1. The 4 mistakes that leave you wondering about your business performance

    April 6, 2018 by ahmed

    measure_success

    Originally posted on SavvySME

    • Measuring your business performance is a difficult task, but if not done with care and the right tools.
    • Some mistakes businesses commonly make is using KPIs not specific to your business and ones that focus on actions, not results.
    • Other mistakes include staff not engaging with the business’ desired results and searching for the nonexistent “perfect measure”.

    A long common issue we come across when we talk to business owners and executives is the difficulty they have determining whether their current performance is on track to achieve their operational and longer term strategic goals and objectives.

    Often our conversations with clients start something like “I have to convince my board members, managers or business owners that we will achieve our goals. How do I do this, and how do I give them evidence to show that we are on track to do so?”

    Most businesses have some sort of performance measures or KPIs. However, choosing the right measures is fraught with difficulty. Managers often struggle with finding meaningful KPIs, and then struggle again to obtain buy-in from management and staff. The result is KPIs that measure activities and not outcomes, that are vague and meaningless, and that lack ownership from key stakeholders.

    Firstly, it is important to understand the true purpose of KPIs. Meaningful KPIs provide objective evidence that shows the extent to which actions and decisions lead to the achievement of organisational goals. At Clear Path, we believe KPIs are about driving continuous improvement, and providing a reference point to gauge the extent to which you are on the right track to meet your objectives. While they are key in driving a high-performing workplace culture, we believe KPIs should not be seen as a tool for judging and punishing staff.

    Below, we will go through some of the most common mistakes we see people make when setting KPIs for their business.

    Mistake 1 – KPIs not specific to your business
    The first mistake relates to how businesses identify the KPIs that they intend to use. Often this is done by compiling a list in a haphazard manner, through brainstorming sessions, searching the net, or by adopting ‘off the shelf’ KPIs that other organisations use. The problem is that these KPIs are generic and not specific to their business and their individual objectives. It does not allow the business to focus on what matters to them, and they are certainly not aligned to their strategy. Additionally, they tend to be meaningless or very difficult to measure and usually include fluffy words such as ‘effective’, ‘improved’, ‘reliable’, ‘efficient’ etc.

    Mistake 2 – Focus on activities not results
    Another critical mistake is to use KPIs that focus on business activities. For example, ‘number of customer interactions’, ‘number of widgets produced’, or ‘hours worked’ are all activity based measures. Why is this a mistake? Because it focuses on tasks rather than results. For KPIs to be truly effective, they must focus on the desired results. This includes short-term objectives as well as long-term strategic goals. Some examples of results a business may want to monitor include ‘customer’s value our products and services’, ‘our people are engaged’, and ‘our customers have great experiences with us’. See how these are focussed on the desired result rather than on activities?

    When we look to develop measures around the results we wish to achieve, it forces us to seriously consider the end-state that we want to reach. This, in turn, makes it easier to determine meaningful measures for those results. Using the above examples, for the result of:

    • “customers value our products and services”, we may consider measuring Net Promoter Score or an organisational reputation measure.
    • “our people are engaged”, we might consider measuring staff satisfaction, or employee turnover rates.
    • “our customers have great experiences with us”, we might consider measuring customer effort or customer journey cycle time.

    Can you see how the measures are focused on the results that we want to achieve? If you want your customers to have a great experience with your organisation, measuring customer effort (the degree of difficulty in dealing with you) and customer journey cycle time (time from placing an order to receiving the product), provides two pieces of objective evidence on this. Obviously, we can then set specific targets for each of these measures.

    Mistake 3 – No buy-in and ownership of KPIs
    We mentioned earlier the difficulty of getting buy-in from management and staff in implementing measures. Staff and stakeholder buy-in is fundamental because without it these people will not use the KPIs to help guide their business decisions and ultimately not be active in helping your business meet its objectives. At Clear Path, we have found the most successful approach is to get key staff involved in determining not just the measures, but also the desired results of the organisation, at all levels. Ultimately this should paint a picture of the organisational day-to-day and strategic objectives across all levels, and allow everyone to see alignment from their day-to-day activities through to the organisation’s high-level strategic purpose. Our experience shows that by getting stakeholders to identify and agree on the desired results, they will accept the KPIs that are identified to measure these same result areas. This is additionally true when staff and management appreciate that the KPIs will not be used as a tool to ‘punish’ them.

    Mistake 4 – Searching for the ‘perfect measure’
    When identifying measures of your key results, the single most important thing to consider is not whether a measure is the ‘perfect measure’ or whether a measure has ‘perfect integrity’. What’s important is whether the measure has enough accuracy and reliability to be trusted as a source of information that will lead to making better decisions than making no decision, or making an uninformed decision. There is simply no such thing as the ‘perfect measure’.

    As we stated earlier, performance measuring is about continuous improvement and focusing on the things that matter. When that becomes embedded in the organisation, it becomes an organisation with a high-performance culture that achieves its goals and objective.


  2. Rapid Benchmarking at New Zealand’s largest company

    March 18, 2018 by ahmed

    Fonterra plant

    Posted by Dr Robin Mann, CEO, COER and BPIR.com

    Have you undertaken an improvement project and not got the breakthrough you were looking for? Or do you recognise the value of benchmarking but are finding it difficult to get your organisation to commit the time and resource to projects? If you have answered yes to either of these questions you should be considering rapid benchmarking.

    This free report, download here, describes how the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology has been used for rapid benchmarking by Fonterra, a multinational dairy co-operative and New Zealand’s largest company. TRADE is a benchmarking methodology consisting of 5 stages; Terms of Reference, Research current state, Acquire best practices, Deploy best practices and Evaluate. The methodology is prescriptive in its approach with 5 to 9 steps for each stage of TRADE. The methodology includes a project management system to guide users through a project.

    TRADE best practice benchmarking methodology

    TRADE best practice benchmarking methodology

    Normally the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology is used for projects that require a team approach with projects typically taking 2 to 5 months to identify best practices and develop an implementation plan. The term “rapid benchmarking” is used for Fonterra’s approach as Fonterra uses TRADE to identify best practices and develop an implementation plan within 5 days. The report describes how Fonterra organises the 5 days, provides three case studies showing how rapid benchmarking has been used and describes the success factors for rapid benchmarking.

    Fonterra’s rapid benchmarking approach and its relationship with the stages of TRADE

    Fonterra’s rapid benchmarking approach and its relationship with the stages of TRADE

    For case studies on the standard approach to TRADE refer to how it has been applied within the Dubai government. Our free book can be accessed here – Achieving performance excellence through benchmarking and organisational learning – 13 case studies from the 1st cycle of Dubai We Learn’s Excellence Makers Program.


  3. BPIR Newsletter: Best Practice Report – Customer Service Training

    March 15, 2018 by ahmed

     

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    Best Practice Report: Customer Service Training

    This report outlines the best practice research undertaken by BPIR.com in the area of customer service training. The best practices have been compiled under seven main headings. This layout is designed to enable you to scan subjects that are of interest to you and your organisation, quickly assess their importance, and download relevant information for further study or to share with your colleagues.


    Featured Events

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    Reserve these dates: 
    The Global Organisational Excellence Congress,  10-12 December 2018, Abu Dhabi, UAE

    Start planning now to attend the Global Organisational Excellence Congress…

    This is going to be an event that gets you excited with a big WOW!

    The Abu Dhabi International Centre for Organisational Excellence of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry has brought together a number of prestigious international conferences/events into one major event.
    The Congress brings together:


    24th Asia Pacific Quality Organisation International Conference

    • ACE Team Awards Competition 2018
    • 18th Global Performance Excellence Award

    12th International Benchmarking Conference

    • 6th Global Benchmarking Award

    6th International Best Practice Competition

    • 2nd Organisation-wide Innovation Award

    Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award’s Best Practice Sharing Conference

    Add the Congress to your calendar


    Latest News

    • The Baldrige award-winning university or the runaway elephant?….read more
    • Baldrige program again ranked among best for leadership training….read more
    • Striving for excellence in Nigeria….read more
    • An interview with Professor Mohamed Zairi – A leader in excellence….read more
    • First global assessment on the current state of organizational excellence….read more
    • Key employee engagement strategies for 2018….read more
    • A car dealership that helps other organisations run better….read more
    • The challenges facing Tonga after Cyclone Gita and how business excellence can help….read more

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    Performance Appraisal at an award winning Charter school

    Senior Leadership (SL) Performance Appraisal at the Charter School of San Diego (CSSD), a US Charter School and winner of the 2015 Baldrige National Quality Award, was a three level process. Every other year, the BOD members underwent individual evaluations, facilitated by the President of the Board. The process included a self evaluation form and approval by the board as a whole. The BOD evaluated the CEO. The Chief Business Officer and the Director of Instruction and Innovation were evaluated by the CEO through scorecard results that directly tied to SI achievement. Performance evaluations did not determine executive compensation, which was determined through the Salary Compensation Council and approved by the BOD. Benchmark data, cost of living differentials and levels of responsibility were key determinations for executive compensation. All evaluations served as inputs into the Strategic Planning Process.


    Do you know that in BPIR.com there are more than 200 Best Practice video clips? And increasing…

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    Human Resource Management at a fabrics manufacturer

    The effectiveness of Human Resource Management at Momentum Group a US fabrics manufacturer and winner of the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award 2016 Award for Small Business, was recognised by being named a “Best Place to Work” by both California’s Orange County Business Journal and Business North Carolin and by the Orange County Register as one of its “Top Workplaces.” Momentum’s strong communications and a focus on action along with high levels of leadership trust and respect supported a “no-blame” philosophy that allowed employees at all levels to take supported intelligent risks. Employee loyalty and retention, average tenure of over 10 years, was achieved through its integrated learning and development and reward and recognition programmes, which encouraged high performance and included annual profit-sharing. Succession planning and job rotations led to 73% of current managers (2016) being promoted from within.

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    BPIR Tip of the Month – Searching performance measures in BPIR.com

    Use BPIR.com to help you to select measures to assess your organisation’s performance. There are around 1200 to choose from, with description and formulae for each measure. Commentaries are also provided for the most commonly used measures. These explain why the measure is important and how to use it.

     


  4. Dubai Health Authority reveals results of Happiness Prescribing Program’s pilot phase

    by ahmed

    Nad-Alhamar-Health-Centre

    One of the ambitious projects of Dubai We Learn initiative is Dubai Health Authority project “Prevention better than Cure”. The aim of the project is to develop & start implementing a Dubai Diabetes prevention framework based on worldwide best practices within one year; to reduce the Pre-Diabetic population from 356,460 adults in 2017 by at least 10% by 2021. The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) revealed the results of the trial phase for the Happiness Prescribing Program during its participation in the UAE Innovation Month 2018.

    The Happiness Prescribing Program was launched by the authority with the aim of identifying and implementing prevention programs among pre-diabetics and persons with high risk factors by not only prescribing medication, but also prescribing nutritional and physical programs.

    Dr Hanan Obaid, Consultant Family Physician and Head of Acute and Chronic Diseases said this program is a pioneering model of community health care for the prevention of diabetes in the Emirate of Dubai. She said that adopting a new approach that does not depend on prescriptions, but goes beyond that to be an integrated behavioral, social and psychological treatment in line with the vision of the UAE and the Dubai plan 2021 and the Dubai Health Authority strategy on Prevention & Healthy lifestyles, and participation in the Dubai Government Excellence Program “Dubai We Learn”.

    The six-month trail phase, which was implemented at Al Barsha and Nad Alhamar Health Centers with the participation of Dubai Ladies Club, Bel Remaitha Club for Men and Sharjah University was conducted on 43 participants of women 25 and men 18.

    Dr Obaid said the specialist doctor offered them a comprehensive health survey and conducted the necessary tests then followed by the nutrition and health education, in addition to the various sports classes and sessions, which were provided for the participants by Dubai Ladies Club, Bel Remaitha Club. Moreover, The University of Sharjah has reviewed and approved this new methodology for the prevention of diabetes.

    “The results found that participants achieved good rates of weight loss ranging from 7 to 11 kg during the past six months, in addition to the risk reduction of diabetes during the next 10 year as follow: 13% risk reduction from severe to intermediate risk & 7% risk reduction from intermediate to low risk in women group. It also has 7% risk reduction from high to moderate risk in men group adding that participants expressed their happiness and satisfaction with this program as diabetes has a negative impact on individuals and society as well as the health sector due to the increase in expenditure for treatment of the disease and its complications,” she said.

    The World International Diabetes Federation (IDF) found that the average expenditure on diabetics in the UAE is estimated at 9.8 billion dirhams annually, and the percentage of diabetic patients in UAE about 17.3% in 2017, which is considered a high percentage compared to other countries. In the Emirate of Dubai, the percentage of people with diabetes was about 15.2% and the percentage of people at risk was 15.8% according to the results of the 2017 Dubai Diabetes Household Survey.

    “The goal of this program is to reduce the incidence of new cases of diabetes in the society of Dubai among the high risk groups who have risk factors such as: overweight and obesity, lack of physical activity, unhealthy food, and family history of diabetes, stress and smoking,” she said.

    The happiness-prescribing program is now electronically connected with the DHA Hayati Application, which will include the evaluation of diabetes at risk and determine the possibility of exposure to diabetes during the next ten years. It will then link it to a new services called Lifestyle clinics, which will be an Innovative solution to prevent diabetes by having a network of a multidisciplinary team (including a doctor, dietitian, health education specialist, and sports clubs).


  5. The sixteen golden traits

    by ahmed

    16 golden traits

    By H. James Harrington

    Recently, I was searching for a specific quote from a past IBM president. In trying to find the quote, I pulled out The Quality/Profit Connection, a book I had written 30 years ago. It included a series of interviews with the CEOs and presidents of 3M, AT&T, Avon, Corning Glass, Ford, General Dynamics, General Motors, HP, IBM, Motorola, and North American Tool and Die. After reviewing these leaders’ comments, I summarized the traits of a successful company, which I called “The Sixteen Golden Traits.” Looking back on this list three decades later, it’s interesting how little has changed in the business world with regards to quality and performance improvement. It is important to remember: These conclusions describe the important trends which developed in companies that had been recognized as successfully implementing performance improvement approaches around the world in the 1980s.

    The Sixteen Golden Traits

    1. Close customer relationships.
    Successful organizations maintain close personal contact with their customers to ensure a full understanding of the customers’ changing needs and expectations. When problems arise, they react quickly, pouring oil over troubled waters.

    2. Concern for the individual employee.
    These organizations respect the individual’s rights and dignity, realizing that the company succeeds only to the degree that the individual succeeds. They respect the individual’s thoughts and ideas, realizing that he or she has more to contribute to the company than just physical labor. They not only encourage the participation of the employee, they require it. They look at the individual as part of the solution to their problem, not as the problem.

    3. Top management leadership of the quality process.
    Members of the organization’s top management have accepted their role in leading the quality activities of the company. Support groups such as qualityassurance offer advice, research problems, and provide data. But the company president sets the direction and establishes the standards. These presidents realize that their company is an image of themselves, and they understand that they must set the personal quality example.

    4. High standards.
    These organizations set extremely high standards for their products, services, and people. They strive to set the standard for their industry and are dissatisfied if they are not No. 1.

    5. Understanding the importance of the team.
    Successful organizations use teams to unite the company, improve working relationships, and improve morale. They understand that only management can solve 85 percent of the problems and that the employee teams are needed to address the other 15 percent.

    6. Effort to meet and exceed customer expectations.
    They are not satisfied with state of the art, and are always trying to provide better products and services to their customers and at lower cost. They understand their customers’ needs and go beyond them, realizing that simply fulfilling the customers’ needs will not capture future sales. They want their output to be valued by their customers.

    7. Belief that quality is the first priority.
    When a compromise between quality, cost, or schedule must be made, quality is never compromised. Successful organizations realize that poor quality causes most of their cost and schedule problems, and if they focus their attention on the quality problems, their cost and schedule problems will take care of themselves. They also realize that the quality personality of the company is extremely fragile, particularly during the change period, and that even the smallest compromise in quality can set back progress many years.

    8. View of business for the long term.
    Top management realizes that the important objectives are directed at the long-term survival and prosperity of the company. They give priority to long-range plans that will build a product and customer base, paying secondary attention to quarterly and yearly reports. They measure their success by their company’s long-term growth, not by short-term fluctuations, over which they often have little or no control.

    9. Sharing of prosperity with the employees.
    Successful organizations view employees as partners and establish programs that directly relate the success of the company to the employees’ earnings and their contributions. Programs like gain sharing, suggestion, and pay for performance are key parts of the employee benefit package.

    10. Management and employee education.
    They realize that education is not expensive; it is ignorance that is costly. These organizations realize that everyone is responsible for quality and that everyone needs education related to the quality tools if they are to meet this responsibility. As a result, heavy focus on quality education has been directed at the management team and key professionals. At the employee level, education has been directed at problem-solving methods and job training.

    11. Management leadership rather than supervision.
    They know that management must be leaders of the employees, rather than dictators. It is much easier to pull a string in the desired direction than to push it. For management to assume the leadership role has not been easy, and many of the companies are still working on this change in their company personality. After all, for the past 40 years we have trained our managers to be attack dogs, and now we want them to be purring kittens.

    12. Investment in the future.
    Research and development means investing in the future of the company. It ensures a steady flow of products and ideas needed to meet the expectations of the future market. Along with the need for research, a parallel need is providing employees with equipment that pushes the state of the art and allows them to perform at their very best. Companies that realize this have prospered. Those that have not, have failed or will eventually fail.

    13. Focus on the business system.
    They realize that the only way to prevent errors from occurring is by correcting the business system that controls the company activities. Employees work in the business system, while managers must work on the system.

    14. Recognition systems.
    Successful organizations realize that recognition takes many forms: financial, personal, and public. They have established a recognition system with many options to ensure that it meets the total needs of employees and management. A pat on the back is good, but sometimes a pat on the wallet is more appropriate. On other occasions, a personal letter sent to the employee is the best action.

    15. Employee involvement.
    They go out of their way to make all the employees feel that they are part of the business and that their contributions are important. They take time to involve the employees in their long-term plans and report progress back to them periodically. They make them part of the company by providing such things as a stock-purchase plan or gain sharing. They provide the employees with opportunities to meet and understand customers, the ones who receive their output. Sometimes a customer is outside the company, but more often it is another company employee. It’s not easy to care about customers when you never see or hear from them, but if the customer is the person who sits behind you or in the next office, the concept of customer satisfaction becomes a much more personal issue.

    16. Decreased bureaucracy.
    Management continually works at making all decisions at the lowest level. Maximum authority is given to each level of management. Checks and balances are used, but only when absolutely necessary. Management realizes that bureaucracy tends to work its way into the business systems, and they are continuously vigilant to minimize its impact.

    In summary
    We talk a lot about how things have changed, but the basic things that make for a successful organization have not changed. Fundamental tenets, such as respect for the individual, doing our best all the time, understanding our customer, investing in our employees, being honest, and finding win-win solutions, are as important today as they were in the 1980s—and perhaps even more important today.

    Yes, things may move faster. We may have more competition, but we also have more opportunities. We can’t let the rush of today set aside these very important basic values or we all will fail.

    Extensive research indicates that improved perceived product quality and reliability are the most effective ways to increase profits and the most important factors in the long-term profitability of a company. We need to ask ourselves if approaches like total quality management, Six Sigma, lean, ISO 9000, benchmarking, and business process improvement are the ways to accomplish our objective when the basic problems have not changed in the last 30 years promoting them. I agree it is a long road to excellence but shouldn’t we have accomplished more in the last 30 years? It’s time for some new, innovative thinking to accomplish much more in the next 30 years than we have in the last 30 years.

    In the early 1980s, IBM was rated as the most admired company in the world by Fortune magazine. Fortune’s February 2, 2018 issue listed the world’s most admired companies today. Apple took the top spot, directly followed by Amazon. IBM was rated 35 out of the top 50 companies. IBM was ranked 24 th last year—a drop of nine positions in just 12 months.

    We need to ask ourselves: What are Apple and Amazon doing that IBM is not doing? Maybe we need to ask the question turned around: “What is IBM doing that Apple and Amazon are not doing?”

    Creative, innovative systems will provide your company with the competitive edge to put it ahead of the pack. We cannot hope to succeed by taking the same old technology, renaming it, and thinking we are doing something new and innovative. Don’t be left at the starting gate. The only way we can do it is by working together and never being satisfied with how good we are. The race is not over yet. Remember, you can’t win today’s race with last week’s press clippings.