning-Kruger effect as it applies to individual hubris, how to look for the symptoms and defuse, or how to endure the backlash if you don’t see the symptoms and suffer the antithesis.
- Operational Excellence in Logistics and Supply-Chain: In this lecture, the student will learn about the Supply Chain Operations Reference model (SCOR) and the application and types of RFID.
- Operational Excellence in Outsourcing: In this lecture, the student will learn to consider the total cost of outsourcing before making a decision, including; landed costs, carrying costs, the costs of quality in defective product, the costs of quality in preventing defects or identifying them at the source, the risk to intellectual property.
- Operational Excellence in Construction: In this lecture, the student will learn about applying the tools of operational excellence to construction. As a case study, the student will examine the building of the Empire State Building versus the Freedom Tower. What were the differences, which were improvements and at what cost, and how lessons from the past can be relearned today.
The library for Operational Excellence Enterprise Readiness can be found by clicking here. You can search for a specific book or for books related to a specific discipline within Operational Excellence Enterprise Readiness. Books of interest can be purchased from Amazon by using the follow-on link.
The Operational Excellence Society provides and facilitates the tools, materials, and licenses geared to help those on their Continuous Improvement journey, whether as a company or an individual. Effectively using Lean tools and techniques can be the single most important factor for driving your company’s success. We strongly believe that the principles of Continuous Improvement are universal, and are in no way limited to a particular industry or department.
By using the right tools and techniques, an organization can deploy lean concepts in any area of business whether that is manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, and even customer service, human resources and sales.