The guide will give you a detailed view on how to build your team. What the guide in short explains you to do is to focus on processes while you build your team. That is essentially what your team will be doing to become a highly efficient team, working on processes. And that is what you will need if you need to scale, have good processes.
You can easily navigate yourself thought the guide by using the navigation links bellow: And if you have time, please take your time to rate this article if you find it useful.
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The guide is easy read and consist of 5 main parts with links to other helpful articles and videos:
Defining the purpose of the team. Where the central part is to know what you look for, and if you need to form a team at all to solve this problem.
The second part consist of how you assemble the team. Where the main elements are what resources, including people and the competence you need. Defining the leadership is also important at this stage.
The third part consist of mapping out the vision of the team. The goals the team is working towards is extremely important on many aspects of the teams function. It is also important for the teams ability to maintain. Having purpose, and feeling what is done has meaning towards a direction is important. So mapping out the goals the team is working towards is not only relevant for the effective functioning of the team, but also the teams ability to self- maintain. A purpose for doing things.
The fourth part is the part that gets the main focus in this guide. Since we are guiding you on how to actually build a team, setting expectations is important. To be able to cooperate and being efficient at all levels, and living out the purpose and full potential of the team. Automating these expectations and arranging them in relation to other team members, other teams and the organisation as a whole, is very important. The best way of doing this, is by creating and improving processes. This is basically a common understanding of how things are done, and why they are done in relation to others in the team and the rest of the organisation.
The gift and last part of building a team is to maintain it. Maintaining the team, its operational parts as team members, leaders, systems and technology. And maintaining and improving the processes in relation to the teams purpose.
With this guide in your hand, you should be very much equipped with a structure on how to build a team, at least on what to look further for in terms of information. The guide can not cover all areas of a team, since it is such a big one. But it offers a framework for how to start building a team that will outcompete teams that do not have a system.
Good luck building your team!
Here you can navigate around the guide. You will be able to find much more resources by clicking on the links you find in the text:
Building and maintaining a team
Building and maintaining a team is not as obvious and simple as most people think it is. There is a reason why some teams perform better than others. There is no such thing as a decision on what is best and how things are best done. Although, like many other settings that carry a great deal of complexity, there are some things one should not do and some things one absolutely must do. We will go through most of those in this guide, with links to relevant things you can take with you in the leadership you perform and hire into your company.
One thing is for sure, it is that no matter how one twists and turns it. Then a functioning team will always beat the same amount of people working alone towards a goal. Even when those who work alone have higher competence than those who work in the team. As mentioned, it depends on a well-functioning team. So having events to build and maintain good teams is a key part of not only being able to have a successful business, but also to be able to scale and grow as a business. You depend on this competence not only to build the team you start with, but to build more teams and departments as you grow.
So where to start with all this? Define the purpose of the team. What should you ask yourself before forming a team?
1. Define the purpose of the team
The purpose of your team is important. It makes very little sense in the business world to build something that does not have a function. The same goes for a team. It makes no sense to put together a team that does not have a function. You can look at a team as a small engine that has a function, a purpose for why it exists. So before you put together a team, you should go through our guide on whether you should put together a team at all
What should you ask yourself before forming a team?
A project or challenge emerges and many people, without thinking, immediately form a team to investigate, solve the problem and implement the solution. The same for a startup, when one puts together the canvas with a foundation in one of the bricks, most often his idea. Then one has in mind to form a team around this for various reasons. For most founders, the reason for this is that one does not have enough resources to hire expertise to solve the problem or provide the value that is intended. So one seeks partnership with other founders. Or that you do not have the competence, so you focus on acquiring the competence you need as soon as possible by hiring. A team can be a very powerful way to solve problems and implement massive improvements. But a team is not the right answer to every situation. And the same goes for your startup as well.
To get the best results from the resources available, it is important that a leader answers a question they do not usually ask – “Is a team the best way to handle this situation?”
Unfortunately, when they assume the answer to the first question, they jump to “Who should I have on the team?” When they start there, they may have already condemned the organization to less than the perfect solution, before they even get started.
Here are five questions designed to help you answer this important first question.
Is the goal clear? If the goal is not crystal clear yet, do not create a team. A team can develop a problem formulation and solve a problem, but they can not work successfully (at least not quickly and efficiently) with a goal that is not clearly formulated. Once the goal is clear (you may want to meet a few people in a one-time meeting to get this clarity), you can continue with the rest of the questions. Until then, do not make a team!
Will the team have the resources they need to succeed? You may be the person who needs to obtain these resources, or you may need to negotiate for them. Teams need to know what resources they have in terms of skills, budget, time, support and more. While lack of resources will challenge people and teams to be creative, there is a limit to this! Teams will falter and struggle without the necessary resources to succeed. Continue without them and you risk massive frustration and low productivity.
Does this really require a team? This is perhaps the biggest of the questions. We value all collaboration and teamwork – but they do not have to go together. Collaboration can be achieved without a team. Maybe what you need to do is assign or find a person to run a project, and encourage others with valuable input and experience to collaborate and help as needed. Remember that there is a big difference between putting people on a team and asking them to help as needed. When you remember that you can promote collaboration without a team, you allow yourself to really answer this question.
What is the relative importance? Not all projects or problems are created equal. It is important to consider the relative importance of a situation before dedicating a lot of resources to it. Think about your overall plan and human resources. See where this fits into your big picture before you decide to form a team, as opposed to assigning it to a single person to manage.
Is there time? It takes time to plan, form strategies and processes, to acclimatize, create a culture and collaboration and all the elements that need to be in place to help a team get off to a good start. Is it time for all that, in relation to the need for a solution or answer? If not, make a decision, make a decision and move on.
If you get yes answers to all the questions above, congratulations! Form your team and help them succeed.
But if you get one or more no answers – do yourself and those you might put on a team – a favor. Think a little longer before you automatically form a team. You should learn more about leadership if the crew is creating a team, whether it’s a leadership staff that is your team, or the first team you have in your company.
2. Assemble the team
Assembling a team seems easy at first. If you have experience with finding team members and putting together a team, you will know it isn’t as easy as you first thought. But as you develop some experience in the field, you know what to look for, and how to ask the right questions to sort what you need. Keep in mind what the purpose of the team is, and what you seek in that connection. What team culture is necessary to achieve the aims, what personality types cooperate best, what leadership style is most likely to be accepted in this group?
1. Clearly Identify the Task at Hand.
One essential thing to remember, that many forget. Is to identify the tasks the team will do. A common solution many businesses do is to realize it is to much tasks to do, or that they are in need of something. Then seeking and finding people based on that. “We need more people to push these tasks” – hiring more people, based on random qualifications and percieved personal fit by the manager. Or “we need to market our product, we LinkedIn is where we should be” – hiring a person with marketing experience. With the idea that they will figure out things.
2. Identify the Skills Needed.
3. Identify the People.
Talent pipeline as a concept:
- It provides a steady flow of candidates. Something you will need if you plan to scale your business. At any level, if you seek to grow 1000s of people or expand your team by 10 people. You should aim to have a steady flow of candidates that fills your operational needs.
- It provides a framework of what you are doing. This makes it easier to establish processes around it. Making it easier to scale or down scale the activity as needed. This makes it easier to locate problems within the process you are doing, making it easier to locate and fix problems in your recruitment process. Understanding this will make it possible to remove “blockers” in the process if you seek to scale fast. It also provides great possibilities for increasing quality of the process. As a easy and very relatable problem, giving feedback to candidates that didn’t get the opportunity to go further in the process. No one mean any harm, it is often simply a matter of to many tasks, and this being down prioritized. But this kind of simple tasks not done, can really harm your “pipeline”. Someone not qualified now, might be 2 years in the future. In a market where it is hard to find people, this matters alot. And even so, it matters alot on your employment branding profile and people perception of your business. How hard is this to automate with a system either software or manual, at any complexity of feedback. You can even find machines that write handwritten cards for you. It is for sure something that has a low entry cost for the value of your “pipeline”. Along with so many more process improvements.
- Increasing the quality of the “pipleline” and the processes related to it, will increase the quality of your candidates entering it.
- Identify your company’s long-term goals and needs.
- People who meets the standards of being able to do the work processes they will be on-boarded and assigned to work on.
- Focus on personal fit, ability and motivation to learn rather than having all criteria for the process.
- Design and great processes that these candidates will work on. When you have great processes you will not need multi talented and unique people working in them to produce what the team is put together to do. You will need these kind of people for other roles, but the people working in the processes should not have this focus.
- Focus on improving processes, having great feedback loops and training in relation to what is produced.
2. Embrace employment branding
How do you put together a team in the talent pipeline?
What you put together a team, you go thought the processes of recruiting. This process has a lot of variations in tools and skills that can be used. Selecting the right one for your need is key aspect in the processes you develop towards making a team.
3. Develop a candidate sourcing strategy to fill your pipeline.
4. Create a process for sourcing passive candidates.
5. Invest in relevant recruitment marketing
6. Automate the whole process
7. Remember strategy first.
- Establish contact with new candidates.
- Assess your talent pool.
- Nurture the candidates in your talent pipeline.
- Prioritise on- going training and development.
What to do when selecting candidates from the talent pool?
- What will happen in the process. Make a to do list that can be used for every on-boarding. This should be a list of exact things to learn and how in relation to the process they work with.
- Who is responsible for what in relation to who (use a process relation template)
- Start with a Plan and Goals. – What are the goals of the on-boarding? It is easy to forget to identify the wanted outcome of what you are training, and how quality will be identified as within this. Once you have a goal, it is much easier to make a plan for this. Make a good and soli plan on how to achieve this outcome. Something very obvious you might think, but most people skip this going straight to training the candidates in their on-boarding process. One thing to remember is that we as humans are biased to think people have the same understanding of things as we do. Take this in consideration when designing this.
- Personalise the Experience. – In this process based system you are trying to design. It is easy to forget to personalise the experience. But remember you can have a personalised experience standardised. It is not like you have to map what interest people have, spend time of buying a fotball chair to fotball fans. But you can have a standard of how people are on-boarded to their workplace in a way that feels personal. Something that feels like it is taken a personal consideration to things. Something as simple as: Having everything ready with logins to systems they will be working on, a desk with giveaways related to the job. The employee need a phone, the phone is in its box, configured and ready to use, same with the laptop, maybe a small treat of candy. Anything that can be standardised, maybe even having a stock of if things scale fast (to not have to go out to consider what to buy for every on-boarding). You have no idea how much this experience counts for people. Having everything configured and ready on the persons desk, ready to use. This is not only resource saving at a huge scale, but it makes people feel welcome. There is nothing worse then a on-boarding day of waiting and sitting much of the day looking into your phone. Not being prioritised will not give a good first impression. And you are paying valuable resources in giving this bad impression.
- Include Social Introductions. – We are not mechanical parts in a system, even this guide sometimes can mirror people like that. Social introductions are of great importance. Have introductions with especially people relevant for doing the job needed. Make it known in advance that you are coming by with a candidate later on the day you will. This introduction has 2 purposes: 1. a social and work culture aspect to it, a good culture includes people. 2. to eliminate doubts. What you want to do is to eliminate any possibility people have to create their own tough of how things are operated. You are introduced to your team leader, a friendly face you know you any time can come with problems and ask questions to. You know other team members and how they work in relation to what you do. Keep in mind, leaving people to figure out things themselves. Including if they do a good job or not will lead down the path of people making their own ideas of how things are. A scenario you dont want, everything should be clear. As I mentioned over and over again, information should be transparent and easily accessed.
- Clarify Roles and Responsibilities. – There is no point in having a plan, a strategy or processes for anything unless someone owns that process. Clearly who will do what. Clarify roles so they are crystal clear. Will this be done by a on-boarding team? By team members within the team. Make these roles as clear as possible by using a process relation map.
- Involve Company Leaders. – Leaders should be involved. It is easy to make the assumptions that leaders just sit in their office and delegate what will happen. You should implement in your culture the idea that leaders are a resource that are also delegated along with other resources. A leader will be able to delegate training where needed, solve conflict, maintain communication lines and all other factors that are of great importance to the team and its processes. To get the team functioning relations have to be established between the leaders and the people working within the processes. You will need these relations, so establish them from the first day.
- Use Onboarding Technology. – You would want to invest in onboarding technology for many reasons. But I will mention two reasons you will have to consider as the core technology that should be in your mind. 1. When you have 10 employees using a sheet is enough to keep track on the new employee that arrives maybe every year. But as soon as you scale, and have a great increase in how many your organisation is getting in. You would need some kind of software keeping track on this. Where they are in process, and that things are done according to company standards. 2. You will need to consider on-boarding technology in ways of learning employees what their tasks, also in relation to others. In the same case that you are 10 employees, having to explain what you do and how to do it for a person 1 time per year is affordable. It is possible to have one person dealing with a on- boarding on the side to some extent. Investing in learning solutions does not make sense at that point. But as soon as you will have 10 per year, maybe 50, 100 or more getting in the door per year. It will make sense to invest in learning solutions related to what your teams are doing. Something that is explained 100 times, can more efficiently be made into somewhat more engaging content easier to learn from. It is possible to make modules to understand own tasks, and the tasks in relation to each other. The idea with for example modules in learning related to processes, is that you will be able to go in and change relevant modules in the on- boarding along with changes in the processes. To put it simple. If you have a hour long introduction video, no one will consume it. And you will have really hard time updating it. Modules offers the possibility of presenting relevant information in pockets, easier to re-access. They are easier to change. And easier to insert in systems where you get feedback if a candidate actually have progressed trough the relevant training.
How do you define the function of leadership?
When it comes to leadership, it goes without saying that as long as they have a leader, the team will have the function they are set to have. Some people think a leader is someone who observes and reports, or someone who creates and maintains the direction, or someone who solves problems, creates competence or manages resources where needed. All of these and many more tasks fall on the manager.
So since there are several different situations when it comes to leading a team, there is no model that works for everyone when implementing leadership for the team. It can be the team’s expectations of leadership, their ability to work independently with the processes that are defined and many other factors that are important.
Personal development and team leadership
If you have reached the stage where you have hired even a few people, you are definitely the leader of the herd! Or at least you should be if you want success. Leadership is a competence, and that competence you have to acquire in one way or another. You are also part of the variety on a team. How well you work with your employees will tell you how successful you are. Are you a leader who collaborates with success?
Real teamwork not only takes time, but it requires a willingness to contribute to the team’s best interests. It must begin with a sincere desire to work on behalf of the group. Be sure to examine your motives. When you have a successful team, you will find that all your teammates reap the rewards. Ineffective teams are often composed of some selfish team members who only care about their own personal goals and not the goals of the team as a whole.
As a team leader, you should strive to instill the following qualities in your members so that your team will be effective:
- To have a common vision of the team’s mission and its goals,
- There should be a willingness to incorporate one’s individual talents for the team’s improvement.
- There should be open lines of communication between you as a team leader and the team members and between the team members themselves.
- There should be an understanding of individual differences in the team.
- Team members should be recognised and rewarded for their efforts.
- Lines of authority alone are not a guarantee of loyalty, dedication and the common sense of team play. Moreover, it is a fact that talent does not always guarantee success. Successful teams are created because they are a mixture of talent, fusion of minds and mindsets, and there is also the ability to focus on the bigger picture. Team members need to feel the following:
- To be heard
- To feel that they are important
- To be valued, valued and recognised
- To have the opportunity to express their own individuality
- These qualities can all occur on teams that are well led without having to sacrifice team spirit. It is wrong to think that even the best team leaders strive to treat everyone the same way. Since all members of a team are individuals, not everyone needs or wants to be treated just like everyone else. Some team members are self-motivated while others need support and security.
Once you have developed personally as a team leader, you can take steps to pass on personal development to your team members. Remember that teamwork develops over time. Your team can strengthen itself daily through experience and relationships that develop with other team members over time. When you as a team leader give time and attention to these tips, you will find that your group will soon merge with success towards the vision you are working to achieve in your startup.
So how do you carry out your leadership?
The part with leadership associated with this guide will naturally be quite long. Leadership is such a central part of organizing that it deserves a longer share than much else. It could have been written more specifically about how to establish a team and other things, even though it is well described. What is important to understand is that all other aspects of organizing are ultimately about leadership. It’s about the leadership you who read this guide are able to perform. So whether you are leading a guide on how to build a team, or how to find expertise for your business. Then it’s ultimately about your leadership skills. Whether you delegate these tasks, have established processes around them, or do these yourself at the moment. Then it’s about your skills as a top leader in the direction you build, you as a decision maker and leader in that direction.
The art of leading is sought after by virtually everyone. It is claimed by many, defined by a few, and practiced by the unheralded, depending on the source you use. In fact, we know a lot about leadership; it is the use of leadership that creates confusion for most people.
Despite all the leadership texts, which contain a veritable amount of theories about leadership (each of which is THE KEY), leadership remains a very individual concept, practiced in many different, yet successful ways. In fact, successful implementation always results in leadership. Failed implementation is always counterproductive. So, is this another theory? No, but I want to share with you some of my observations on where to look for leadership. It is my belief that although we may not be able to define it very precisely, we can recognize it when we see it.
We know that there are people who are called “formal leaders” and “informal leaders” in some of the literature. I will not talk about these “formal leaders”, because they by definition hold positions of authority (ie a supervisory position as some politicians or a leader who is promoted as a manager) and that is their only requirement for leadership. They often do not have the leadership position on the basis of something they manage to gather someone in the direction of. But that they are a functionary, and supervise a process, a department or institution in this way. “Informal leaders,” on the other hand, exercise leadership from positions that are not formally appointed for leadership, thus causing a problem for the organization. How the informal leader arises is not easy to get a unanimous description of, but it can often be due to a lack of leadership in the “formal” position. But that does not mean that the “big man” theory takes place (it is he who says that when a crisis arises and no one is prepared to deal with it, someone will get up and deal with it). Why is someone not in a leadership position given authority by the group they work in to exercise leadership?
There are, of course, several answers to that question, so let’s examine some of them. It may be that the leader is a confident (at least confident trader) person with a little charisma, thus one who gives logical answers to questions from the group, and who may have the ability to demonstrate that they have good ideas. We often see this in groups that begin by discussing particular issues; If no one is specifically “responsible”, the leader who shows up is often the person who shows the most passion for the subject.
Or they may simply be someone who is impatient for action, and motivates others to a particular action that seems to achieve some common goal. In this case, the group tends to gather behind the “visionary”. Sometimes the visionary does not have much of a vision, but that does not mean that they are not able to pursue one (or have one in the first place).
Another possibility is that one in this group recognizes that things can be done in a way that benefits everyone involved. The motivation for implementation is not for improvement, enrichment or even recognition of the leader, rather to achieve group goals, including those that are relevant to the entire organization. So if you manage to establish it in your teams, when you have several teams or several departments. That these are able to understand the organization’s goals. Then it’s important.
When we find this leader of the latest type in your teams as you grow, then there are leaders who are helpful to the processes you are going to implement. They are the ones who are passionate about achieving the whole, not of themselves individually. These leaders are not put out of action because they do not blow their horns to be recognized as a leader, or other things around the position they hold. They are too busy working towards meaningful goals to be distracted by something so counterproductive. Yet they do some special things that allow us to see “evidence” of their leadership. Some of these things are where I want to focus this section around what you as the top leader should do.
Leaders who are passionate about their vision (they always have a vision), is careful to make sure that everyone in the organization knows what that vision is. They want to indoctrinate everyone so that it is not just a vision, but a tangible part of the environment, so much so that it will go home with employees at night. Everything that flows is thus a reflection of that vision, because the vision becomes the lighthouse that controls the actions of everyone in the organization.
These leaders know the people they lead well: their personalities, their stories, their passions. The leader knows them because of the leadership involved in attracting and retaining the right people to “get the job done. If the right people are at work and they get the resources to get the job done, it is often a waste of time, because this type of leader is already getting out of bed in the morning and is excited to go to work. Motivation? It boils down to each and every one of them, and they do not need slogans or mantras, or group meetings to cheer on the story, because the “self-actualized” person is also self-motivated. They know their job, they know what is expected of them, and they know that they have a responsibility to the rest of the staff to do the best job they can.
One reason for this is that the individual has been involved in the development of their job and their responsibility for that job, they have been informed about how their job fits into the overall scheme around the vision, and they are closely involved in changes that take place. in the company. . Revolutionary? No, it’s been in several books for decades.
When leaders like you, and the role you have as a top decision maker, develop these types of employees and leaders to monitor and influence employees, you are freed to do the visionary tasks: keep the goal in mind, and make the course corrections necessary when changed relationships require them. Tweaking is a skill you as a leader must acquire, which is not taught in any school, which makes it so much more valuable.
There are some things we as individuals can do if we want to develop our own leadership:
- Focus on the main goal of your business. Never let yourself be distracted from it.
Do not surround yourself with those who only agree with you, but with the right people for the job you need, then train them and give them the tools to do the job.
- Recognize the benefits of having different personalities around you. Not only do separate skill sets come with different personalities, but different approaches that are crucial to a company’s success.
After hiring the right people, get away. If you need to micro-manage them, you do not need them. However, this is not a big problem, since they will not stay anyway, if you treat them with so little respect. It is your job as a leader to make sure that everyone knows their processes, has the skills needed to perform your work tasks. The same goes for good routines to get people into your business.
- Always remember to consult the feedback loop in all your processes, to ensure that things work as you expect and that you can make appropriate changes in a timely manner. Failure to do so will expedite the errors of the organization and lead to major problems further down the bend. Remember that your feedback loop is only as valuable as the people you get feedback from. Listen to them.
- Know when you have exceeded your limits, and acknowledge it. So get help to overcome it. It is much easier to get help from others. And if you have built the team around you properly, then you have what it takes to get you through things.
Each of us has the ability to be a leader. However, we will only become effective leaders when we lose the fear of making mistakes, and share the responsibility to achieve the organization’s goals. If these goals are our individual goals for achievement, the organization will work to succeed and achieve; if they are not, we will be the transient leader who gets things started, but who fails to fail to share the credit and only push for the good of the organization.
Map out the visions and goals the team are working towards
One mistake many people make is not defining an objective with the work tasks that are done. It is easy to think that the system and the processes one creates with people work only by putting it together. But humans are not machines, so those who believe in it often get some expensive experiences. Faults often cost a lot no matter what they are, and it is more expensive the greater the fault and the damage. When it comes to these types of systems that involve people, they can tend to be both very expensive and a headache to get back on track. So being able to create the situations that we humans depend on to thrive is important. It is when we thrive that we work best.
If you have tried to work for a company that lacks direction, or meaning with what one produces, you know what I mean. Without meaning, we as humans tend to lose the important “drive” that a team depends on. That everyone wants to learn, is committed, has pride attached to what they do. All of these things are greatly underestimated. It is part of the culture that is created. You can imagine carrying a load of stone to the other side, and then being asked to put the whole pile back again. You should be built differently so as not to lose heart then, which very few people are. And you have to have the whole team with you in this direction.
Team charter as a tool
How many times have you been to, or heard of, a team that got frustrated? Or did they feel that they were not making progress? Or were not quite aware of what they were expected to do? Or did they not feel that they had the support of those above them?
If you’re like me and most people I know, nod yes to one or more of the above questions.
There is one simple thing that can alleviate or eliminate these challenges and get the team off to a solid start. The only thing is a team charter.
What is a Team Charter?
A charter is a document that describes the purpose, boundaries and agreements of the team (details are below). It is co-created by the person who sponsors or forms the team and by those who will be on the team. The power of this document comes from the conversation and agreements registered on it.
Because the power comes from the agreements entered into, the format of the document itself is less important than the conversation. Regardless of the format, the components in the next section should be considered.
What is included?
Team charter should address the following areas and answer the related questions.
• Purpose and adjustment. Why is this layer formed? What purpose will it serve? What challenge, problem, issue or opportunity will it address? How is the work of this team in line with the organization’s larger goals and strategies?
• Goals and expectations. What are the specific goals of this team? When will we know that we have completed their work? Who are the customers and stakeholders in the team’s work? What are their needs and expectations? What are the obstacles or challenges that can be seen in the beginning? Make sure you set goals clearly with measurable results and timelines.
• Roles. Who is the team leader? What is their role? Who is responsible for facilitation, logistics and information management? Who will be responsible for communication to stakeholders and the team sponsor? How will each person be involved in the decision-making process?
• Approach. How and when does the team meet? What are the norms or ground rules that the team will agree to? How do we make decisions? How are we going to hold each other accountable for these things and for completing tasks? Who should communicate team progress and to whom? Your charter should also include a high level of the most important phases or milestones in team life and outline these.
Requires skills and expertise. Make a list of the skills and expertise required for the team’s success. Identify the person on the team who can provide these skills and perspectives. Identify any gaps in skills and find a way to link those skills to the team through other resources. Adding these skills does not mean you have to add people to the team. This means that experts can best be identified and invited to participate in the beginning, and a charter helps to achieve this.
• Needs resources. What budget of time and money will be needed for this project? What other resources will be needed?
• Authority. What level of government spending does the team have? What authority do they have for other resources? What approvals are required and by whom?
• Deal. Once all these questions and elements have been documented, your charter should be signed by the team sponsor and each team member. This will cement the agreement and make it easier to hold people accountable. It also ensures that each team member understands and participates in the complete charter.
How do I implement a team charter?
Because a certain structure is required, usually a leader who forms or sponsors a team will start the process. If this does not happen in your organization, do not use it as an excuse! No matter what your role, you can get support for having a conversation that leads you to the clarity and agreement that a charter will provide.
Get the team together with the leader who formed and / or sponsors your team. Have a conversation about the eight points above, and document your agreements. You may be able to complete a charter in one meeting, or it may require people to gather more information before concluding – doing what makes sense given the size, complexity and importance of the team’s production. Remember that all time invested here will be repaid many times over. Resist the urge and tendency to “get this done and move on with the work.”
Once the document is created, ask all parties to sign it as a way to mark commitment to each other. Then keep the document fresh by referring to it in team meetings and making sure you stay on track with the boundaries and guidance it provides. Also be aware that as time goes on, you may need to make adjustments, clarifications or changes to the charter. This is fine as long as all team members and the leader and sponsor agree and “sign on” the changes.
Will creating a team charter take time?
Will some people stop talking and get started?
Recognize these facts, but remember one even greater – time spent building a charter agreement will be repaid in reduced frustration, improved productivity, and better results.
Why have a team charter?
Thousands of teams are formed in companies around the world every day. And most of these teams flounder unnecessarily for too long and some flounder forever). It is one simple practice that can improve the results of most teams, whether they are formed for a short project or as a new work unit. That practice is team charting.
The team charter is a document that serves as both a guide and a roadmap for any team’s success. When used most effectively, this tool clarifies the purpose of the team’s existence and documents the agreements between the team members.
Here are the seven reasons why a team chartering process will be very useful when you are forming a team.
Shows support and commitment. One of the key components of an effective team charter is the identification of a team sponsor or a person outside the team who can provide support and guidance to the team. Many teams spin because they do not have a “go to” person they can trust when they get stuck or face obstacles. The team charter is a way for these sponsors to communicate their interest and support. The charter also gives the team assurance that such a person exists.
Sets the team direction. A good team charter will give a team the rationale and goals for the team. Teams are often formed without these ideas being clearly defined. This is a problem not only for the creation of the team, but makes the work of the team extremely difficult. How do you know what to do when you do not know the specific goals and objectives you want to achieve? If I could only have one component in a team charter, there would be a clear definition of the direction, the goals to be achieved and problems to be solved by the team.
Provides agreements and clarity. Charters provide more than just the overall direction and adaptation to the organization’s overall purpose. The best charters also provide a chance for the team itself to build agreements on how to operate, make decisions, how often they will meet and many other logistical problems.
Structures and ensures an efficient planning process. All too often in our fast-paced world, teams go too fast to build a solution because they believe immediate action is needed. With this perspective, they spend too little time planning for successful action. A team chartering process, form or checklist helps ensure that a team plans successfully before moving on. The time spent in planning in the first place will be repaid many times during the team’s lifetime – both in saved time and avoided frustration.
Identifies roles. Will the same person facilitate each meeting? Who is the team leader? Are there specific expectations for the team members? What roles will each one play? Does each team member understand why they are there and what expertise they can offer? A team chartering process can help you answer all of these questions, helping any team succeed faster.
Outline boundaries and scope. Teams often wonder what is within their control and what is actually expected of them. A good chartering process should help a team understand what their limits are, what their limitations are, what parts of the problem they are responsible for, and so on.
Sets resources. Teams often wonder: What about their level of authority. Can they hire consultants? Can they bring in external experts? What is your budget? Can they bring in extra resources in the organization? A good chartering document will help set both the resource requirements and the levels of government the team has to provide more resources when needed.
Improves productivity and the likelihood of successful outcome. Okay, so there are more than seven. All the first seven benefits lead to this – the ultimate benefit of all. Successful chartering will increase the likelihood that the team will be less frustrated, take less time and create greater results.
The importance of a team chartering process cannot be overstated. You will notice that I have outlined the benefits and therefore suggested many of the key components of a successful team charter. Remember that the form, format or template you use is less important than the time you spend in conversation and dialogue to ensure that what you document is realistic and relevant. Also remember that you want to create something, not as an exercise, but as a living document that the team can use as both guidance and roadmap.
When you invest time in creating a team charter, you will truly help the team as a whole become more successful. And you will also provide a highly valued structure to help individual team members become less frustrated and more productive.
Establish a vision in the team
Countless clients come to me with the fixed idea that they in various way have some sort of culture problem, without identifying it as a culture problem. Problems with conflict, “how can we create abetter culture”, people not cooperating, “how can we build a better culture for cooperation”, people talking past each other due to different professions, “how can we communicate better”. Culture is not something you just enter in with a toolset and fix. Ok, bad culture? let us just buy a ping pong table, buy some bean bag chairs and have some teambuilding and problem fixed. This will not fix anything in relation to culture. And this is a typical type of reason why you should never accept a clients proposal of the root problem when solving problems as a HR professional.
One thing that is important to understand with culture is that you do not build a culture. A culture is forget trough other implementations. It is something that is affected by lack of or nurture of various external factor related to the culture itself. Putting it that way makes it easier to actually “create” or “build” a culture as many clients wish professionals to do for them.
Culture can be seen as the collective glue that holds your organisation together. Much of the culture can be believed to establish when you define a team, simply by defining what culture you want in your team. Unfortunately you will not be able to simply dictate what culture you want and implement it that way. This process will neither happen in the part where you lay a plan and sett together the team. You will simply not be able to find people that has a certain cultural trait in your “talent pipe” and bring them in to your organisation or team. Culture is an adaptable behaviour, we simply adapt to other people when we are given sets of information to act on. That is how culture establishes itself.
- One factor is to establish the vision in the team or organisation,
- and another is to create the norms of how problems are solved. And this obviously has to be maintained.
We will go trough them how you can use this to establish a culture in your organisation. And it is interesting how related the two are.
Creating a vision
A vision is a super powerful tool and highly relevant for how the culture shapes itself. When you mention vision to someone most people see this as some kind of “buzzwork” with no real mening. “Establish a vision – yea mr. obvious obviously establishing a vision would be good, it is just a lose fantasy word with no real meaning from an organisational development standpoint”. But the fact is that a vision actually has a real value, but to make some meaning of it
Purpose: A vision will help sort out a direction and a purpose with what people do. Doing tasks, without seeing a purpose for it makes no sense in a modern organisation. We as people are purpose driven, without purpose we tend to get depressed with what we do. As a easily relatable to the well known torture method of having people carry a huge pile of heavy rocks from one side to another, while also being instructed to carry the pile of rocks back again. The task itself, if it carries a purpose is not torture. While people who were victims of this kind of torture lost all hope very fast. The task is the same, the presence of purpose is the only difference.
Core values: One other factor you have to establish is core beliefs in the organisation. These feed greatly into the purpose and mission the team has. You probably manage to identify your own behaviours towards something you value and something you dont value. You will for sure have more ownership to tasks that you value, identify yourself with, see the purpose of and know what needs to be done to achieve. So establishing core values that are universally understood is a central part of establishing a vision. What we want to do in this case is to establish universal knowledge and adaption by the majority within these core values, and rely on normative influence for the rest of the organisation to adapt these value. “Core values – another buzzword you may think”, think of the core values of an organisation as what is the accepted behaviour is the given situations. See a police force for example, a core value there is to look after each others safety. If a person does not adapt these simple core values, they are quite simply excluded socially and possibly from the job itself after some time. The same goes with your workplace, and your workplaces possible adaption to building a team this way. Lets say for example process feedback, if roles and responsibility, purpose and how to do a task is clearly defined. For many it would be tempting to see a problem or possible improvement in a process, and just ignore it as not concerning themselves. Most work places will have this attitude to anything. But if the expectation and core value adapted by the majority see this as important, it is valued and socially rewarded to identify these problems. You will quite fast see a total different behaviour, rather than using fear and reminding people of their duties.
Mission: As mentioned before with the importance of a purpose, and to establish core values effect on people ownership and behaviours. It is just as important to know what to achieve, something measurable. Something to stretch after, a purpose for the teams involved. This is off course easier for a temporary team, than an operational team. A temporary team can see progress visible every day. While an operation team are kind of stuck in what they produce day in and day out. But if you manage to establish these processes to a sense of purpose. Something that would be outside the operational. I can assure you no one care about you showing them statistics of how much revenue they have generated. Unless this is tired to their income. A mission can be so simple as identifying who these processes are helping. Let us say if your company produce a service for national employment. The focus would be on how many have been helped to get a job. If your company delivers some kind of service, a mission would be the success of the value this creates. And feedback related to the person and competence of the relevant people. This simple change in defining a mission, even it is at the side of the possible purpose of the organisation itself. The team purpose will be driven by this mission.
Strategy: The strategy related to how the team is trying to achieve these the mission. By circling in the mission and purpose around the actual problem they solve, rather than the organisational goal, much is done. This is obvious, but forgotten by many, in the same way as people tend to focus more on their product than the problem it is ment to solve in a startup. When establishing your teams vision, focus on the problem the team is there to solve is just as important. The strategy can be seen as how this is planned to be achieved, and can be closely related to the processes the team use. If you manage to establish ownership to this strategy, much us done.
Together these core values, the perception of purpose, the mission they are on and the strategies on how to make real and deliver this is collectively the teams vision. By implementing these parts correctly, you will be able to create a team vision. A very useful component when it comes to forging organisational culture.
4.Sett expectations to your team (processes)
Setting expectations is a great tool that if mastered correctly will harvest all the efforts you made. So how to sett expectations? Setting expectations go beyond just explaining what you expect from you team. If the tasks they do are clearly defined and understood, why they do them, how they do them and how what they do creates value and is used by others further down the line. These kind questions are the ones you need to answer to be able to sett the expectations needed for success. This is called processes, a team member who know his or her process well, in a team of people with the same understanding of their tasks. In a team that communicated and coordinates these well, under great leadership relevant for this team. Will outperform any team without these expectations defined.
Why design and implement processes?
Why even bother to implement processes. It is a lot of work to map all the processes and their relation to each other. To be able to build a scalable organisation you will have to have processes in order. You will simply have a organisation with a system too heavy to carry its own weight without processes. So the main factor here is that you will not be able to grow past a certain point, without establishing some sort of system involving processes and workflow in relation to each other. If we take a closer look at what this scalability mean. And what is the exact meaning of the organisation not being able to carry its own weight at some point. Lets look at the smaller benefits of using processes in your teams, and sum this up later.
- Improved business agility – The ability to reach to change is essential to keep up the game in most industries today. The complexity and new possibilities are increasing rapidly. These changes may come from new technology, needs for change in how things are done, new competition with new methods, new laws and regulations the organisation needs to apply to. Changes are much easier to implement, easier to locate the need for and you will have a much more robust organisation to handle requirements for change from external treats. A good process design and the management around it makes it possible to plan and predict changes needed, stop the process, make the changes and continue the production. It is easier to locate exactly where changes happen in relation to other processes, and to locate people relevant for on-boarding new solutions and training. You will be able to calculate benefits of implementation and if it will benefit you, making data-driven decisions rather than being hungry for new technology.
- Increased efficiency – Every business struggle to increase their efficiency, it is a huge advantage over competition and to be able to deliver the value a business sell by being able to be efficient. Many ways of organising and structuring a business are highly inefficient. Processes are designed to pinpoint these inefficiencies and to eliminate bad practices of how to do things. Processes offers better workflows both on single tasks and tasks in relation to others. Processes enhances knowledge and information flow regarding improvements of workflow and bottlenecks. Processes makes it possible to measure workflow, identify changes that would benefit an optimal improvement. Processes also helps identify manual tasks that can be automated to increase productivity and reduce chances of human error.
- More complete visibility – Processes offer a more complete visibility of how the organisation operates. Makes it possible to implement feedback systems and automated systems allowing problems in the production line faster to locate and fix. Processes allow the possibility to study each process for improvements, and offers a more clear picture of the overall business activity.
- Ensured compliance and security – Rules and regulations are changing how business can operate. These changes can affect a business and its efficiency, sometimes halting all production. Processes makes it easier to locate changes needed to comply with new laws and regulations. Processes also offers an organisation structure more robust to change, easier to implement and train new solutions. Processes also offers a more secure workflow to meet standards of these laws and regulations, avoiding hefty fines in many cases. Since the workflow is standardised and described in detail with documentation, it is easier to ensure and follow up that everything is up to standard with regulations. Having good processes and systems can also secure the company for mistakes regarding typical issues such as cyber security, securing private information and physical resources. Making it easier for employees to comply with company regulations.
- Easier transfer of business knowledge and information – Companies shift their workforce, expand and scale their business. Often we see companies rely on individual employees to have their ways, system and processes in their workflow. This works well when having a talented and efficient employe in the organisation to solve a certain task. When implemented it works well. But changes in the workforce makes this vastly inefficient and potentially costly to deal with. Finding new people, higher requirements of skills and implemented ownership to tasks, maybe not knowing what the person actually were doing when they quit. A potentially costly way to organise a business, possibly halting or creating multiple hard to solve bottlenecks trough the business. Processes offers a practical solution to these kind of issues. By designing and documenting how the workflow are done, it is easier to standardise roles to fit a talent pipeline. And easier to on-board to this function. Information and training across teams and organisations are far easier. Implementing processes can already have saved its cost of implementing by avoiding one situation like this for especially small and medium sized businesses.
- Easier to on-board and train people – As mentioned standardising workflow makes it easier to on-board new employees. It is much more easy to design great on-boarding processes with a process workflow they will be operating. It makes it possible to take in use on-boarding technology such as consumable content such as video and animation related to the work tasks they operate.
- Increased opportunities for continuous improvements – Continuous improvements are a central part of working in processes. Not only are process oriented organisations more robust to change (a requirement in a increasingly complex work with new technology and requirements for change). But it is also easier to enter processes measure outcome of a new implementation, easier implement the new solution by location the process and the roles attached to it for training. This makes it possible to avoid the big trap of getting tempted with new technology, implementing out of hope for improvements. By working in processes it is possible to back the implementations and decisions towards it by evidence and data needed to ensure success. Processes also allow small on- going changes in a direction, rather than huge top-down/ top to bottom implementations in an organisations. A change that carries greater risk and complexity.
In summary the total benefit of using processes has the purpose of standardising, faster adapting to change and problems, easier on- boarding and training and a greater overall efficiency that can sustain the cost of an organisation at a greater level. Designing a organisation this way, will make it possible to scale, since you are copying a system that works to scale, you dont brink more people in simply hoping they will do what is required of them.
How would a good processes look?
Standardize your processes! You can save time, money and prevent mistakes. Things you do over and over again should be done the same way every time, if you are actually doing the task in the best way. They say variety is the spice of life, but for health processes it is certainly not most of the time. Consider this if you will. Would you buy favorite soda from your favorite brand if sometimes your 12 ounce can was 3/4 of the way full and sometimes almost crowded. Absolutely not. You expect it to consistently be almost 12 grams each time. How would a patient behave if the results of a health visit varied greatly? The patient would probably find a new provider. The best healthcare professionals provide a consistently good service; it helps attract new patients and makes the old ones come back.
Standardization helps to save time. As things become routine, a process is easier to do and done faster. For example, if a primary care physician ensures that the necessary items for a patient visit are always in the examination room, the physician does not have to waste time looking for supplies and wasting time for the patient or physician. I recommend that primary care physicians together with the staff sit down and list the things that should always be in the examination room and make sure that someone is responsible for these items every morning before the patients arrive. If this is done, the doctor can save time, thus enabling him or her to spend more quality time with the patient or see more patients.
Standardization saves money. Most doctors face increasing malpractice costs, but for one group this has not been true – anesthetists. According to an article in the June 21, 2005 issue of the Wall Street Journal, over two decades ago, this group began implementing procedures that ensured patient safety. Certain processes have been standardized across the profession, so instead of one death per 5,000 cases, there is now only one per 200,000 to 300,000 cases. Because of this, their insurance premiums fell for malpractice.
Standardization prevents errors, as in the illustration above. Another example is the drawing from a local hospital. Recently, the CFO of the institution and I discussed the new facility they were to build. Instead of building adjoining rooms so that the bathrooms would lie back to back to save plumbing costs, each room was designed so that each room would be exactly the same with a bathroom on the same side. Why? This will prevent mistakes and in the long run save money for the hospital.
The best thing is if you can measure standardization. The best tool for measuring standardization in statistics is variance or standard deviation. I’m sure many of you have encountered this measure, but can probably not calculate it. The best way to calculate it is either in a spreadsheet or on a calculator. For example, the standard deviation of the numbers 8, 12, 1, 4 and 5 is 4.18. For groups 5, 5, 5, 5 and 5, the standard deviation is 0, since there is no variation. So when trying to standardize a process, see if you can find any significant goals that reflect the process and try to reduce the standard deviation as much as possible. In fact, this is the heart of Six Sigma – reduce the standard deviation as much as possible. The best manufacturers and service providers often use this tool.
Once you have standardized a process and achieved a satisfactory standard deviation, write down the process in a manual that is a collection of all best practices. In this way, anyone who needs to refer to how a process should be carried out can refer to the manual. It is also an excellent source of training for new employees.
As you can see in these brief illustrations, standardization or lack of variance provides patient security, a time-saver for provider and patient, and contributes to an improved bottom line. The same principle applies no matter what you do, whether you produce services or products with your team. Focusing on the processes you create is very important.
Processes aim to be able to make things more efficient as a team. If you look at processes in the big picture in an organization, then it is not only very important for the organization’s efficiency and ability to be competitive by having better processes and therefore possibly be able to compete on price, time or quality.
What processes are about is also the ability to scale, an important element of everything explained here. If you have an organization with a number of teams that all do things differently. You will never be able to scale what solutions you have. So the benefits are big with good quality processes, not only simply by having processes in place.
How to make good processes?
Making processes can be frustrating at the start, but becomes easy once you get hold of it. What you want to do is You are most likely thinking in processes related to what you do already, you just have to document what you already are doing and make some improvements to it. Because the fact is that someone who is not able to thin in processes on what they are doing, do not really understand what they do. With that in mind, let us continue to get those processes made.
Identify the process
Identifying processes is about identifying a set of activities with the aim of systematically defining what it takes for the business process to improve.
Every business has a process. The question is probably more whether it is bad processes or good processes. And what the processes produce. Not all companies take the time to identify, map and analyze their processes to create effective teams.
Not only does this type of team miss out on large portions of the profit margin, since the team produces less efficiently what the team is set to produce. But it greatly hinders further growth and collaboration with other teams in the organization as well.
In this first step of the process, you can look at the most important task you need to solve using your skills, perhaps the knowledge of the specific function this team needs to build a list of:
What functions the team should have, what they should produce and how to do this as efficiently as possible.
Important output team produces and where these should go next. This is also important, because it can often be difficult to further down the development of your processes to optimize them. When you do not know what is happening, who or what they further affect in the organization or how they work.
In this section, we talk about identifying the processes in the first place. We move on to how to model these further. Right now, for the vast majority, it’s about bringing down the processes that either already exist to change and improve them. Or create new processes from scratch.
In addition to the operational processes associated with the team itself. Then you have to identify the support structure around the teams you operate as well:
Leadership / management: These are the processes associated with those who overlook, have an overview, motivate, regulate, fix, arrange everything related to what the operational team does. The leadership associated with the team simply makes sure that everything goes as it should, that the quality that the operational processes are set to have is up to standard. They provide training, budget, etc. The leadership is of course also a member of a team. But will of course have completely different processes than the operational part of the team.
Support and organizational processes: these are the support structures to ensure that the operational team and leadership have what is needed by resources associated with the organization. Large companies have these features in-house, while small and medium-sized organizations often have to have supporters as consultants or some form of outsourcing associated with this. This includes things that are important resources for a team to continue to be productive. If the computer, network or systems crash, then it is expensive not to have processes in place to fix it. The same applies to legal, professional or technical issues. Challenges associated with HR professional issues, such as conflict, management support and other things.
These two other processes will to a large extent be quite similar to other companies in a similar situation and size as oneself. Of course doing one thing in your own way. However, these processes are necessary support structures that surround the team. And they have to exist in one way or another, whether you are a startup with 1 team and Grunderen takes care of these 2, or if you are a large company that has these placed in different departments. The processes need to be in place anyway.
So how do we identify these processes?
A good way to solve many problems is to ask questions. So we do it here too. Ask yourself:
What do we want to achieve with the processes we establish?
What problems are the existing process dealing with?
Think further about how these processes affect and interact with other processes in your company, or with your clients. Wherever they are going to change up, you need to envision the entire journey of the various elements that pass through your processes. Using a small mind map does not hurt if you have many processes.
An example of this is whether you are going to produce something, a physical product for example. Then you might be super focused on increasing the productivity of the team or teams that have the production assembly line. But then one may not think about what you need for them to be able to do their job, you will need all the parts needed for this production. In other words, you must also focus on the processes that take place before these teams get their job done. The same also applies if what they produce is part of something else, if they produce more than what the next link can handle with their processes, then there is little value in improving these. Therefore, you need to look at all the processes both in the team and the processes other teams around have when creating and improving processes. You can read more below about how to identify and improve this.
Sketch the process input
This will make it easier for you to imagine the team you are designing as a machine on an assembly line. You put something in, which the machine uses to produce what the machine is meant to do. A machine that makes chocolate will have input on the ingredients of the chocolate that will be placed in a mold. And then another machine will have input with this finished chocolate and wrapping paper to complete. Simplified, these are two processes that the machine is designed to perform. So in a business context, a process is a series of tasks done in a specific way, which leads to the planned outcome. How to produce services / products, generate traffic, sell something, fix and repair things or anything else. How your business makes money or solves these functions and the processes related to this is the core of the operational affiliate of the team you are building.
A team can have a process, or they can have 30, it all depends on what the team is going to do. You have read a lot about how to identify a process above. But in this section, you need to outline what you are putting into the process you are going to establish. What resources does this process need to happen?
Identify the output of the process
Furthermore, you have to identify the output. What what you put into the process will actually produce of output. It makes it much easier to follow what I was talking about in the identification section.
When you map out what the process needs and what they produce and get it down to an overview. Then it is so much easier to see the connection further in the ranks. Because it is very rare that you only have one process, with a customer who is only ready to receive the end product in the doorway, without having to think about anything more.
Research needs associated with the process
What does it take to make the process happen. What do they have to learn from the inside? What resources must be released or facilitated to make the process happen. What type of equipment, software, technology, systems must be in place to make the process happen? What will this cost? These are all questions that need to be asked about what you have to have to make the process happen.
Strategic planning and resources
When you are going to achieve anything, it is important to be aware of the resources you have to achieve this, and how to manage them properly. Organizing as the most important block for proper resource management is essential to becoming proficient at managing resources properly. If you do not, this will be a typical pitfall for typical problems such as liquidity crises, running out of financing or going bankrupt. And of course also a root to minor problems such as HR-related challenges, conflict, lack of competence, limping processes and much more.
In general, it is important to manage the resources correctly all the way in all the blocks, but it is very important in this block to get everything in place. It is this hernia that will drive the whole business. As mentioned, sales are the heart of your startup. But this block is the engine that makes everything happen with the help of good processes, routines and training from the automation book. You must learn to manage properly when implementing your strategy.
Resource planning: Before the strategic plan can finally be agreed and implemented, the manager (s) must ensure that there will be sufficient resources available for each activity at each stage of the plan. In reality, the planning for the supply of resources must be seen as a critical element in the plan itself. The strategic plan and the objectives within it will not be achieved if the activities necessary to implement the plan are not supported by appropriate resources.
Resource forecast: A resource forecast should be performed. All planned activities, stages and goals should be analyzed for resource needs (resources as in the list below). If the forecast identifies areas where available or deliverable resources do not meet the required levels, this must be corrected or the plan changed. When the manager (s) can be satisfied that the necessary resources will be available, the plan can be completed and implemented with confidence.
Prioritization of resources: It is tempting to rank these resources, perhaps by arguing that human resources, and the accompanying expertise and experience should be highest on the list, but this is not logical. Lack of, or insufficient, financial, physical or system resources for any of the many activities, or at any stage of the plan, can be as detrimental as not having the necessary human resources. It is also tempting to think of resources as just human, financial or physical, and also that come only from internal sources. Again, this is not appropriate, as the strategic plan needs support from other areas, internally and externally, which should also be described as resources, such as systems, policies, suppliers, external stakeholders.
Organizational infrastructure: The form and complexity of the organizational structure should be designed to serve the strategic direction taken. A structure that is as flexible, dynamic and responsive as possible is crucial. In some business sectors, for example in many parts of the public sector, there will be restrictions and barriers that will dictate a more bureaucratic and rigid structure that limits responsiveness and flexibility. Much of this may be unavoidable, but it should be continually challenged and loosened where possible. In most other sectors, there is no excuse. The leaders of organizations in commercially driven sectors, and this now includes education, health, charities and the tools, must strive to structure their organizations so that they can respond to the rapid pace and continuous changes in today’s business world.
Systems, guidelines, procedures: In functional areas such as IT, finance, HR and personnel, performance appraisal and reward, employment conditions, work patterns, training and development, the systems, guidelines and procedures must function to support the strategic plan and associated operational activities. An appropriate quality assurance management system should be in place, guided by the strategic objectives, which continuously monitors the quality standards of all systems, including its own, to ensure that they do not hinder or harm the chances of achieving the strategic objectives.
Location: For most organizations, location is not easy to change and will not normally be challenged. But the leader (s) must look at the current location in terms of its strategic suitability. If the location does not support the strategies, at least alternatives must be explored. If moving to a more appropriate location is logistically and financially possible, this relocation should take place as early as possible.
Frontline physical resources: For production organizations, this will include production facilities, facilities, equipment and so on. For service organizations, this will mean the physical resources at the points of sale and / or delivery. The condition and capacity of physical resources in these areas must be able to meet the operational requirements that the strategies dictate.
Support functions Physical resources: For most organizations, this means areas of activity such as purchasing, design, research and development, administration, finance, human resources, maintenance, marketing, sales, distribution and so on.
Leaders in the front line and support areas must focus on achieving the operational goals derived from the strategic plans. The manager (s) must implement a system of regular performance appraisals and consultations to ensure that these areas are provided with appropriate resources and run efficiently.
Vendors: A key resource, but because they are outside the organization, they are often forgotten. The quality of supplies, be it raw materials, equipment, parts, consumables, people or consulting services, is a critical factor for the organization’s capacity. If the input is not of the right quality, costs can rise, damage can be caused, delays can occur, and operation
l the performance of the organization may suffer. In turn, the achievement of the organization’s strategic goals may be delayed or damaged.
Human resources: The question that the leader (s) must ask is whether the quality, quantity and distribution of the human resources in the organization are sufficient to satisfy the needs of the chosen strategies. Existing staffing levels, degrees of competence and experience, flexibility, distribution, predicted shrinkage or turnover are all areas that must be analyzed. Intangible factors, such as morality, motivation, cultural attitudes, should also be evaluated. A personnel audit must be carried out, and where deficiencies or weaknesses have been identified, these must be rectified and brought up to the necessary levels.
Financial resources: Simply put, the manager (s) must be satisfied that the funding, cash flows, budgets will meet the requirements of the activities. If necessary, and reasonably, additional financing must be provided, which links this need for resources to external stakeholders as discussed below, such as banks, shareholders and other investors.
Marketing and Distribution: Regardless of the product or service offered by the organization, the marketing and distribution functions are as important, if not more so, than any other internal function. Without revenue, whether from customer sales, subsidies, public funds or other sources, the organization must persuade the buyer or supplier to provide revenue to it. These revenues will be a critical element in the financial resources needed to support the planned activity, and the continued flow of these revenues must be protected. This means ensuring that the marketing and distribution function itself is properly funded.
External stakeholders: This group of resource sources includes shareholders, investors and other financing organizations discussed in the section on Financial Resources. These must be managed and informed properly. Other stakeholders may, depending on the nature of the business, include local authorities, public services, local and / or national media, trade unions, local residents, national or international authorities, national or international trade organizations, business partners and so on. Where support from external stakeholders has been identified as important for the success of the strategic plan, efforts and energy should be used to build and maintain a positive relationship with them. Maintaining positive relationships with external stakeholders is important, as they are an important resource for supporting the organization’s strategic direction.
Intangible resources: These include goodwill, reputation and brands. Individually and collectively, these can be important for the success of the strategic plan. Goodwill is a value given to the reputation, customer loyalty, brand values and in some cases the public image of the organization. In monetary terms, it is the difference in sales value, or total value, between the value of tangible assets given to the business and the actual value that a buyer would pay or an investor would calculate when deciding to invest or not. Reputation that the organization has among its competitors, with its customers, in the public psyche, and although difficult to calculate, is also valuable. Brands can be very valuable, as demonstrated by some of the most famous, which generate immediate positive reactions all over the world. These intangible assets are resources, with a value, that the strategic plan will have assessed and used, or planned to protect, or develop, as part of the plan. The manager (s) must ensure that these resources, these assets, are managed efficiently and support the strategic plan as intended.
Management: The effectiveness of the individuals and teams that make up the management of the organization is crucial to the success of the chosen strategies. Without an effective management network that supports the planned activity and strives to achieve the strategic and operational goals, the strategies will fail. As discussed in a previous article, the leader (s) must establish an effective management network, and ensure that this very valuable resource in itself is properly resourceful.
The operational staff: Unfortunately, this resource, this group of people, is often overlooked when the achievement of strategic goals is discussed. It is erroneously assumed that goals can be achieved as long as there is good leadership, good leadership and appropriate financial and physical resources in place. Right. Unless the workforce is sufficiently skilled, experienced, qualified, continuously developed and committed to supporting the achievement of the strategic plans, the plans will fail. It is crucial that the operational employees, in all functional areas, are involved, informed and persuaded to support the strategic plan. The role of the leader (s) here is to ensure that the leadership team achieves this.
Management: The last resource we look at is the management of the organization. The role (s) of the leader is to lead the organization into the future, in a direction and a state that will ensure that the organization succeeds. Regardless of which direction is chosen and regardless of the goal of success, the leader (s) must ensure that the strategic plan is sufficiently resourceful at each step and in each area of activity. In addition, the leader (s) must ensure that they lead the organization in an appropriate manner, by applying an appropriate leadership style for each step of the journey into which the strategic plan leads the organization.
In summary: At the outset of this section, it was stated that it was not logical to prioritize, or rank, the resources needed to support the strategic plan. The range of resources is wide and diverse, and all should be treated as equally important. Each step and each area of activity must be provided with appropriate resources, otherwise the chances of the plans being successfully implemented can be seriously damaged. However, there is one exception to this rule, and that is regarding management. The leader (s) must ensure that the plan is resource-sound and then take responsibility for being the most critical resource of all. Without the essential resource for effective leadership, no matter how well other resources are given and used, the plans will fail.
Further, Try to create the steps for the process
It is often not as easy to just start putting together the processes for your team. Most people somehow have the plan ready in their head, but when it comes to getting it down on paper. Then one often stands firm.
then, Identify the operational elements of the process
Who should have what responsibilities in the process? Which systems and which technology are to be used in the processes. In this section, it is important to look at what it takes for the processes to take place, and who will be responsible for the various processes. Then in the first place which person of course, but remember that it is the role of this person / persons who should have this process part of the responsibility. So it is important to create this easily understandable, so it is easy to on-board those who will take over this responsibility. You will create a system later for the simplest possible onboarding of these positions later.
When you identify all the operational elements that are needed for the process to take place. Including technology and systems that are best for keeping track of the processes to be implemented, you start the implementation of the processes. What you would want to do, is to:
- Implement the process (getting it up and functioning)
- Implementing Lean production in your processes. (making maintenance easier)
How to map a processes?
It is easy to be confused when first introduced to processes. But it is not as complex as most guides try to make it. Processes can be extremely complex with tons of documentation. Luckily this guide aims to make it as easy as possible to build a scalable team with only the total necessary elements to being able to build one. And when it comes to process mapping we make no difference. We have simplified this complex method to make it easy for anyone to access. We simply divide the process mapping into two categories.
- Process mapping – Mapping one process exactly how it is done.
- Process relation mapping – Mapping single processes in relation to each other.
Before we go further on the processes themselves. It is important to understand the use of symbols in the charts and to create a universal understanding of this in the organisation. Everyone use the same symbols and colors in the mappings. The idea here is to use symbols to show different behaviours to make the flow easier to understand. For example decisions, document, database etc. Map out what symbols are relevant for your processes, and take them in use. And remember to not make things more complicated than it need to. Same as it should be as few processes as possible with as few moving parts as possible in an efficient and functioning process. The same goes with symbols, use as few symbols as you can get away with. Smaller organisations manage fine with using for example a normal process slot, start and end, decision and maybe a document or database symbol. The more complex and bigger things get, process mapping and symbols used has to scale up to meet demands. But aim is to keep it simple.
Process mapping flowchart:
- To map single processes specifically how a task is done or problem is solved.
- To devise new projects
- Planning, discussing and documenting processes for problem solving
- As a map for teams to better communicate ideas around problems in structured meeting.
- Workflow analysis and management
- Tool for locating specific issues, innovation and training needs
- Workforce on-boarding
When you draw up a process. Start with the input. What kind of information is placed into the chart that starts this process? You then follow each task, each deciton that completing this task or solving this problem involves. Draw them up in the best way that suits. The process should end with an output. What this process produces. The input and output are important for the process relation to other processes and possibly other process owners.
Relation process mapping
This chart is for seeing processes in relation to each other. The processes in relation to each other, and in relation to others. This way it is easier to get a system for what everyone do in relation to each other in the team. This type of map can be used for seeing the teams relation to other external parts also. For example clients, outsourced tasks or other teams in the organisation that are involved in the processes somehow. Or to define the teams relation to others in a bigger picture.
- When mapping processes as an overview in relation to each other. Where multiple people are involved. A great way to get overview of how value is produced in relation to each other, and who is responsible for what.
- Created a solid overview of roles in relation to each other. Allowing transparent and easy available documentation on whats others do in relation to own role and tasks. A great tool to make universal understanding.
- Client on-boarding
- Process training needs
- To devise new projects
- Planning, discussing and documenting processes for problem solving
- As a map for teams to better communicate ideas around problems in structured meeting.
- Workflow analysis and management
- Tool for locating specific issues, innovation and training needs
When drawing up any process as mentioned earlier the input and output are an essential element to focus on. In this case also you would want to start with the input, often the last process output goes into the input of the next process. So in a relation map, the input comes from somewhere. For example if this relation chart describes a recruitment process related to your talent pipeline. 1. The input would naturally be the qualified LEADS from your leads generating process in the talent pool. 2. And the output would then naturally be a hired candidate, while also also having sorted out candidates. 3. The next process to use this output as an input would be the candidate on-boarding process. The same goes for any other processes you need to implement.
You simply draw up the roles of those involved. It is possible to use any template. You then draw up the processes with symbols you have decided to use in your organisation. And remember as I always mention, keep it as simple as you can get away with, while still keeping the process efficient and functioning. We try to make things easier, not harder by using this method.
How to improve processes?
Process improvements is a central part of using processes as a organisational structure. There are many ways to improve processes. But the most important to understand is to :
- Establish good feedback in your processes. Making it possible to locate problems, bottlenecks and make improvements on the processes.
- Simple methods of measuring and analysing the processes.
We off course focus on the methods you can implement right away to experience improvements in your processes almost instantly when things are done right.
What you want to establish is different feedback loops in the system. Especially on critical elements within the process/ processes.
- Some problems will show up automatically by observing bottlenecks in the workflow that needs to be looked after and improved. Locating the root problem is essential here, often issues is a process design flaw with need of redesigning or splitting the process section into multiple processes. In some cases in might be interpersonal issues, need of training or other issues connected to it.
- Another way to get feedback is the most favourable one to establish. Is to understand that the people working in the process, are the ones who has the best knowledge in and around the process they work on. You will get quality information from your employees if you do things right.
What you want to build into the values and culture as mentioned in chapter 3 is ownership to the roles, tasks and workflow by the people involved. I guess most people would wish that it was as simple as just instructing their team to follow up on the processes, give feedback and really have ownership to what they work on. Unfortunately this effect in people cannot be instructed and enforced with any promising expectations towards involving your team in improvements. But when you have established the culture for ownership towards the vision and tasks involved. You can easily place feedback loops for your system. The way you establish feedback loops, is simply by:
- Off course manage to establish this super important universal understanding of everyones workflow in relation to each other. They do not have to know how others do their task, but to understand what others do in relation to their tasks is important.
- Define clearly roles and who has the authority to implement changes in the processes. Some processes are more critical than others. Defining the level of authority required for changes made is important. This can easily come forward in a process map if this is relevant. What you do not want is people changing things on their own. Changes has to be in relation to the rest of the team, and in some cases across multiple teams or the whole organisation.
- Having a clear training and structure of how employees look for issues in the system they work in. Give employees knowledge about LEAN and the purpose of removing waste in the system. Making people aware of what they look for and why is essential for improvement.
- How precisely they report these issues. If there is vagueness in how to address issues, no one will do. But if you manage to establish ownership to the process and the vision everyone work towards. And a clear and easy process on how to address these issues, only then will you succeed in involving people.
Ok, so let us say you have managed to establish this feedback loop. People take ownership, report back on changes that would make processes better, more efficient. And suggestions in relation to each other. The important thing here is to systemise decisions in relation to this. This is done by:
- Having structured meetings around this. What you want to do when you have these kind of meetings is to gather everyone involved, and do not waste much time connected to it. Use a template where the issues are forwarded clearly, and find a solution to this. Note down what is agreed on. (It is a great idea to make decisions based on data and information available)
- Communicate the changes very clearly, give instructions/ training if changes are made. This is important even for only a one team function. But if you have scaled your team, and have multiple teams working on the same processes. You want to be able to communicate and train people across all the teams. This would be one of the benefits of using processes for scaling. So please take use of it.
When using a template it is important to be structured with the meeting, you do not want these meetings to take lon time. Everyone know the agenda beforehand, come prepared, decisions made are followed up and implemented fast. These are not any major changes, its small tweaking and tuning necessary to constantly improve and and adapt processes towards the contemporary situation. So have clear communication lines and systems for this to everyone involved, and update relevant documentations immediately.
Methods of improving processes:
Lean production is a very good and efficient concept for running a business. The philosophy of reducing waste found in a manufacturing company or any type of company is a good idea. The most common wastes that need attention are:
- Waiting time
When this waste is minimized, the quality of the products or services is improved, the production time and the costs of producing the goods are reduced. With this in mind, many companies go through lean manufacturing training to get the most out of their systems.
The goal of lean manufacturing for any business is to get production and demand directly linked. The result is a more efficient way of delivering your goods to the customer because you produce the product at the time the customer wants it. However, this is only achieved if there is a proper implementation guideline for lean manufacturing.
However, despite training and guidelines, some companies have difficulty implementing lean production systems. There are various reasons for failure to implement lean manufacturing principles in projects. One of them is the difficulty of understanding the meager production of true nature.
The most accepted form of implementation of lean manufacturing is kaizen. Kaizen in Japanese means “improvement”. When implementing lean manufacturing, the quay can be done in large-scale or small-scale projects. The most used kaizen are the blitz arrangements. These are short-term programs launched to immediately improve the production process.
Although kaizen is highly valued as a valuable tool for implementing lean manufacturing in a company, it is not enough. If an endless cycle of kaizen events is the only form of lean production tool used, the company can suffer. Why? Because flash events can be expensive and can cost the organization more money by implementing it.
There are other implementation tools for lean manufacturing that an organization can use to get the improvements they want. There is value flow and process mapping. These two can effectively eliminate waste, and by implementing lean manufacturing, they can streamline work processes.
Although lean manufacturing may sound simple enough, there are companies that do not look at it that way. They find the implementation of lean production unclear and unclear. This means that they do not fully understand the principles of lean manufacturing. The best solution is to hire a lean production consultant.
Once the consultant has made an assessment of the organization’s problem areas, he can propose the most appropriate projects that will achieve the company’s goals. While the implementing lean manufacturing systems are explained to managers and lean masters, the process of enforcing these systems and plans falls on the shoulders of the latter.
For the company to fully understand the benefits of implementing lean production systems, they must be willing to wait. Change does not happen overnight, and some resistance should be expected from the people directly affected by the implementation of lean production systems.
Why is there resistance when lean manufacturing aims to improve the production quality of the organization? Simply put, some people hate change. They have been doing the same thing and have been used to going through the routine for years that it has almost become something familiar to them.
In light of this, companies should make it a point to clearly explain the changes in the implementation of lean manufacturing systems. If everything goes smoothly for the first run, the implementing lean manufacturing system must be put into use as soon as possible to ensure that workers do not forget the new process.
When implementing lean manufacturing systems involving day-to-day management, it is important to note that this group is the one that must have a full understanding of lean manufacturing principles. Their training must cover all disciplines in lean manufacturing, including the planning and implementation tools.
Although lean manufacturing is one of the best choices for improving a business or organization, you need to be sure that your business fits this philosophy. Not all implementation of lean production systems can be good for your business, such as excessive use of kaizen arrangements.
When implementing lean production systems, the best way to apply the principles is just by taking the elements that suit your business. This way you also save money without losing valuable resources.
Communicate the process
Something that is often overlooked is how you communicate and on-board your team. How to communicate change for your team if the processes change. Communication is very important for us people, to be informed and enlightened about problems one worries about. Maybe also unnecessary worry about potential problems. Being transparently associated with the processes the team members are part of is very important in order to create good processes. It is to a large extent those who are a large part of these processes.
The importance of communicating change
Productivity almost always suffers in times of great change, because stress among employees increases dramatically due to the universal fear of the unknown. In these times, communication is becoming more important than ever.
Senior executives often sincerely believe that they are communicating with employees when it comes to issues that affect them. Unfortunately, they often underestimate the number of cases that include, for the fact is that most high-level decisions will affect employees in one way or another.
another. (This is why a new law recently came into force in the UK that forces employers to answer employees’ questions about any changes or decisions that affect them.)
So how do you know what’s important to employees and what to tell them? Well, you have to put yourself in the position, the mind, the heart of the employees – one employee at a time. If you were that person, what would you be worried about right now in the current situation? What would be important for you to know? What is the worst thing that can happen and do you want to know about it in advance? How will you be told?
Of course, you can not answer these questions yourself. You need input from the people you are trying to understand. Depending on how much you can discuss or how much is already known, you can ask a few people what the vine says and what people worry and wonder about.
Now, armed with this information, draft the answers to the questions. Of course, they must be truthful answers, because sincerity is easy to recognize and will give a death blow to your communication work. Then they must be put into words that are clear and uncompromising, but also considerate and compassionate. It’s worth spending some time on this part – lack of commitment to your message is also easy to read and will automatically increase the level of cynicism among employees.
Then comes the dissemination of the information. There is, as we all know, no shortage of communication technology in business. However, the way a person receives news can dramatically affect how he or she feels about it, so you need to choose the medium very carefully. Email can in many cases be perceived as cold and insensitive, although it is useful for routine updates that do not have emotional overtones. Some messages are better spoken, either by the leaders of their groups or by the CEO of the entire organization.
If the messengers do not have highly developed communication skills, it is worth using the services of professional speech writers or presentation supervisors to help them, but be sure that the message remains honest, clear and compassionate.
And above all, follow your commitments and promises. Nothing scares employees more than empty words, but sincere, caring, continuous communication can form the basis for building employee engagement when the current turmoil ends.
Automate the process
Processes are a way to automate things. But in this case, you need to think about how you automate things you observe when you implement. There are many ways to do it, but the best way is to just do it. You often know what is not working at this stage.
Using a LEAN philosophy associated with automation is often appropriate.
The preparations to automate your processes with LEAN production
It seems that all manufacturing companies are now trying to adapt the Lean philosophy. Lean manufacturing has also spread to non-manufacturing industries. Unfortunately, many companies do not fully understand the true meaning of Lean Manufacturing.
Lean Manufacturing, simply put, is “continuously improving your waste elimination processes”. This sounds simple, but many companies will not be able to become truly Lean because they do not have an environment to implement and maintain Lean.
Most people think Lean is just a set of tools (One Piece Flow, JIT, Kan-Ban, 5S, Six-Sigma, Kaizen Teams, Push / Pull Systems, etc.) that can be used to cut waste. However, Lean is not just a set of tools, it is a culture. If a company has serious problems with employee turnover, employee morale, product quality, product delivery, equipment opening hours, plant cleaning, etc., it will be extremely difficult to move employees to a new way of thinking and doing business. In other words, if employees are in constant firefighting mode, they will not be able to implement Lean properly.
Solve the obvious issues first
To prepare for Lean, you need to “fix the obvious issues first”. Many times, employers want to know exactly what the problems and solutions are. They just do not have the time, resources or incentive to fix them. If you have a car that constantly breaks down due to a bad gearbox, then fix it! Repair or replace the gearbox. Do not implement a Lean strategy to fix the car. Just fix it. Lean is not used to fix corrupted processes. Lean is used to continuously improve work processes to eliminate waste. Once all the obvious problems have been fixed on the vehicle, it’s time to fine tune it to be more efficient. It’s time to look at ways to cut waste (cost) to save money!
A word about Six-Sigma
Some companies now mandate that Six-Sigma be used to fix problems. Unfortunately, Six-Sigma is not always used correctly. Six-Sigma is meant to solve complex problems that have many variables that cause variation in a process, which ultimately causes defects. Six-Sigma uses statistics to systematically identify what the various variables do in the process and point to potential solutions. It eliminates guesswork about what causes the variations. Again, fix the obvious issues first. Many problems do not have to be analyzed to find solutions. In many cases, the solutions are obvious: that is, if the light bulb is blown, then replace the light bulb.
Appreciate Your People
Society generally refers to companies as entities. We are talking about IBM, GM and Microsoft as devices; but they are really groups of people. GM does not build cars, GM employees build cars.
In order to develop this culture as successfully as Toyota Corporation has, companies must first realize that they must develop, nurture and value their employees. To build a culture with people who want to continually improve, people need to be engaged in their jobs. They need to feel valued by the company. They need to feel that they are being noticed and rewarded for their contributions. Ultimately, the company must value having low employee turnover to create consistency. A company with a high turnover of employees can not maintain a successful Lean environment.
Promoting this type of environment in today’s business world is not easy. There is low loyalty between US companies and their employees for a number of reasons. Some companies view employees as an expense rather than an asset that can be easily cut. If employees in a company do not feel that the company values them, they will find other jobs. With today’s business world, it is difficult to implement a long-term Lean strategy. Yes, a company can dictate to its employees to use Lean tools to reduce waste, but to maintain that ideology long-term requires a committed, loyal, consistent workforce.
Develop and retain strong leaders
Good leaders are coaches, bad leaders are dictators. A good leader will believe in the team concept where each member of the team is important and his / her opinions are valued. A good leader will value his / her employees and realize that for him / her to succeed, the team must be successful. A bad crib will dictate to its employees, which creates chaos! A good, efficient business unit with high employee morale will fall apart within weeks if a bad manager has taken over. Bad leaders fail because they do not have strong leadership qualities. They lack the human skills, communication skills, decision-making skills and delegation skills needed to develop and maintain effective teams. A strong leader must sell the Lean strategy and realize that it is ultimately the employees as a team who will make it happen.
Think and act world-class (even if the team is not there yet!)
To become Lean is to become good at what you do, the processes you have are largely matured and automated. When you enter an office / facility and you have a bad process, and disorganized work environment, then you know that he / she has not entered an office / facility that practices lean particularly successfully, to try to learn something new trick. It is not necessary to look at the productivity figures or analyze anything to determine if there is anything that can be improved or not. What can be improved and automated by the processes is most likely found in the mindset and actions already implemented.
A Lean facility / office is thoroughly organized. Each process is clearly defined via standards. Production is run via very clearly visible management. A real world-class facility / office has the discipline to maintain the organization.
Make decisions based on logic, not politics
Most of the time, decisions made in management are implemented without asking questions, regardless of whether the decisions make sense or not. Too many times, decisions are made by top management without fully understanding the process and issues. Lower-level leaders ultimately implement ideas and strategies that are not based on logic but politics. They will implement ideas even if they themselves do not believe in them. This can create many problems that make the implementation of Lean strategies difficult.
Decisions should be made throughout the organization through effective communication. Senior management should not only give a mandate, but sell their ideas and be open to questions and suggestions from leaders at lower levels. Senior management should fully understand the problems and processes of communicating effectively with leaders at the various levels. Big decisions when possible should be made as a team versus an individual.
Get in shape with Lean Manufacturing techniques
Everyone wants to have a good physique and a healthy condition. When the whole body works effectively, the individual is said to be strong and resistant to disease. Exercising the body and toning the muscles can achieve this.
This analogy works in the business organization system. All departments function as the different parts of the body. When one is efficient and the others lag behind, the whole unit does not work at the optimal level. Lean production techniques can strengthen the company by reducing waste and making the organization better
Lean manufacturing is a management philosophy that concentrates on eliminating waste and dividing the resources of the company into departments and business projects that require the most immediate attention. The sleek production techniques give the company the opportunity to utilize the best possible mix of all the best their organization can offer.
The first step in lean manufacturing techniques is to hire a lean manufacturing engineering consultant. Just like in a gym, a person hires a trainer to teach them the right way to train, tone and shape the body. Similarly, companies need to hire a consultant for lean manufacturing techniques to guide them on how to achieve zero waste in the workplace.
Depending on the consultant and the services for lean production techniques they offer, the standard training process involves teaching staff, employees and classroom managers. The concepts of lean manufacturing must be clear to these people in order for them to fully understand the benefits of streamlining their systems.
Lean manufacturing techniques involve analyzing the problematic parts of the organization, including the production department, making an assessment of the most affordable but effective solution and implementing it to the organization.
Methods improving and creating better processes around production
There are different types of programs for lean manufacturing techniques available to companies. Some of these are:
1.5S – This is a simple and very effective set of sleek production techniques that remove waste from the work environment through better workplace organization, general cleanliness and efficient visual communication.
5S means: Sort, Sort, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. The 5S lean manufacturing techniques program clearly positions the methods within the framework of the principles of lean manufacturing and improvement of values in the organization.
The core of this 5S lean manufacturing technology program is that in order to achieve a simple flow of products or services in the company in small groups, it is necessary with cleanliness and a followed set of procedures.
Hoshin Kanri – This kind of lean production techniques make up a cohesive team. It makes employees feel part of the development of the system. Because of this, the smaller units in the company help senior management achieve goals more efficiently as new kaizens are identified and implemented, all in line with the vision and strategy.
Kaizen – This type of lean production techniques are used as part of the system-level approach to improvement. Kaizen Events, also known as Kaizen Blitz, is a focused, more intense short-term project designed to improve the process of a particular department.
Kaizen events take companies away from the traditional long-term projects where valuable time and money are spent more on planning instead of making actual changes in the company.
Kanban – This is a type of lean production techniques that focus on the traction system of an organization. Kanban represents the visual aspect of the physical storage locations in the retail trade.
Kanban and Supermarkets work hand in hand to establish and maintain the interactive relationship with the products from the customer back to the manufacturer and to the supplier / suppliers. Lean production techniques explain the kanban planning systems that make it a more efficient way to store goods from the warehouse to the place of purchase.
Setup reduction (also known as Single Minute Exchange of Die or SMED) – This is a system with lean production technology that is often ignored. When the company does not have standards or sets of procedures to follow at the start of a work activity, time is wasted. Lean manufacturing techniques bend this trait by effectively letting employees get used to a system and then do so frequently for more efficiency.
There are only a few of the program for lean production techniques available to any business. Six Sigma training, value stream mapping, lean assessment, lean accounting and standardization of work are among others.
Get a leaner and more efficient company by undergoing lean production techniques. You will not regret how many benefits this training system can do for your organization.
Monitor and improve the process
Having methods in place to monitor the processes you have established to improve them is very important. A good way to do that is to get your team members involved, the ones who actually run the operations associated with these processes. Getting them involved, training them on this, and giving them the authority to make the changes needed in line with current procedures is a great tool. No one knows what is best in these cases than a good operational team, with the right training on this. So how do you go about improving the processes you have established? There are many methods to do this, but a good method is to focus on small changes you can make that often together make a big difference. Do this by looking for waste in your processes. Working in processes requires less competencies, but to maintain and improve them would need a more engaged team. It would still be more cost efficient. But it is important to understand that to be able to make people engage in your processes and the improvement of them, you will need top lace resources into maintenance of the team. What you do is to establish the related to ownership of the process and the general vision, by implementing this in your culture. Further when this is established getting feedback and improvements on your processes runs fairly automatic. The saying “take care of your employees, and they take care of your business” couldn’t be more true when you make great processes. So what you would want to train them in, and establish relevant knowledge related to the specific process they work on would be:
1. LEAN as a method when creating automation
A lean manufacturing system is a system and philosophy that was first developed by Toyota for its production system. Many manufacturing companies have adopted this system to enjoy the benefits it has to offer.
The name “lean manufacturing system” is a generic term that refers to the principles and theories for disposing of your business for waste. Waste in a lean production system refers to processes that do not increase the value for money for the customer who buys from you.
The principles of lean production system are:
Value – The customer’s willingness to pay for your product.
Value stream – addition to a product or process.
Flow – The movement of your product that is biased to flow or working cells in one piece instead of production lines.
Cover – To have the right amount of materials to produce the product at the same time with little or no stock.
Continuous improvement – Get rid of waste on a constant basis.
For example, if you order a computer over the Internet, it may take a week for your computer to be delivered to you. It will only take a few hours before the technician installs and has the computer ready for use. The reason why it can take a week is because of the different shipping practices used by the company. There may also be bottlenecks in their current production system such as letting the company wait for the necessary materials to arrive which will make you wait the extra days.
Having a slim production system for your business and the application of the various principles can make your order for a new computer shorter. Instead of waiting a week for your computer to be delivered to you, it may only take 24 to 48 hours. The slim production system is designed to give the customer value for money at the lowest price at the least given time.
Another good example of a slim production system is the one-hour glasses. Usually it would take at least 24 hours before glass was made and delivered to the customer, maybe even longer. Many lean principles have been applied to this lean production system. Now you see many glasses in an hour shops from malls to shops near your street.
From the examples above, you might think that the delivery speed is the only advantage a slim production system can give a company. In fact, this is just one of the many benefits of having a lean production system. A slim production system also gets rid of waste while maintaining low costs and at the same time satisfying customers’ needs.
Getting rid of waste and all the useless processes is so crucial to the lean production system that it even has its own concept of “muda”. “Muda” in the lean production system is also a Japanese word for waste.
There are seven types of assessed waste in the production system:
Overproduction – Producing a product that is made faster than what is sold is a waste.
Inventory – A product that needs to be stored is wasted because it ties up money as inventory.
Transport – Moving a part unnecessarily during production is a waste. Can also damage the part.
Correction – Having to inspect, correct your products due to manufacturing defects is a huge waste of time and money. This can be overcome with error checking. This means that the product can only be made that way.
Movement – Difficult movements of the operator can cause different pains on different parts of the body. Making this area better will reduce injury and work injury claims.
Processing – Customer requirements that are not clear to the manufacturer, means that the manufacturer produces various additional programs that are wasted since it will increase the cost of the product.
Waiting – The operator does nothing is wasted. It is okay for the machine to wait for the operator not the other way around.
Elimination of waste through a slim production system thus streamlines your business by doing more with less equipment, capital, space, effort, labor, inventory and time.
Having a lean production system established in a corporate organization can do wonders. This is because while it saves time, money and valuable resources, the company’s production system is improved and becomes more efficient. Other companies admire this trait that having a lean production system can only mean good management.
2. The art of getting the organization to automate
You will have a lot left to realize that the ones you have in your organization are central to making things work. This is not just about training them on the processes that have been set. There is no one better to monitor, improve and make observations about what your company does, than those who are actually on the floor and producing. Whether it is services or products. Having some processes in place to take advantage of it is important:
Create processes for how those who work with different elements in the company should be able to improve things. Either by feedback that is heard, or that they have the authority to make the small “tweeks” on the micro-changes that are to be associated with this. To be able to do this, you must have a system for it. And those involved must have an overall overview of what all the other elements are doing. And what effect it will have on the rest.
Have transparent communication, access to documents and info across the departments you establish. Regardless of size. It is important that everyone knows what everyone is doing and that they are in line with each other when it comes to creating the value that is produced. Have good processes in place for this to happen. In a small business, structured meetings at a fixed time are appropriate (albeit, short meetings where everyone is prepared for their part in line with the processes that are). The purpose is to update the rest of the organization on what is happening.
In a business setting that operates under lean manufacturing principles, it is important that management and employees in the company must have lean manufacturing training. Lean manufacturing is a management principle that almost all companies want to emulate. Lean manufacturing is about reducing waste to make the business more efficient and effective. So no matter the size, or what is produced.
Then there is the interest in creating better processes for how to do things. If you provide a service, the focus here is not as in the production section to “tweeke and tune” to improve the product and the value proposition. But it lies in improving the systems and processes that drive the entire organization. You can see it as upgrading the connections between parts of an engine and at the same time improving and upgrading the engine parts. If you are going to draw a comparison with an engine, which also works on the same principle. These are parts that will work together.
Lean manufacturing training begins with the environment for training managers, consultants, implementers and employees, that they are gathered to learn the concepts, formulate programs and create valuable solutions to the company’s inefficiency. The training consultants for lean manufacturing can ask the staff to divide into teams.
Forming teams in the corporate system is very important in training in lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing philosophy depends on the connection between the units is a large organization and the cause and effect of each person in the unit. When lean manufacturing training begins, the value of having team pride is expressed.
Teams undergoing training in lean manufacturing cover many areas from statistical process control, team building, job skills and root cause analysis. Often during training, many are shy and reserved with their ideas. They lack self-confidence in their work and do not really feel part of anything bigger.
When they have finished training in this type of production, all inhibitions are set aside. Their sleek production training makes them more competent in their jobs as teams and individuals. Giving these people a vision or achievable goals helps to give them pride in themselves and their work.
During the lean manufacturing training, destructive and emotional conflicts during work are turned into constructive brainstorming and problem solving. Lean manufacturing training sharpens managers’ decision-making abilities through case studies. Employees and managers face internal problems face to face, and their training in lean manufacturing encourages them to think outside the box as a whole team when problems arise.
One of the biggest benefits of undergoing lean manufacturing training is the satisfaction of getting the job done. It gives pride to the team that solves it and helps make the company more efficient. By involving the beginning level staff of the leaders to achieve realistic goals set within a time frame, they are encouraged to perform their best.
Another advantage is that the company will earn more from the training in lean manufacturing. With the company’s production processes becoming efficient without sacrificing the quality and quantity of the goods and services, more profits are expected to come in.
Lean manufacturing training also teaches managers how to detect waste in the system. Since zero waste is a must in the implementation of lean production, it is a valuable trait to learn to identify what works and what does not in a department for anyone who wants to climb the corporate ladder.
It’s about being smart and efficient as an individual. Finally, the door of opportunity will open when you have taken the lean manufacturing training to heart.
Lean manufacturing training for the various groups in a company
There are six groups that can be involved in the implementation of the lean manufacturing philosophy in a company. Due to the different level of role in each group, the lean manufacturing training is also different for each of them.
Group management – this group is responsible for establishing the zero-waste culture in all departments. They are the ones that everyone expects to set the standard for exemplary training in lean manufacturing. Because of this, their training covers much of the philosophy of lean manufacturing and how to integrate the principles into the company’s way of operating.
Lean Masters – This is a select group of highly qualified business experts in lean management who are trained to become leaders in advancing lean management plans. They are usually chosen in the company, and their training in lean production is about achieving results.
Intermediate management – this group has the task of identifying opportunities in the company. They must also be able to prioritize which projects need more attention and how to achieve the expected results from the projects. Their lean production training is more focused on the production process of the company.
Lean implementation team – this group is directly responsible for implementing the lean manufacturing tools throughout the organization. Their lean manufacturing training requires that they have a good understanding of the lean tools to meet their directives.
Office support – this group only undergoes training in lean manufacturing when their actions can directly contribute to the success of the lean project. Often they do not have to take the lean manufacturing training.
With training in lean manufacturing, everyone in the company can become a valuable resource. And helps to create a leaner and more efficient workplace, the company can be expected to last for a very long time, which means more jobs and opportunities for promotion to employees.
5. Monitor and make improvements to the team
Maintenance would be an obvious part, that often are seen neglected. One thing in creating a great team, is to focus on the important part of improving and maintaining the processes. But it is at the same time important to understand that:
- Focusing on maintaining your processes are improving your business. Maintaining your employees would be a different sett of skills.
- monitoring and making improvements is more than building bean bags and ping-pong tables, while having team-building focused around fun and games.
In business, it does not matter if you work in a typical office, a shop or a factory. You are made up of a group of individuals with specific goals to produce the goods that the company sells. This is what defines a team. From the most mundane task of answering a phone call, to the most complicated job of designing products, each individual who makes up the team plays an important role. As a whole, each employee works towards a common goal which is to make a profit for the company and for themselves. This is what team building is all about. It is the process of enabling a group of people to reach the common goal. Therefore, it is a good practice for companies to come up with regular team building activities to strengthen the group’s unity and build a sense of solidarity and pride in the work. A company consists of different departments that sometimes cause conflicts of interest and individual differences. Team-building in its right form aims to eliminate these problems.
What you want to do when you maintain your team is to focus on:
- Maintaining and increasing the ability to cooperate. By maintaining the purpose and culture of the organisation or team. Including activities and actions that maintain and builds trust. Trust between team member and team members and leadership/ management. Trust would be the glue that sticks people together. Trust is needed to being able to form and maintain all aspects including the culture of the organisation.
- Improving communication abilities. Avoiding and solving conflict.
- Activities that increase productivity (something we already learned in last chapter)
It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. You will find something that is universal for all teams and organisations to maintain such as trust building, building emphatic intelligence and eliminating doubt related to anything important for employees. And some things really completely on the team and its function, not everyone need to implement for example maintenance of creativity and coming up with new ideas. It totally depends on the need. But there are some essentials that always should be maintained as mentioned. And be sure to align them with the company goals:
What are the company’s main goals?
You all know that you need the job to earn a living and make money for the company. However, not everyone is clear on what the company’s core is all about
Your main focus for team building should be a review of the employee’s briefing on the company’s goals and objectives
If you produce goods, what is the product really about? What message do you want to convey to people as a company?
If you run services, what is your main goal and what service do you actually provide?
By reviewing these goals, a team member will gain a new perspective on the company, which means that they strive harder to achieve the common goal.
What factors caused poor team performance in the past?
Look at the company’s successes and failures. Find out which area needs improvement and look for ways to do it. By looking at the strengths and weaknesses that each member shows, you will know which areas you should improve on. This will also give you an idea of how you can optimize the team’s strengths to achieve the common goal and contribute to the company’s success.
How can you improve the way team members interact?
Even siblings with the same genes make up different personalities. As a team, you are made up of individuals from different cultures, and will have different ideas on how to improve the way your company operates. Friction of any kind is guaranteed since your team is made up of different individuals. Team building aims to avoid this and bridge the gap by coming up with activities that bind the group. Thinking of fun activities to break the ice and adapt the interaction between the members is a great way to start.
How can you improve the team’s ability to solve problems?
Every company faces challenges now and then. One way to create team solidarity is to look at past problems and see how they were solved. Ask each team member how they would have handled the particular problem. This will let a leader know which team member has good problem-solving, analytical and critical thinking skills. Team members can be asked to share ideas and together decide which solution best suits the problem. This is another way to build team solidarity.
How can you create the level of support and trust between team members?
A team leader should have people and leadership qualities. However, it is still important for the leader to gain the trust of his team members. Supporting each other is an important quality that a team should have. Even a simple problem like an employee who does not obey out of sheer contradiction should be investigated. What makes this team member contradict his superior? What can be done to improve his attitude? By building teams, you can find ways to build trust and increase the level of support between colleagues.
How can you use the team building activities in the daily operation of the company?
Finally, after all the activities that the team has performed together, there should be a sharing of experiences and thoughts about what each member has learned about their peers and about the company’s goals. These will raise awareness of how they can further contribute to the company’s success in the future. All in all, team building activities increase team solidarity. It is good to remember that the entire organization is a team that works towards the company’s main goals. After a set of fun and team-building activities that inspire team spirit, each member will have a clear idea of how they can improve their attitudes toward their peers, their superiors, and especially their work.