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Where do you focus your OTIF improvement activities?

When it comes to delivering on time, how much of your focus is on the early business process steps? I find that many businesses might fixate on on time delivery to their customers (rightly so, of course) but don't look at what is going on at the stages before the final step. Here are some ideas to whet your appetite when it comes to improving OTIF (On Time In Full) for your organisation. Recognising and discussing the domino effect Each step in your process feeds the next step. A failure to deliver on time at one of the upstream activities can snowball and really push out your deliveries. Being aware of this phenomenon and having an ongoing discussion about this in your business is a good first step. If your team aren't willing to discuss this issue then it is unlikely to get resolved. Make internal OTIF part of your normal conversation and change will be much easier later on. Develop KPIs that support on time delivery Most of us have KPIs (Key Performanc

Do you learn from your continuous improvement experiences?

I have the great fortune to work with a wide range of up and coming continuous improvement professionals. Some of them I get to mentor and some I only get to spend time with on projects. I have noticed a distinction within these groups; some progress a lot faster than others. The individuals that progress their development faster than the other group aren’t necessarily better skilled, or have some other talent, but they do one thing the other group don’t: They figure out what works and do more of it and what doesn’t work and do less of that. Not exactly rocket science, but something that I strongly advocate to those that I mentor. These individuals reflect on what they are doing and what they have done and spot the lessons lying underneath the activity. The lessons themselves are unlikely to be the results of the activities, but more what was learned about carrying out the activities. Lessons often include: How to plan more effectively. How to communicate more effectively.

The Risk of 'What Gets Measured Gets Managed'

I love the phrase 'what gets measured gets managed', it is so apt. There is a downside to this phrase, however, and I saw it in action again last week. One of my clients had a real issue with one of their business processes, it was under performing and causing a tangible knock on effect for the rest of the business. Available from Amazon and iTunes They had already looked at their process, developed a metric to help measure the performance and, as the saying goes, it got managed. At the same time this team took their eye off the ball with another one of their key processes and that started to go downhill. We put a measure in place for the other process, established a degree of formality around their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) - of which there were now two - and balanced out the management of the processes. So, what is the lesson here? Make sure that the team are measuring all of their key processes before the change is about to start. In this case t

Purchase my OTIF improvement course for only $20

It's discount time again! If you would like to improve your OTIF (On Time In Full) delivery performance quickly then check out The OTIF Impro vement Course . Available as an immediate download, you will be able to review and implement my tried and tested management framework quickly. Templates, examples and step-by-step instructions are included with my course - all available immediately after purchase. The best bit is (apart from the results) is that the course can be completed and implemented quickly. Back to the discount... if you use the link below you will be able to purchase the course for $20, instead of the regular price of $47. To find out more about the course - click here . Remember to use discount code OTIF20 at the checkout, or use the link below to get your discount. 0,The OTIF Delivery Course Here's to your new level of delivery performance, Giles About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping busin

Does Email Kill Your Personal Productivity?

A manager at one of my clients came up to me at the end of a meeting. I had been talking about some of the factors that was stopping us from delivering on time and one of them was not making decisions in a timely fashion. Many of the people in the meeting put up some of their arguments about why they had so little time and email came up repeatedly. So, I asked them a qualifying question: "How quickly do you need to respond to your emails?" They largely looked at each other, rather than responding. I continued by asking them whether they were processing their emails in a systematic fashion, or being distracted by their email program (with their 'helpful' pop ups telling you that you have new messages). I got a mixed response to my question and observation, but a couple of them got the point I was making: email is a tool and you get to choose how to use it. In Lean manufacturing there is the reference to 'just in case' manufacturing; product being m

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. In business, mo

When new systems and processes can't trump discipline

Most of my working life revolves around developing new processes and embedding systems for my clients. Sometimes, however, I find that these requests for new ways of working are masking a deeper issue - a lack of discipline amongst the senior management team and staff. Have you experienced this in your place of work? The logical extreme of this conversation is to automate your processes and take the human component out of the equation. But, if you want people in your business (as they are usually the source of good ideas and innovation, as well as problems...), how do you develop the right kinds of habits and discipline into your daily operations? There are lots of good ways to consider, including: Developing an effective business routine . Linking performance to appropriate KPIs . Driving behaviour through short team meetings, with fixed agendas . Describing 'what good looks like' and sharing this vision with your team. Leading by example and rewarding discipli