Partnership with Magma Projects:
The Client partnered with us to manage a major change project. We were invited based on our track record of successfully implementing major change programmes in similar operating environments. Another key factor in Magma Project selection was its proven ability to help organisations successfully change mindsets and to create team-oriented cultures of accountability.
Right Things, Right Times:
Working with managers and employees from across the company, the project team delivered significant business, operational and cultural improvements in seven key areas:
Critical to the success of any production improvement initiative is categorising and analysing losses in order to generate clear follow-up action. Towards that end, the project team implemented control and review cascades and introduced employees to the notion of systematic follow-through on actions. The project team also worked together with the client's employees to set clear production goals that are jointly monitored around the clock by both production personnel and the supply chain staff. In addition, by encouraging employees to focus on sharing information and reporting on activities at each shift change, the project helped to ensure smoother hand-overs.
Successful change programmes are built upon a foundation of shared processes and performance measures. That's why Magma Projects helped the client's employees through a series of exercises designed to bring them together to share ideas and help them define improved planning processes and performance measures that would be relevant to employees and functions across the organisation as well as to contractors outside the organisation. The project managers also helped the client to develop a common language and checklists that everyone across the organisation could understand and adopt.
The project team increased transparency across the client organisation by deploying a management system that helps managers and employees see the links between activities and the costs associated with them. As part of the system, planning sessions were implemented that bring together the right people, at the right time and place to review activities, modify plans accordingly, and learn from mistakes to improve future performance. Not only does the system enable employees to make quality decisions based on reliable and timely data, it enables them to follow through on those decisions.
A thorough analysis concluded that the business had a good deal of data but wasn't using it to drive actions and rigorous follow-up. To remedy this situation a Supply Chain system was installed which focuses on real areas for improvement. Using this system, the client can improve local function and business processes through action-driven reviews, and hold fact-based conversations with customers to improve service and with suppliers to better manage stocks.
As part of our efforts to improve overall efficiency, we worked with the client to develop a maintenance system that allows employees to prioritise, plan, and deliver a more effective preventative routine. The system also enables teams to track and use relevant key performance indicators to reduce NVA time and expenses, while also helping them to plan more pro-actively and better allocate resources.
For new behaviours to cascade across an organisation, they must first be adopted by those at the top. Together with the client's leaders, we created a more facilitative management style. Rather than simply telling employees how to work differently, leaders began to role model the new behaviours, an approach that not only increased the understanding of new behaviours but actually increased adoption. Leaders were also encouraged to communicate more openly and frequently with employees at all levels.
Through ongoing training courses and individualised coaching sessions, employees across the organisation were taught basic problem solving techniques, effective meeting skills, and system concepts. They were also encouraged to voice ideas openly and work together with colleagues to maximise performance. Most importantly, they were shown the value of their own contributions and how they could maximise their efforts and drive team, functional, and overall business performance.
Working Smarter, Not Harder:
Critical to the success of the initiative was giving people the tools, processes, and encouragement they needed to achieve results by working smarter, not harder.
Working alongside employees at all levels of the organisation, the project managers were able to engage people in the change process and give them a common understanding of issues as well as the language to describe them. As people began to share ideas with colleagues and see how all of the pieces of the organisation fit together, trust and collaboration spread across all functions.
Systems, Processes, and People Make the Business:
On the project a shift in mindset from asset-based to business-focused thinking was delivered. Production losses are down, while efficiency is up. Underlying tools and process have been put in place to help the client achieve its future goals, including improving maintenance efficiency. Managers are concerned with running a high-performing business, no longer with simply managing a rigid set of assets. With its newly enhanced responsiveness and flexibility, the organisation has the ability to rapidly deploy capabilities at the right time, in the right place. Management has clearer visibility into current and future performance and the information needed to take better decisions and use resources in the best way to satisfy customer needs and drive performance.
From a cultural perspective, an enhanced sense of ownership is driving problem-solving and solution-generation across all levels of the organisation.
There is increased trust and better working relationships between production and supply chain teams across all functions. Employees now feel accountable for their own performance and that of the business itself. More importantly, they feel confident in their ability to improve that performance going forward.
The Project was a financial success.