Skip to main content

An OTIF Performance Lesson From the World Cup

If you know me personally you will be aware that I am not a huge football fan... but I do love a World Cup.

As with most things that I watch, or participate in, I like to learn something from the experience.

Tonight, whilst watching the Uruguay vs Portugal match I was comparing the set pieces that the teams have prepared with the idea of scenario planning in business. For many businesses scenario planning is something that is in the domain of strategic work and is for executives only. This isn't accurate of course and applying the idea of scenario planning to your operational activities is a great way to drive up your operational performance when the going gets tough.

In football their scenario plans (or, set pieces) are carefully considered. When a certain situation faces a team they can then choose to enact one of their set pieces, hopefully increasing their chances of success. The key point is that these set pieces have been thought about in advance.


scenario planning for otif improvement


In business, most teams walk into the sticky stuff, wonder how it has all happened and then complain about the situation. There is no preparation for this situation, no consideration of how best to tackle this combination of events and performance usually wanes until the 'good old days' return (which may return in minutes, days, weeks or never!).

Scenario planning is usually about optimisation. In my experience it is unlikely that the precise scenario that you plan for will appear, but you will have developed something that you can apply that will give you the best outcome. It is like giving your business gears; some gears are good for going uphill and some are good for economy / fuel consumption. I have clients that are able to flex their team and their approach rapidly because they have thought through the implications of regular scenarios that affect their business (staff reductions, order overload etc...) and they have the performance gains to show that this kind of thinking is useful.

If football teams thinking about scenarios works for them, why couldn't the same approach add value to your business? Scenarios need to be thought out in advance and discussed enough that people know what to do when the time comes, even a visible flowchart detailing the options in the office can work well for most businesses.

If you want the best chance for your teams to win, and the working environment is not consistently perfect, this something worth thinking about.


All the best,

Giles


About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.


Subscribe to my email updates and receive my on time delivery and productivity improvement guide:



Popular posts from this blog

Want more time for your projects? Try the 'Hour of Pain'!

Do you find your day being broken up by interruptions, stopping you from getting on with your work?

Continuous improvement projects often fall foul of this. The day can become so inefficient through the constant stopping and starting that we only just seem to have enough time to get the 'day job' completed.

I was in a meeting last week where this same issue cropped up. It also cropped up today. It's nothing new, but it is still a pain in the rear!

So, let me share with you an approach that has worked for my clients - the 'Hour of Pain!'.

Where there is a (performance) gap there is a concern

I had a really good day yesterday working with a client's team.

The team has issues. Plenty of issues. Some are managerial issues, some are people issues and some are production issues.

When I first met the team they didn't know what to do with their issues, so I started by helping them to see more issues.

Issues everywhere, they didn't seem very impressed.

And then we captured the issues as 'concerns' into the tried and tested 'concern cause countermeasure' format and followed the process:

Concerns probed for root causes and root causes converted into countermeasures.
Soon they realised that some of their root causes dealt with numerous concerns and they gained momentum.

Yesterday we pulled another one of their processes apart and identified all of the gaps. The gaps became concerns and we fed them back into the process. Now they have a practical action plan (of countermeasures) to upgrade the process in question.

What do you do with your performance gaps? …

Free Continuous Improvement Guide

I have recently published a new free guide, with the title:
Six Quick Tips to Help Continuous Improvement Deliver Results Faster In the guide I share how to:
Use the continuous improvement cycle properly.Get projects moving, if they are slow to start or have stalled.Identify the 'biggest bang for your buck' when reviewing opportunities.Determine the level of change you need to achieve through your improvements.Flip staff grumbles and concerns into positive improvement actions.Increase the overall rate of progress on your projects. All of the tips are highly practical and are no-cost strategies.
To get your copy, just click on the button below and access the guide in just a few moments from now.



Enjoy reading,

Giles
About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous i…