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.
We offer the following workshop either as a companion (add-on) event or a standalone event. The duration of this unique workshop can be tailored to be delivered in 4 hours, 1 day or 2 days.
Introduction: The ways and means of businesses operating around the world have been increasingly optimized over time, even while supply chains and finance have become more complex and stretch further around the globe—in pace with advances in transportation and technology. But what has really changed in business—and even in our own lives—is the incremental, relentless compression of time. More specifically, that we and our companies need to accomplish more in order to remain competitive and relevant—even viable—in a continually decreasing amount of time.
How does a company accomplish more in less time and not spin out of control? The challenge is increasing efficiency while also increasing effectiveness. We have to manage multiple (often competing) priorities. We need to recognize opportunities and threats to our strategies, and we must formulate and deploy effective countermeasures to maintain control over our own narrative. We need to make sound decisions quickly. And we need to do all of this in real time.
This is the nature of operational excellence and the essence of its importance: The organizations that pursue operational excellence will achieve a state of readiness to quickly identify and decisively engage opportunities and threats and more rapidly develop and execute their strategies. In doing so, they will become a high-performance organization.
Part-1: Operational Excellence
The Operational Excellence Maturity Model
Review a definition of Operational Excellence. Discuss the three stages of Operational Excellence maturity, from Logistical, through Tactical to Strategic; the characteristics and expectations of each level, how to evolve from one level to the next, and the necessity of mastering one level before progressing to the next.
Lean and Six Sigma, Reality or Myth?
What is the history of Lean and Six Sigma. A basic compare and contrast of the two disciplines; Are they the competitive advantage today as they once were? Have they reached a ceiling? Have they delivered on the expectations? Is there more hype than substance? How can an organization leverage all that is good and break through to the next level?
Progress does not come until a decision is made. How and when do we make that decision? Is accelerated decision making the competitive differentiator for the 21stCentury company as Lean and Six Sigma were the competitive differentiators for the 20th Century company?
Part-2: Leading Change
A Culture of Leadership is Essential
Discuss the basics of leadership. What are the characteristics of an effective leader and the characteristics of an ineffective leader. Discuss how culture and customs, whether corporate or of people, matter; the impact of differences in culture and customs; and how to face these challenges.
Effective communication is critical to being an effective leader and creating alignment. Discuss the importance of being clear and concise. Debate and argument is healthy, even necessary – but how do we engage in a constructive manner? How do we master the art of persuasion? What are logical fallacies and how do we avoid using them? How do we recognize when they are being used on us and the countermeasures that should be considered?
The Captain on the Ship is the advocate of the mission, getting the ship and all souls safely to their destination. And the Ship’s Crew are advocates of their respective duties within their functional smokestacks. But the Ship’s Steward is the advocate of the Ship. Discuss the roles, responsibilities, and benefits of stewardship within an operational excellence program.
Part-3: Preparing for Change
Lessons from Mt. Stupid
Experience is the hardest teacher, for first she gives us the test, then teaches us the lesson. Change often fails because we set expectations based upon what we do not know. The more arrogant in our ignorance we become, the greater the height of Mt. Stupid – inevitably, we will either roll down a gentle slope or fall off a cliff. How do we recognize the peril? How do we avoid the peril? What does it look like?
Assessments: The Rally Point of the Journey
Discuss requisites for success; where are you going, where are you now, and what will you need (and when will you need it) as you move from where you are to where you are going. As insiders, do we really have the ability to see the details? Do we assume to much or not ask enough questions? Every battle is won or lost before it is fought.
We can’t do this alone, we will need the support of the entire organization – but we won’t have it when we start. How are the various ways that we can cause people to defect from one set of beliefs to another? Where do we start? How do we avoid failure? What is the pace we should set? What are the challenges and how do we recognize them and overcome?
The Best Way to Build Capacity and Capability
Discuss the various approaches to building capacity and capability across the enterprise, comparing and contrasting each for investment requirements and benefit. When the training and education is more comprehensive and intense, how do we ensure the knowledge gained is retained and promptly put to use?
Part-4: Strategy Execution
A State of Readiness
We live in a world of disruption – whether technology, competition, globalization, and geopolitical – that is occurring at an accelerated pace from just a few years ago. It will not be the company facing disruption or causing disruption that will prevail, but rather the company that is in the better state of readiness that will prevail. In this session, we will explore the importance of building an organization that is nimble, understands its capabilities and limitations, and is proficient in accelerating the decision-making process as a strategic advantage.
The Operational Excellence Enterprise Readiness Model
In this session, and building on what we have learned to this point. We will learn about the importance of red-teaming and debriefing. And we will discuss an organizational development model for building capacity and capability across the enterprise as we evolve our organizational readiness from process excellence through systems excellence to operational excellence.
Changing and Initiative into a Global Program
In this session, we conclude the series. We understand that building a high-performance organization will take a lot of investment in time, effort, and resources – that we should prepare for a marathon and not a sprint (and set the expectations accordingly). We review all that has been learned and understand for the designing and constructing of an Operational Excellence Program that will have your company in a state of readiness to see further beyond the horizon than it presently does so that it can better react to the challenges it faces and the opportunities that exist.
Should you or your company be interested in hosting this workshop as a companion event, or if you would like to attend a stand alone event, contact us today…
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.