Reduce process complexity for users, unblock project development and embed continuous improvement.
I use lean management techniques without the obscure language. The result is a set of common-sense principles and a widely understood approach which encourages everyone to engage in continuous improvement. Those principles are:
- People Growth through safety (physical and psychological), job security (no redundancies due to efficiency gains), challenge and engagement (people like solving problems) and coaching (people like to develop themselves)
- Quality by aiming for zero defects in products and processes, this requires development of good evidence to measure outcomes
- Delivery of the products or outcomes on time and using effective equipment
- Costs where every step in a process adds value – that is, zero waste of time, equipment and all related resources.
Adopting lean management techniques should not be a tick-box exercise in using the word ‘lean’, which I have witnessed in academic environments. The ‘Business Efficiency Unit (BEU)’ violated the principle of ‘People Growth’ by equating effective working methods with risk of individual redundancy. Unsurprisingly, the BEU became waste itself.
When I review a business process I encourage;
- a supportive environment in which teams thrive and prosper and have fun
- making systems organic and integrated – easier and more attractive to use
- seeking out the potential to add value by removing waste, variation and overburden to create smooth workflow
- a drive towards perfection – which means defining it and measures for it
- creating great respect for people doing the work as the experts to increase their engagement and own problem solving.
A tailored business process review creates increased job satisfaction through a sense of demonstrable (measurable) personal achievement in meeting organisational aims. It is rewarding for an HR Adviser to be recognised for their contribution for, say, making professorial hiring easier, isn’t it?
How does Tweedie Henrich Ltd increase the capacity of HR to deliver results
I run workshops and process reviews:
- to define the purpose of a system (this is not always self-evident even if understood as such) and customer needs and expectations, from a Dean recruiting lecturers or a COO recruiting finance staff
- clarify existing processes and systems across the department not in isolation. A recruitment process should be related to organisational development and that needs to be visible to see where processes can be mutually supportive
- Seek out waste, variation and overburden (the 3Ms in lean speak)
- Set a vision for perfection which the organisation always drives towards – there is always more that can be done
- Develop the people who do the work to seek out their own solutions to their own daily problems. This can be highly rewarding and engaging as long as results follow from valid concerns being aired.
Where software development might be required I work with software developer familiar with academic culture and processes, who can attend workshops and define how in-house or outsourced developers can contribute to ‘countermeasures’ to well-defined concerns.
Call to unlock the potential of your people and HR systems.
00 44 (0) 782 333 4436 (UK)
00 49 (0) 1623 940 540 (Germany)