Productivity improvement with no benefit

One of the great heartbreaks of performance improvement is to generate legitimate gains in productivity, but then discover that they have had no material impact on an organization’s financial results.

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Why results don’t always sustain

To meaningfully impact financial results, performance improvement needs to sustain. Performance improvement projects, by design, jump performance from one level to another.

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But where are the actual savings?

One of the more common complaints we hear about consultants and internal improvement projects is that the savings that are promised or reported never really hit the financial statements.

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The less obvious root problem

If you spend enough time trying to improve processes, one of the fascinating things you will observe is that sometimes the root problem has nothing to do with the process you are trying to fix.

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Managers work for employees

A number of years back it was popular for consultants (and a few executives) to draw the company organization chart upside down. The idea was that organizations needed to recognize that managers actually worked for employees, and not the other way around.

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Why “day-in-the-life” studies work

When we are trying to figure out how effective a process is or isn’t, one of the basic studies we do is to spend a day in the life of an employee at some key part of the process.

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The importance of volume and rate

When we study processes, one of the first things we think about analytically is to break the process down into two components: volume and rate. These are the two main drivers of cost in any process.

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Variability is difficult to manage

One of the things we look for when we examine organizations is the degree of variability present. The more variability, the harder it is to manage. Variability can be both inherent in the nature of the industry and it can be self-imposed through policy or errors.

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