Archive for Process

A Team Effort

To effectively evaluate the status quo within an organization, as we discussed in our most recent newsletter, it is most effectively executed through a team effort. Obtaining team buy-in and commitment reaps results. Vince Lombardi said it well: “Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Aldridge Kerr has found that the Staff within an organization has great ideas but so rarely is asked. Sometimes it is as simple as asking that will generate innovative ideas that can reap amazing change and outstanding results. Here are some hints to engage your Team in assessing the status quo:

  • Create Teams of Staff to work together to come up with ideas for improvement. Then create some competition, selecting those with the most innovative ideas. Ideas, partnered with competition often produces amazing rewards.
  • Nurture a culture where Teams are encouraged to push the buttons on status quo. Establish a formal program for Teams to provide recommendations for change. Reward input!
  • Hold routine meetings with Teams across the organization with the idea to communicate and obtain input. It can strengthen communication and encourage innovation.

We can assist you with utilizing your Teams to tackle the status quo. Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you.

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If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, check out My COO Resources.

Before and After

As our recent newsletter encouraged, looking at the status quo can lead to innovation. One way to do this is to evaluate “before and after” as to what is and where the organization would like to go. This can be done by:

  • Obtaining clarity on the strategy for the next 2 or 3 years and evaluating how processes may need to change to align with that strategy
  • Evaluating what processes do – or do not – align with that strategy. Those are the ones that would most benefit from the “refresh” exercise we discussed in our previous blog
  • Testing any changes made to existing processes to assess whether the changes are truly valuable
  • Recognizing that change is actually positive and being willing to “shake things up”

As Edward Whitacre, Jr said: “Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking. The ride might not be as predictable if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting.”

Need help taking those first steps? Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can help you get started.

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If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, check out My COO Resources.

Building Repeatable Processes

In our most recent newsletter consistency was identified as a building block of operational effectiveness. When implementing consistency within an organization, there are a multitude of advantages; one is building repeatable processes.

What are repeatable processes? They are a series of tasks that are easily duplicated. Forbes.com says that they are something every Business Leader and Entrepreneur should consider a priority.

Here are some hints on how to build repeatable processes:

  • Determine those processes that would most benefit from establishing a consistent method to perform the tasks. We at Aldridge Kerr recommend you start with your Critical Processes.
  • Document what you believe is a good repeatable process; then try it out.
  • Evaluate what works well and does not work well.
  • Incorporate this new and approved process into your organization.

It is that simple. Need help? Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you in building repeatable processes.

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K.I.S.S. and Process Steps

As we continue our discussions around the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart) approach and how it assists with sustainability, let’s look at some hints for keeping process steps simple.

Here are some questions to consider as you assess the steps to perform a process:

  • Is there a lot of “back and forth” between process Participants? Does someone “touch” the process multiple times throughout the process? If so, are there ways to streamline that back and forth effort?
  • Does it take more than 3 people to perform a process? Are there ways to reduce or combine those involved with performing the steps?
  • Have you combined multiple processes into one? Is this compromising the process efficiency or its effectiveness?

Considering these questions will help to implement K.I.S.S. within your organization.

Do you need help with streamlining your processes? Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you.

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Implementing Changes Identified Through Routine Reviews

Now that routine reviews are an intricate aspect of continuous improvement within your Company, it may be necessary to implement changes identified through the reviews. As is often mentioned, using a Doable, Chewable Chunks® methodology should be considered. Why? Here are several reasons:

  • It produces results more quickly
  • Improvements are based on many small changes rather than the radical changes that are extremely disruptive to a Company
  • Small improvements are less likely to require major capital investment than major process changes

REMINDER: If Staff is involved in the discovery and the implementation of changes, it will encourage buy-in and provide a higher probability for success.

This continuous improvement encourages sustainability. Aldridge Kerr can assist you in implementing continuous improvement within your Company. Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you.

If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, get started by taking our Simple Start Assessments at My COO Resources. Also, check out our blogs on our My COO Resources website.

And, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

Routine Continuous Improvement Methods

As we continue to discuss methods to routinely review a Company’s Critical Processes to create continuous improvement and sustainability, it is clear these reviews can be performed using various methods.

Every Company should determine those methods that best meet its needs; however, here are some suggested methods to consider:

  • Hold a round table discussion with those who perform the process and obtain insights on what works well and what does not
  • Obtain input from Customers (for those customer-focused processes) to assess potential areas for improvements
  • Have someone who does not perform the process attempt to do so with the intent of having a “fresh view” of how the process is performed
  • Have someone observe how the process is performed compared to the documented version to identify inconsistencies – in some cases, Staff will begin performing steps that make more sense even if it is documented differently; or, Staff have forgotten important steps that can create quality and effectiveness issues – regardless, disconnects can be resolved through this review
  • Encourage Staff to regularly looking for areas for improvement
  • Use an external Resource, like Aldridge Kerr, to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the process

If Staff is involved in the discovery and the implementation of changes, this encourages buy-in and provides a higher probability for success. Regardless of the methods chosen, a systematic approach should be used in the routine review.

If the goal is sustainability, then routine reviews of existing processes allow for improvement and resolution of issues. Aldridge Kerr can assist you defining what routine reviews are right for your Company. Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you.

Look for what is needed to implement changes identified during the routine reviews in our next blog.

If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, get started by taking our Simple Start Assessments at My COO Resources. Also, check out our blogs on our My COO Resources website.

And, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

Reviewing Critical Processes for Continuous Improvement

In our most recent newsletter, we identified one method to support continuous improvement within a Company as establishing a routine review of the processes that impact the organization’s success. Aldridge Kerr frames the focus of this routine review on the Company’s Critical Processes because if those processes are working as intended, a strong foundation for sustainability is in place.

This routine review can be based on the needs of the Company; however, it is recommended that at minimum all Critical Processes are reviewed annually to identify the opportunities for continuous improvement. Examples of the type of areas the review of each Critical Process should consider include:

  • Is the process being performed as intended?
  • Have there been changes within the Company or externally that will require assessing the relevance of the existing process?
  • Are there inconsistencies in how the process is being performed that need to be corrected? Are there any tasks performed by only person within the process that create exposure to greater risk for the Company?
  • Does the existing documentation of the process align with how the process is actually being performed?
  • How can the existing process be enhanced by new solutions (e.g., tools, software)?
  • Is the process still relevant to the needs of the Company and the products/services and Customers it supports?

In our next blog, we will discuss the various methods that can be used to perform these routine reviews.

Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you. If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, get started by taking our Simple Start Assessments at My COO Resources. Also, check out our blogs on our My COO Resources website.

And, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

Measuring Repeatable Processes

By building effective, repeatable processes and then documenting them, a Company can more easily assess how to create metrics to measure the success of those repeatable processes. Measuring those processes allows for ongoing process improvement and then, positions a Company to be more sustainable.

Process metrics include but are not limited to:

  • Defining what to measure
  • Establishing expectations of the process’ outcome(s)
  • Identifying what occurs if the process is not performing as intended

Need help defining the metrics for repeatable processes? Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you.

And, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, check out My COO Resources.

Documenting Repeatable Processes

Once a process has been evaluated and been built to effectively be repeated, it should be documented. This reinforces its repeatability and positions that process for others to effectively perform it.

As we discuss regularly in our newsletters, the documentation of a Company’s processes brings value well beyond the building of repeatable processes. For example, we have shared the Importance of Documentation in a previous newsletter. This practice of documenting processes once they have been evaluated encourages sustainability.

Need help documenting your processes? Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you.

And, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, check out My COO Resources.

Evaluating a Repeatable Process

In our most recent newsletter, we discussed the alignment of sustainability with building effective, repeatable processes. In order to build those processes, it requires evaluating how a process is presently performed and how it should be performed to maximize effectiveness.

A Client once said: “the process of evaluating a process is extremely valuable for improved results.” Looking at the step-by-step tasks that are performed for a specific process allows the Company to determine areas of improvement that will build effective, repeatable processes. This, ultimately, will create sustainability.

If you need help with evaluating those processes that need to be repeatable, contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you in improving how you do what you do.

If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, get started by taking our Simple Start Assessments at My COO Resources.

And, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.