Two men at an oil drill looking at plans.

Consulting and Change Management

Process Improvement without a Change Management Component

In today’s world, many companies are involved in some type or process improvement or cost reduction. What structure that takes could be up to the CEO or another executive whose desire is to change the financial and/or performance impact of the company or particular business unit.

Traditionally, this effort to increase sales, profit, productivity and/or reduce costs, is focused on a yearly goal of 5-6% improvement. This usually lends itself to an internally managed effort to stretch the existing infrastructure and employee base in order to reach this goal.

This type of improvement effort has many downsides and few upsides. On the upside; the goal may be indeed reached, and the business will celebrate another successful improvement campaign. But on the downside, this often leaves employees extremely taxed; both mentally and physically, as well as other responsibilities suffering as a result of the extra time required to facilitate the actions necessary to hit the improvement goal. The lag in performance of other metrics not directly related to the improvement goal are often the ones that are not measured to the same degree so a drop in performance may not be immediately recognized.

In other words, many times we are celebrating a “win” in one area when we are actually losing an amount close to that in another. This lends itself to a reflection on “what went wrong” or better yet the question: “How do we implement continuous improvement in a manner that will not only achieve the goal, but not allow other metrics/processes to decline?”


Changing the Way Executives Think About Process Improvement and Change

One consistent drumbeat in the business world today is the need for both process improvement and change. Without their positive momentum, a company will slowly lose the impact necessary to remain relevant in a competitive environment. So how does one institute a process improvement strategy that is repeatable, reliable, predictable and sustainable? The best way is to include in your improvement strategy a Lean Management System focused on sustainable change management.


The Change Management Path through LMS (Creating a Lean Culture by David Mann)

The Lean Management System (LMS) has a dual focus on both key process management and cultural business process management. In other words, its focus is sustainable processes and a disciplined management system.

There are 4 key drivers to LMS:

  1. The “engine” that provides energy and drive for LMS is Leader Standard Work
  2. The “transmission” of Visual Management insures all critical processes operate as designed
  3. Daily Accountability is the “steering wheel, gear shift and pedals” that operate together to achieve the intended target
  4. Discipline is the fuel that drives the entire LMS effort. Discipline is the key to changing the traditional management system.


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