Your Lean Operating System
Most companies seek to improve their culture by developing a ‘management system’ that is custom designed for their business. Your role is to provide stability and consistency across multiple locations and make improvements to your processes and results year over year. And obviously we can’t forget the financial improvements that must be reached.
Wikipedia describes it this way:
The term business operating system (BOS) refers to standard, enterprise-wide collection of business processes used in many diversified industrial companies. The definition has also been extended to include the common structure, principles and practices necessary to drive the organization.
Diversified industrial companies like Ingersoll Rand, Honeywell, and Danaher have adopted a standard, common collection of business processes and/or business process improvement methodologies which they use to manage strategy development and execution. In the case of Danaher, the business system is a core part of the company’s culture, is seen as one of the key drivers of corporate performance, and is therefore a differentiator for shareholders and prospective employees.
The objectives of such systems are to ensure daily work is focused on the organisation’s strategic objectives and is done in the most efficient way. The systems deal with the questions “why” (purpose of the work), “what” (specific objectives of the work) and “how” (the processes used to do the work). The Toyota Production System is focused on both how to make cars, and how to improve the way cars are made. A third objective can also be added, which is to improve the business system itself by identifying or improving the component tools and techniques.
(4) Components to Deploy Lean & Build Your Operating System
Simple. The objective is to design a simple, visual, standardized approach for reducing waste & variation so that processes are stable and results are predictable. New employees are to be trained in the new operating system and the day to day expectations are understood. When traveling to multiple corporate locations there is common terminology, common metrics, common problem solving tools, all sustained by this scalable operating system.
At tgg we can help you build and customize a playbook for your organization. Here are some typical areas that need to be defined:
Enterprise alignment. Tools are needed to ensure alignment to corporate objectives
- Common terminology. There must be common vernacular that is built around how the operating system functions
- Common metrics. Standard operational definitions, specific methods on how metrics are calculated need to be defined.
Develop scientists. Tools are needed to ensure alignment to corporate objectives
- Roles & responsibilities. Roles need to be standardized across the organization. Training programs. There must be a consistent way to train managers, champions, and employees at all levels
Process confirmation audits. Once standard work is implemented, it must be audited. These random audits ensure process focus.
Continuous financial results. Opportunities must be scaled to manageable complexity, prioritized by benefit and effort, and verified by the financial community prior to securing resources.
We call these ‘plays’ and we have developed an approach to assess and build these for our clients. Our playbook comes in a spiral notebook and after understanding your needs, we begin to insert existing standard work for processes that are under control, and begin determining what new plays to put in place to close gaps in other areas.