CREATING AND SUSTAINING ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS
How to create Organizational effectiveness? What does it take to make it happen? And how can you maintain it? To understand what an effective organization is, it is vital to understand its current environment, have a clear overview of what is happening in the world today in order to compete with a globalized market. Having a breakthrough product isn’t enough in today highly competitive markets, since competitors have the ability to reproduce similar products, process and have the ability to duplicate almost all aspects of the business. What sets companies apart in today’s world is the ability to retain customers by creating strong relationship between customers and products or services provided by the organization. This can be achieved by providing high customer satisfaction with the product, meaning a high quality product.
Organizational Effectiveness, organizational philosophy & quality systems. As mentioned in the example above the first step is that the leadership in the organization has to realize that if they want to succeed in today’s market it is necessary to engage in a quality management philosophy. Upper management must be willing to put all efforts in creating this new culture where everyone will be involved and convince that this is the way to go in order to for the organization to succeed. Great leaders learn from history and study what made other great leaders successful in order to learn what worked for them and what didn’t and try to modify old philosophies that can apply to their organizations in order to achieve success. In the case of quality it is important to study the gurus of quality such as: Following a quality philosophy or compiling several together to achieve success within the organization isn’t good enough. Today there are specialized agencies that regulate the quality standards for almost all markets, these standards are implemented all across the globe in order to create a higher competitive market and therefore force organizations to improve their own quality standards. As mentioned before it is important for the upper management to be convinced that this is the way to go in order to keep a competitive edge in the market for their product. Companies that are always evolving their products, process and services usually set the standards of what is expected of similar products, process and services, because they are making breakthroughs with their customer satisfactions. Standards like ISO (International Organization for Standardization) has several standards for different fields for example ISO 9000 related to standards for quality management and ISO 14000 that addresses environmental management.
Having a quality system it gives the organization some guidance of where they need to go and what they need to focus to succeed in order to satisfy their customers. The quality system such as the ISO bridges the gap between the organization and its customers.
Dr. Feigenbaum, Dr. Shewhart, Dr. Deming, Dr. Juran, Philip Crosby, Dr. Ishikawa and Dr. Taguchi each has a great understanding of how important quality is for the success of an organization and in order to maintain that success quality has to be a priority to all the organization.
In order to create a quality management system it is vital that upper management in the organization are convinced of the transformation of culture and the paradigms that will have to change in the organization. The change will come from upper management and go down into the different departments of the organization. An example to visualize what needs to be accomplished it is important to picture an ancient roman battle ship. Romans looked for the best technology in their world at the moment and equipped their ships with the newest technology and set course to conquer new lands. The Emperor had a clear idea of what he wanted and communicated his message to his generals who were set out to conquer new lands for the great of the empire. The captain of the ship would communicate where they had to go and give very clear activities to his subordinates and they would give orders to their own subordinates in order to sail across the seas. Everyone in the ship had an understanding of their job task and what was required of them from the captain to the slaves who had to row the ship. All the slaves were required to row at the beat of a drum (much like the takt time) all had to be synchronized and work together to be able to navigate on the course it was set by the captain who received his orders from the generals who received the order from the Emperor.
Create a customer focus, strategy planning & deployment and human resource development & management.
Once the organization has understood that quality management is a must and have study and decided to implement a quality management system it is important to understand and translate what the customer wants, expects and needs the first time and every time. In every organization it is important to be able to provide external as well as internal customers what they expect quality, reliability and consistency. It is not easy to please customers and is harder to retain them in today’s world, with the quantity of options there are for the same product it is key to understand what the customer values, needs, expects and requires. There are many ways to find out what the customer expectations are, such as market research, one to one with the customer to evaluate your organizations performance.
It is vital to understand the end user perception of the product, process or service you provide, but this must also be done internally by understanding that your customer will be the next operation, station, activity or any process within the organization that will benefit from your work. Understanding what he needs and provided right the first time every time will provide a higher quality product for the internal customer and the external customer as well.
In order to create a successful organization the leaders must have a clear vision and a mission of what they want to achieve, going back to the example of the Roman ship, the Emperor had the vision to construct an Empire and gave his leaders the mission to execute his vision by conquering other nations and lands. Leaders must be able to provide the way for everyone else within the company to take them where they need to be, this is done by planning and executing the vision of the leaders. All great organizations start with a clear vision of where they want to go, establish a mission and set goals & objectives that are quantifiable in order to measure the success of their vision relative to their previous starting point.
Identifying the key human resources to make the organization succeed is an organization within the organization called Human Resources, they must be able to identify key performers and develop their talents and motivate them and commit them to the organization success. Making them part of the change. Not only the key performers, but the organizations must work to develop their workforce, they are the greatest assets the organization has, because they will be able to transform the raw material (metals, wood, computers to create software and most important ideas) into a product/service. Effective organizations work hard to develop the talents and skills of their employees and to keep the workforce content in their jobs, because people who are passionate about their jobs will help create an environment of continuous improvement by each trying to succeed in their own little world.
Creating and sustaining organization effectiveness involves, supply chain management, measuring how well the organization is doing (benchmarking), process management, Tools and techniques to improve and resolve problems and how to manage projects to achieve breakthrough success. Measuring an organization is very important, because if you can’t measure something how will you improve it and how will you know it has been improved? If you don’t have enough data about what the organization is doing it will be impossible to control it. If there is no control to the organization everything will happen by chance and who knows the company might be lucky and get it right every once in a while. Organizations have to ask themselves every day, how are we doing? They can measure their economic stands, customer satisfaction (quantity of customer complaints), how well a process is under control by monitoring the scrap rate or the first pass yield, but the most important part of this is to be able to identify if the organization is well or not. An example of this is a Thermometer is your body temperature at a normal level or are you well above the normal temperature, if you are you know you have to go to the hospital, similar with the organizations if they are able to measure how well they are doing they’ll be able to maintain operations under control, but if they don’t measure, they’ll never know if they are sick. All process within an organization must work like the gears on the clock every time all the time. Process are all around us it is taking raw material (in many forms), performing activities to add value to that raw material that transform it into a product and finally providing a product or service to the customer. Process management and process improvement is necessary for the organization to continue to succeed in the market. Organizations must be able to control their process to perform to the highest levels of quality that is meeting customer expectations both internal and external. Effective organizations focus on key process, this are process that have the highest impact in customer value, their main attention is brought to improve their process to become more effective and retain customers. Controlling the process of an organization is key to their success, this mean that they are able to identify in a timely manner if there is trend for the process to go out of control or if the process is well within the process control limits. The variation in a process must be eliminated by creating mistake proof processes that will ensure reliability and reproducibility of your product. To implement permanent corrective actions or process improvements sometimes it requires more time than just a simple Kaizen even, it could be a full Six Sigma project or a Lean implementation or redesigning certain characteristics of a service or product. The scope of this corrective actions or preventive actions is much wider and therefore takes on more resources to complete. Organizations usually identify and select projects that aligned with the organizations vision and mission and that will have a significant economic impact in the company. Projects and leaders are selected to complete the assignment in a time limit and within a budget (investment of resources and capital). Since projects have a wide scope, resources from different parts of the organization must be included to provide their expertise to resolve or improve a process, product or service. Each team member will have assignments other than his daily activities that will be managed by the project leader who will analyze where and when each resource has to be used to complete the project within the time and within the budget. Implementing a quality management system is ultimately the purpose or the way to reach the organizations goal. For all lucrative companies the ultimate goal is to make money and the way they get there is by implementing all the items previously mentioned and sustaining them. Business results is important for the organization because if you the organization doesn’t have a clear understanding of what their ultimate goal is, there is no way that people will be motivated and sustain the organizations success. If the organization can’t measure if they have meet economic results than they’ll never make it in the market. There are many goals an organization can set for itself, but at the end the only goal that matters is… Is the organization making money? Then only way for an organization to be effective meaning reaching all of its goals is by implementing a continuous improvement philosophy and sustaining it by a quality system that works them and reflects the core values of the organization.
Effective organizations understand the need to invest in projects to continuously improve to satisfy and retain its customers. There is no simple method to approach any project since every project is different, but following certain steps will help the project manager achieve its ultimate goal.
New tools and techniques have been studied and implemented in many different organizations, the most common process improvement techniques is “Lean” this means eliminating the waste all through the organization. Eliminating non-value added activities such as Overproduction, overprocessing, transportation, waiting, inventory, scrap, motion and a recently added one by Johnson & Johnson lean training is talent. The talent is a waste if the people are not adding value to the process or if they are not working to improve it. Several tools used for lean implementation are Kaizen which means continuous improvements, these are usually small task that can be implemented immediately in an organization to fix a process; 5S (separate, straighten, scrub, standardize and systematize; kanban the pull inventory management similar to a supermarket; Poka-Yoke proof error process; Takt time to achieve a just in time and visual management to make things very clear and visible for everyone to understand the process and how it is doing. Along with Lean tools you also have problem solving techniques and tools that will help improve your processes, to measure them and to understand what is happening in your process or product or service. Tools such as Root Cause Corrective Action, Plan Do Check Act, Define, Measure, Analyze, Implement and Control (DMAIC also used in the new lean processes or six sigma). There are seven tools recommended to be used for problem solving things such as check sheets, pareto charts, cause-and-effect diagram (Ishikawa diagram), flow charts, histograms, scatter diagram and control charts. All this tools can help you identify problems and can help you monitor if your solutions have been effective over time.
Once the organization has determined how well they are doing, it can be that the metrics were not as pleasing as they expected and a helpful tool to compare the organization to other is through “benchmarking”. How well other companies are doing (usually the comparison is done to the leading organization in the market)? At that point it is important to close the bridge between your organization and the more successful organizations, by asking questions like How do they do it? What are we doing? And what do we need to do to get there? This will lead organization leaders to drive for improvements in order to achieve a certain level of success comparing to similar organizations in the market.
Understanding how a product is created is very important to every organization, understanding where all the raw material comes from to be able to provide a final product to the customer takes many other organizations that have to be synchronized to complete a successful product. Many organizations now days work close with their suppliers to ensure they are meeting their standards as customers of a certain service or product. Effective supply chains are designed to ensure quality, cost, flexibility, speed and customer service in mind. An effective supply chain is one that delivers the product to its customer on time with the specifications required by the customer the first time and every other time.