Alumni Event 03 November 2021 Focus on Change Management

At our recent Alumni Event the audience was treated to two excellent reflections on Change Management from our Alumni members, Kieran Tangney, Executive Director, RCSI Quality & Process Improvement Centre and David Smith, Operational Excellence Site Lead, West Pharma.  They were joined for a panel discussion with Kelly Walsh, Change Management Expert with Stockil CI.  You can see a recording of the event on YouTube

After the event we had several questions from our audience that were left unanswered due to time restrictions.  Answers from our panel in response to these questions are below.

  1. When introducing a management group to a lean model, what hooks or Lean elements did you find were received best with your Management teams?

Kieran: Benchmarking is a really important tool and very underutilised as we are always too busy.  Therefore, I found it always worth going to see a good Lean Management System in operation. Senior Leaders can both see and feel the impact it has on the organisation.  It is hard to sell that in a PowerPoint presentation!

  1. Can you explain the importance of Management buy-in to a lean program, rather than the task being given to a single manager / small team? …. are there any practical steps that can be taken?

Kieran: Management buy in is very important, I do not believe a single manager can manage all the interactions required.  System Thinking is a nice concept to demonstrate organisations are made up of hundreds or indeed thousands of processes. Many processes are interdependent and need to work effectively to provide consistent excellence in Customer Experience. It’s impossible for a small team or manager to manage all of those processes. The result can be bad customer experience if the whole organisation isn’t engaged.

  1. Any thoughts on best practices for establishing change management function in an organisation please?

Kieran: In my view this must be seen as having positional Power or being positioned close to positional power in the organisation.  It needs weight or gravitas so I would suggest it reports directly into CEO or COO.

  1. What was the most challenging part of introducing Leaders Standard work in West? How did you overcome?

David: Training was very important.  The training done with Senior Leadership Team, SLT, focused on how to develop Leader Standard Work, LSW, why it is required and its benefits.  On an ongoing basis during the Tier 3 meetings the Lean Maturity Model is reviewed weekly. LSW is one element that is reviewed under LSW Training completion and LSW standard work documenting.

  1. I would like to know more about standard work, how it was introduced and how they are managed.

David: Standard Work is documented information on how a task should be performed to the highest standards. Many companies have SOP’s etc. and these fall into the standard work category. However, in many organisations how often SOP’s are actually used is debatable. They can be large folders or in a central location. Proper standard work should be stored at point of use. More illustrations or images are better. The “Why” should always be included in describing when and how a task is completed. Also, it should be noted that with so many nationalities work in Ireland now English is not their 1st language. We are about to trial video based standard work with closed captions of different languages. We intend to have a QR code at the location of where the task will be performed. Operator can scan the QR code using the area tablet to view the video. Standard work documentation is reviewed yearly or if an issue occurs which may point to a task not been performed correctly.

  1. Was it difficult to put a measure on developing people as part of the Culture / Behaviour lean maturity model?

David: With our lean maturity model we have lean training assigned based on a person’s role within the company. Everybody gets lean basic training with the first 3 months of employment. The Yellow Belt, Green Belt, and Black Belts are assigned as required. In relation to Culture / Behaviour we have KPI’s set on Kaizen engagement. We also measure engagement during gemba walks and 5s involvement. Kaizen, 5s and Gemba are a good measure of Culture and behaviour. I have seen KBI’s (Key Behavioural Indicators set by some companies that use the Shingo model. Lake region in Wexford and Abbvie in Sligo have good examples.

 Once again, we would like to thank our contributors and audience for making the event a success.

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