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The FocusOPEX Change Management Framework

1. Analyze – interview stakeholders to determine the current state and define what changes are required to address the issues discovered
  • Management focus – is there an “operating system” in place for running the business?
  • Trust – do employees trust management decisions?
  • Customers – are customer needs being met, including unstated needs?
  • Metrics – do current metrics create the desired behaviors and are there any leading metrics?
  • Training – what are the critical training needs and are they being met?
  • Employees – what are the key pain points for employees?
  • Capacity – how is production and non-production capacity measured and managed?
  • Communication – how effective is internal/external communication and what is the level of transparency?
  • Documentation – are all critical process documented and is documentation current?
2. Stabilize – quickly make key changes that will reap quick benefits and increase buy in at all levels
  • Management focus – improve management focus through meetings with a cadence, reduced task-switching, and clear “to dos” and also introduce focus metrics
  • Inventory – address shortages and overages
  • Delivery – establish reliable production lead times and communicate to all stakeholders
  • Customers – increase the focus on customer satisfaction
  • Metrics – add, remove and/or adjust metrics to improve visibility, focus attention, provide leading indicators, and change behaviors. Introduce Throughput measurements.
  • Training – adjust training programs to address any unmet critical needs and begin training of OPEX best practices
  • Accountability – adjust/introduce accountability measures & practices
  • Capacity – create capacity buffers where needed
  • Communication – improve communication and transparency, especially regarding the plans for change
  • Production – determine the initial capacity constraint and schedule against it to synchronize flow, reduce WIP, and reduce task switching
  • Documentation – address gaps in documentation for critical processes
3. Mobilize – create a longer-term action plan to explain how the transformation will be managed
  • Management focus – management begins using a structured priority system for focusing and decision-making
  • Inventory – manage inventory with replenishment and stock buffer management rather than min/max purchasing and/or forecasting while reducing overall inventory levels
  • Customers – fanatically strive to meet all customer needs and identify additional unmet/unstated needs
  • Capacity – create production and project schedules that are synchronized with resource capacity and availability to improve flow
  • Delivery – reduce lead times and communicate to all stakeholders
  • Production – unmask true/new constraints and adapt accordingly
  • Training – introduce improvements to the training program and competence assessment
  • Documentation – fill gaps in documentation and define standard work practices for ALL processes
4. Capitalize – use operational improvements as a sustainable competitive advantage to attract and retain more business
  • Focus on increasing sales to utilize newly released extra capacity.
  • If applicable, adjust the product mix to improve net profit.
  • If applicable, (re)introduce products that were previously not profitable but now are.
  • When conditions are right, make a “mafia offer” to the marketplace that addresses previously unmet customer needs that other companies can’t or won’t meet.
5. Optimize – continue to adapt and improve to increase sales and net profit using a Focused approach
  • Challenge assumptions, policies, and paradigms. Just because you’ve always done it this way, it doesn’t mean it is the best/only way, especially if conditions have changed over time.
  • Improving everything that can be improved, everywhere and all once is NOT the way! Focus improvement efforts where they will have the most benefit.  Ensure that improvements in one department don’t make things worse in another department.
  • Refuse to remain static or get complacent, rather continue to look for the next most impactful resource (or policy) constraint or changes in the current constraint. Continual improvement is a never-ending cycle.
  • Always analyze proposed changes to operations to determine the impact on the bottom line PRIOR to making the change.
  • Refuse to get caught in the cost-cutting trap! Increasing sales ALWAYS outperforms reducing costs.

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