Continuing the constant debate and wish of getting people to do what management think they should be doing. This discussion started off with a question: “Looking for some tips on introducing Business Improvement Techniques into an office, admin, customer service environment.” To date there are 20 answers to the question and here are a couple that stands out:
“Here are some tips based on socio-technical design approach.
1. Initial Scanning & identification of units/process to improve – I hope you have already done this
2. Identifying of variances – the weak links in the systems where it is difficult to achieve required standardization. Here you can apply lean (eliminating waste) and six sigma (improving quality)
3. Analysis of the social systems – Handling of variances, relationships needed for optimum working of the system, extent of flexibility between roles, pay relationships, staff psychological needs
4. How workers see their roles – do roles meet psychological needs?
5. The maintenance and supply systems – How do process and its measurement affect productivity.
6. The corporate environment – How do development plans affect the future operations of the department
7. Proposal for changes – This must contribute to both improvement and production system and to the social systems.
These steps are exhaustive but hope it gives an idea of end-end process of initiating to implementing business improvement. Let me know if you need more information. “
To be compared with this – probably not too uncommon approach:
“People are the basis of the value adding process. Everyone must add value for the benefit of the customer. Challenge the use of labour within the organisation. Eliminate all non value adding activity. Ensure everyone in the organisation has a customer focus. Challenge everything. Move the process from labour to machine. “
adding up to this comment:
“Before you start using “techniques” to make other people do what you want, ie to introduce business improvement techniques, consider that the failure rate for introducing changes in this way is reckoned to be in excess of 80%.
No technique for forcing people to change has ever had any impact on that number.
The reason for this high failure rate is that people don’t like being told what to do.
Try telling a teenager to clean their room and see what happens.
Read Phils post carefully.
Don’t tell people what you want to do.
Find out instead what they need to do their own jobs, then figure out how to give them what they need.
They will tell you what their problems are and in most cases, will also happily tell you what the solution is.
Most managers call this moaning and completely ignore it, after all how could the workforce who do their job every day, possibly know more about how to do their job than their manager who has never used Swarfega in his life.
Managers who listen to their workforces, and react to their needs, create the conditions that allow the workforce to engage.
When they engage you will not have to look for business improvement techniques, the workforce will implement their own and because the ideas come from the people who are actually doing the job, they will work. “
Very, very different approaches, all of them common to different work places. One might question what this topic has to do with improved spend and automated invoices? No? Good, that means you have read at least one of our articles.
Group (members only): Business Process Improvement and Change Management