Seeing a “Red Flag”
I took a tour of three different facilities in Juarez that are not more than 100 yards from each other. The facilities were all part of the same organization. These facilities were three separate business units and all three had implemented their own “flavor” of CI (Continuous Improvement). This variation in CI deployment methods was a “red flag” that led me to investigate another potential problem.
During my tour of the three facilities, I was particularly interested in the current Lean Six Sigma projects of each business unit. What I found was a lot of redundancy in the Lean Six Sigma projects between facilities. There were many similar processes between each BU. These processes were experiencing the same problems. Each of the BU’s had their own individual Lean Six Sigma Projects to resolve the same problems. None of the CI teams knew that the other CI teams existed or that they were working on similar projects.
When little (or no) alignment exists
I see this in many organizations that we visit. The CI deployment is pushed to the site or BU The value of an input in an experimental run. and there is little to no communication nor alignment between the BU’s. In an organization with similar processes between BU’s or sites, this can lead to a huge waste of resources. It also leads to different improvements implemented to resolve the same problem.
This is partly due to a CI deployment that was not planned well. This problem, in many cases, starts because the initial deployment was not a corporate initiative. Many facilities start out CI at a facility level because that BU leader understood the value. After wins at the BU level were visible to the “C” level, the CI initiative got picked up at a corporate level. The lack of understanding at the “C” level of the organization led to a mandate that each facility implement using local sources to develop their own deployment. This leads to its own variation which is outside the scope this article.
A Major Step to align CI Initiative
How do you start to align the CI initiative? If you find yourself in the situation described above and you are not at the “C” level, you may find aligning BU’s difficult. There is one major step that you can push and those in the “C” level will see the value: implementing a central database for CI Project Data. If you are at the “C” level and you are beginning the CI Deployment journey, then implementing a central database for CI Project Data is imperative.
When a CI project idea is developed, what should be our first thought? It should be “have we solved this problem already.” A lack of a central repository for project information makes it very difficult to find that information, especially between BU’s that do not communicate. We use a system called “My Hawkeye.” We have worked with many of the Lean and Six Sigma Project Management Systems and find “My Hawkeye” to be the most effective solution for a fraction of the cost of other solutions.
A Turn Key System for Alignment
Watch this short YouTube video about the “My Hawkeye” PM system and judge for yourself. Let us help align your organizations CI initiative.