Building a Problem-Solving Culture That Lasts

Organizations cannot improve unless they consistently seek out and solve their problems. For most, that means undertaking a profound cultural change— which must begin from the top. When a company engages its people in problem solving as part of their daily work, they feel more motivated, they do their jobs better, the organization’s performance improves, and a virtuous cycle starts to turn. Such an approach can tap enormous potential for the company and its customers.

Clarify Objectives and Secure An Explicit Mandate

The quest of every high-quality corporate executive is to find the keys to superior performance. Achieving market leadership is hard enough, but staying at the top—given intense competition, rapidly changing technology, and shifting global forces—is even more difficult. At the same time, executives are under enormous pressure to deliver profitable growth and high returns for their shareholders. No wonder they constantly search for ways to achieve competitive advantage.

 Leadership and project management development are top priorities for organizations. In CEO surveys, the development of better project management and talent pipelines is always identified as one of management’s top three priorities. Our annual study, Creating Project Advantage, has found that leadership and project management development has been the number-one future priority every year since 2006, when we started this research. The best companies for leadership and project management development derive clear business benefits: they grow two-times faster and are twice as profitable as other companies. However, most companies fail to capture these benefits despite their significant financial and management investment.  

Making Operational Improvements Stick

The application of larger data sets, faster computational power, and more advanced analytic techniques is spurring progress on a range of lean-management priorities. Sophisticated modeling can help to identify waste, for example, thus empowering workers and opening up new frontiers where lean problem solving can support continuous improvement. Powerful data-driven analytics also can help to solve previously unsolvable problems that undermine efficiency in complex manufacturing environments: hidden bottlenecks, operational rigidities, and areas of excessive variability. Similarly, the power of data to support improvement efforts in related areas, such as quality and production planning, is growing as companies get better at storing, sharing, integrating, and understanding their data more quickly and easily. 

Lean Technology

Lean has reached an unprecedented level of complexity, and organizations heavily reliant on IT risk greater variability in performance and significantly lower customer satisfaction. The Lean continuous-improvement methodology addresses these challenges. Lean methodology has been successfully deployed in IT operations having overcome two major hurdles: IT work is less repeatable and less directly observable or measurable than traditional engineering processes.

Our application of Lean methodology takes an end-to-end view, starting with the IT customer. This ensures that improvement occurs across all IT processes. We help clients drive higher quality and productivity by taking IT infrastructure, application development, and maintenance work practices and moving them toward a set of consistent standards that drive higher quality and productivity.

 

Related Practices

IT is the next frontier for the application of Lean in business. This powerful methodology has significant impact without being capital intensive.

 Mr. David Solomon

Mr. David Solomon

Business Solutions

We help organizations build competitive advantage through the development of sustainable, world-class project management capabilities.

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