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Lean Transformation: The Design Phase

by Mike on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 8:00 PM
The Design Phase of a lean transformation is dependent on the quality of the Diagnosis Phase. Don’t start the Design Phase unless the leadership of the business agrees and signs off on with the Diagnostic Phase document.

The Design Phase really is a two-part process. Using the Burning Platform Performance objectives the project team creates an “Ideal State” document for the three components of the organization: the Business Processes, the Organizational Infrastructure, and the Organizational Culture. This “Ideal State” document is created with the premise that nothing is impossible and that there are no boundaries. You are trying to redefine the business in a way that reflects the Strategic Direction that the leadership has defined to position the organization as the dominant business in the industry. Now a dose of reality…

While the “Ideal State” is the ultimate objective, it could take several years to achieve. Financially such a state may be out of reach for the business. This leads us to stepping back and rethinking what “practically” can be accomplished in a three to four month time frame. We define this as the initial “Future State”.

The “Future State” document ties back to the Burning Platform Performance objectives and provides the Design Phase with direction. The Design Phase once implemented must achieve the performance improvement targets for Safety, Quality, Delivery, Responsiveness and Cost.

A good “Future State Design” is:

· A description of "what the Business Processes will look like in 12-18 months".

· A direct response to business problems as well as customer needs.

It should also . . .

· Define an intermediate step towards a long-term evolution to a visionary “Ideal State” around three areas (The Business Processes, The Organizational Infrastructure, and Organizational Culture).

· Clearly identify the improvement levers and targets to support the company in achieving concrete business improvement requirements.

· Clearly describe the key business principles as well as the key KPI’s to run the Business Processes defined by the future state document.

· Clearly address the elements of the Organizational Infrastructure, and Organizational Culture required to achieve the future state.

The resulting Design Document serves as the blueprint for the Implementation Phase. Clarity around how each component of the design moves the organization toward the Future State and provides the implementation team with a focus and direction that allows for decision-making to be focused on long-term success. When everyone is onboard with why the changes are being made, commitment is higher, sacrifice is easier, and teamwork is greater.

Blogs Parent Separator Mike's Blog

(“The Professional Provoker”) is the Founder and President of Empowered Performance, LLC a worldwide management education and consulting firm. Michael has extensive international experience working with companies of varied sizes and industries helping them implement strategies to attain World-Class levels of performance. Michael has developed expertise in “Enterprise Excellence”, Enterprise Resource Planning and Supply Chain Management (ERP/SCM), Lean (Toyota Production System), Team Building and Problem Solving, Six Sigma and Reengineering Business Processes. He is considered an expert in helping companies develop and implement Strategic Business Units and fast response customer service production units.

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