Are There Aspects of Lean Process Excellence That Can Be Quickly Implemented in 90-120 days?
I have received this question before, so I’m guessing my previous response wasn’t enough.
Here is a quicker, shorter, take. I’d really appreciate knowing if this is helpful and what other questions come to mind:
There are two ways lean process excellence makes an impact in a short time.
The first way is to improve your value (i.e. customer response or traction). Lean process excellence doesn’t just reduce waste – it increases value to the customer and to your company.
The second way it has an impact is to sustain and extend your value over time.
Let’s start with improving your value: In lean process excellence we discuss value streams.
What exactly is this value stream?
Duh! Actions on the part of your customers.
How do you get them to take actions? That is the first secret, and it does not come from production manufacturing methods or background
Of course, if you know your customers well it isn’t really a secret how to find, win, and keep them. If you don’t, it is necessary to research the “voice of your customer” (this is the province of sales process design):
- What specific stages do your customers go through, what problem are they trying to solve at each step, and how do you know this? (customer journey)
- What are the observable characteristics that make your prospects more (or less) likely to buy from you (observable qualification criteria)
- What is the best known means of helping your customers go through the stages of their journey with your company? (value creation and measures of flow)
Concepts and mental models such as the customer journey, and observable qualification criteria enable a business to bring order to sales and marketing production, to measure flow and value, and to reduce waste and increase customer response in sales and marketing.
If you already know much of what you need to know about how your customer buys, perhaps your company is simply not executing very well. In this case it is necessary for your employees and managers to improve execution around the work and the results (this is the province of sales management):
- Achieving respectful agreement among the team around the objectives, the best methods of achieving them, and the most effective measures
- Implementing in a way that knits the theory (the plan or process) and the practice (the reality) together
Lean process excellence brings powerful methods like the Deming Management Cycle (or Plan, Do, Check, Act) to this management problem. PDCA is a deceptively simple and internationally recognized and respected management practice.
Can pursuing these methods achieve useful and beneficial results in 90-120 days?
Generally they can.
Hello Mr. Webb,
I have been reading your material for years. Yes it has taken me this long to send you a note. I really enjoy your writings. They are inspiring and thought provoking and encourage the reader to continue looking for more information. This leaves me at a place where I am looking for a starting point and further a plan or template to follow to develop a Buyers Journey of our own. Once developed I was thinking of building it into a quote log spreadsheet so that it is easy to see what the next step should be for a particular buyer. This will also allow the quote log to easily display which opportunities are closer to the end of the journey than other. It would also show trends in where we are weak in progressing the buyers journey (where buyers leave us for the competition). Only this way can we repair the weaknesses and improve. I would be interested in your thoughts on this quote log spreadsheet/buyers journey idea.