To be competitive you have to improve and to improve you have to know what the current situation is and how far the company can go (dare to beat the business maturity diagram!). If you want to go further, a consultant specialized in continuous improvement will analyze the concepts related to the level of maturity of the business in its internal processes and organization. The study will help to plan the investments and improvement effort depending on where you are,
Knowing that we can discern several states:
- Reactive: improvement actions are only carried out when a quality problem is presented in process or a customer claim. In this case, solutions are usually applied without looking for the root cause of the problem, missing the opportunity to solve the issue definitively.
- Formal: standardization activities and sustained improvements are initiated but not deepened.
- Developed: work teams trained in methodologies and techniques for continuous improvement (Lean, Six Sigma, problem solving, …) and looking for the root causes of the problems and the sustainability of the improvements (standardization, training, …)
- Autonomous: Anticipation of problems and proactive approach to optimize processes and maximize their efficiency
- Way of life: continuous improvement is part of the company’s culture. At all levels, everyone feels responsible for the processes, to study them and to improve them permanently
The business maturity study requires an expert and external perspective, capable of drawing a roadmap proposal.
However, those responsible for processes, production or quality within the company can provide senior management with indications of the current level of maturity. They will achieve this by investigating by themselves some aspects of daily operations.
The maturity in the appropriation and performance of continuous improvement (Lean and Six Sigma) in a company is evaluated through 3 major axes of transformation:
- Coherence: Shows the alignment of actions and decisions on the strategic vision developed and the clarity of this vision that is communicated in the organization.
- Skill: Evaluate the extent to which the company controls the tools, techniques and practices related to Lean, Six Sigma and kaizen
- Commitment: Evaluates the depth of the cultural roots of the culture of continuous improvement in the company.
The set of components associated with these 3 axes is based on a development of competencies both at the level of leadership and change management and at the level of methodologies, techniques and process optimization tools.
Coherence, component of the level of maturity
Value for the client
This component analyzes the creation of value for the client, since it is the main concern of the continuous improvement in the evaluation of the organizational reality.
Two dimensions are examined: results (tangible improvement and project impacts on clients) and means (implementation of Lean processes and Six Sigma improvement projects in the organization).
Strategy and management
Analysis of the implementation of a strategic planning focused on problems and organizational processes based on the capabilities of the organization.
Continuous improvement and sustainability
This component represents the appropriation of the change by the work teams. In particular, it examines how these teams structure and adopt change daily to achieve organizational performance (kaizen).
Skill, component of the level of maturity
Processes (tools / techniques)
Degree of implementation of projects according to the tools and techniques specific to Lean and Six Sigma (ie, detection of errors, search for root causes, …)
Project and change management
Observation of the elements of the Lean Six Sigma projects and evaluation of their performance (analysis of the prioritization and objectives) and of the accompaniment of the teams in the change.
Analysis of the management by process within the organization. That is, about the absence of barriers in the processes. It is also about collaboration and that all stakeholders share the client approach.
Commitment, component of the level of maturity
Actors of the transformation
This component includes the commitment of the various stakeholders in the process of change and the project of the organization
Evaluation of transformational leadership related to the fulfillment of Lean, Six Sigma and kaizen values.
Support for projects and transformation
Analysis of the support of the organizational parts that support the whole project, thus contributing to the development of the change.
Analyzing all these aspects from within the organization is a complicated task. Often, contaminated by the daily intervention itself in solving problems of production, service provision or quality. But it’s not impossible. Engineers and technicians in continuous improvement of the company can get a pretty accurate view of what is their level, if they have the advice of experts.
Hope this post has been interesting for you and looking forward to your comments and recommendations!