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Measures and Metrics by Chuck Gillis

We’re headed into the home stretch…

We are heading towards Thanksgiving and before you know it the holidays and year end, it’s a good time to do an assessment of 2022’s performance. Did you achieve the results that you were looking for in 2022? Are your measures and metrics on track to deliver the promise? We can’t just state the 2022 was a good or bad year, you need to be able to compare it to a baseline. That baseline might be 2021 or it could be the goals and objectives you were given for 2022.

Continuous Improvement is just that, looking at those measures and metrics on a regular basis and developing plans to meet or exceed these goals and objectives. All too many times we see clients trying to shift the years performance in the last quarter. There are very few that can achieve the desired results unless you are Tom Brady. Goals need to be set and shared as well as reviewed every month. It is also important to publish performance against goals on a regular basis. If everyone is aware of the target, the goal becomes shared.

The right metrics or objectives need to be identified. All too many times we see corporate goals for everything under the sun and very little results as there was no specific focus. Keep the metrics specific to the organization but link to overall corporate goals. Alignment is important in achieving results. Stay focused, review often and plan for success every month. We don’t always get the opportunity to win in the last quarter.

When I was with a global electronics company, we had a CEO that went to Wall Street to regain investor confidence. He pledged $3 Billions dollars in three years to the investor community. He also shared that pledge with his entire organization. That goal was accomplished in 2 years because of aligned goals and regular assessments for where we were against the goals.

Work Stream has the ability to work with you and your teams to review 2022’s performance to date and work with you to establish solid goals and objective for 2023. 


Benefits of Process Mapping by Ken Stocco

Process Mapping is a key step in any Continuous Improvement Effort. Process mapping creates a visual representation of the process and identifies the variables within it. However, many times teams want to rush through process mapping so that they can move on to making improvements. Process Mapping, if one thoroughly, can directly drive improvements. Some of the benefits directly provided by process mapping include: Visualization of the Process. Most processes cannot be observed in their entirety. We may be able to see portions of the process but not the entire process from beginning to end. Process Maps allow everybody involved to “see” the entire process from beginning to end. This benefit is especially important for “transactional processes” much of which happen within data systems that can not be observed. Example: approving a requisition or changer order. Alignment and Clarification The activities around Process Mapping drives conversations among the participants about what is really happening in the process. I have never done a process mapping session where somebody did not gain understanding of some part of the process. Team Engagement-Process Mapping provides a venue for open dialogue and sharing input. This dialogue is critical to build team engagement. This engagement is often more critical than the Process Map itself. Identification of “Hidden Factories”-Hidden Factories are work that is done but is not documented in the process documentation. While developing the process map it is common to discover “improvements” that employees make without telling anybody. Example of hidden factory include: ▪ Rework built into daily routine. ▪ Extra processing steps (sanding, cleaning, making copies, etc) ▪ Inventory kept at workstation. Identification of “Erosion of Standards”-Over time, people skip steps or take shortcuts without any apparent impact on the process. This evolves into a new standard that is accepted by those doing the work, but not documented. ▪ Running a grinder without eye protection. ▪ Taking a component out of a drying oven 5 minutes early ▪ Changing the sequence of mixing resin and hardener. If you take your time, engage your team, and do your process mapping where the work is occurring, you will gain all of these immediate and valuable improvements