Saturday, February 4, 2012

Focus and Leverage Part 85

A couple of years ago, I was in Utah speaking at the CPI Symposium that I just recently spoke about in my blog.  I was there to speak about a success story at Fort Rucker on helicopter scheduled maintenance as well as to receive that year’s Bob Fox award.  While I was there, I met quite a few people, but one man in particular stood out.  This man’s name is Bahadir Inozu who is the CEO of a company called NOVACES.  I hadn’t ever heard of this company, but after listening to his presentation, I was very impressed.  We chatted during the symposium and exchanged business cards.  That chance meeting changed my life because I am now employed by NOVACES and I couldn’t be happier.

In my next several blog postings, I want to share this great young company’s improvement methodology called SystemCPI. If what I’m posting on my blog sounds like a sales pitch for NOVACES, it’s because it most certainly is.  For the past few years I had been searching for a company, or should I say a continuous improvement consulting company, that was completely in sync with the way I approached continuous improvement.  NOVACES is that company and I encourage all of my readers to visit NOVACES’ website and see for yourselves what a great company it is.  With that said, let’s take a look at some background information before we dive into SystemCPI.  Some of what I’m posting here is material directly on NOVACES’ website at, but to get the full story on NOVACES, visit the website.  And don't forget to look at the various white papers, case studies, blog postings and training opportunities available for your company.
Let me also say that NOVACES is a premier implementer of today’s most powerful process improvement methodologies that strengthen operational capabilities and financial performance. NOVACES delivers Lean, Six Sigma, and Theory of Constraints consulting and training to clients in the defense, healthcare, maritime, finance and service industries. We are dedicated to advancing the science of process improvement and leveraging research to provide the most effective solutions in the market.  So now let’s move on to SystemCPI.
Answering the question “how to”
As I’ve stated numerous times before, many companies implementing Lean and Six Sigma have experienced some very impressive results only to have difficulty sustaining their results.  Some have difficulty keeping their programs up to speed with the pace of change and the needs of the business. Others simply struggle with harnessing the methodologies as an integrated approach to eliminate waste and variability, concluding that the approach cannot help them. The reality is that the success stories of the past several decades across virtually all industries simply do not support this conclusion.
The conventional Lean Six Sigma deployment approach has been lacking a workable framework to dependably address the needs of the overall enterprise and to deliver them quickly and reliably. In fact, this methodology typically focuses on local improvement projects without considering the overall improvement of the system. Businesses always want the most improvement for the least investment.
These issues present a challenge to companies whether they are at the beginning of the journey to process excellence or needing to refresh a current program.  It begs the question of how companies can take continuous process improvement to a higher level and closer to the promise of a true overall business improvement methodology. NOVACES points out that the ideal approach needs to solve five overarching issues in a deployment that:
·         Scales to any size organization and aligns easily to needs.
·         Shortens the traditional execution time from adoption to results.
·         Optimizes the utilization of resources required to achieve the desired goals.
·         Breaks organizational policy constraints and maximizes organizational efficiency.
·         Sustains the gains and defines a path to self-sufficiency.
With these requirements in mind, NOVACES created a comprehensive deployment methodology called SystemCPI. Several years in development and the result of real world applications, it is a rigorous, structured methodology that can be applied at any stage in an organization’s continuous process improvement (CPI) journey. It is equally applicable for a green field initiative or a mature program. Importantly, this seamless roadmap was designed to mitigate the emphasis on local improvements that can compromise an entire system.  In addition, this method works equally well no matter what the industry setting is.
SystemCPI transcends the barriers that impede traditional approaches. It is a magnet for executive leadership and transitions to the operational level. It can jumpstart a new deployment or invigorate an existing one. At the same time, it addresses a host of implementation issues such as strategic alignment, project selection, and an inability to progress towards self-sufficiency.
War and peace among methodologies
Today’s leading CPI methods are Lean, Six Sigma, and Theory of Constraints. While these methodologies have previously been associated with manufacturing and the supply chain, today they are increasingly applied successfully to services such as healthcare, banking, and government. In the late 1990s, Lean, Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints were in an active state of contention. However, as success stories emerge from the integration of these methodologies and their toolsets, there is peace spreading among the factions.
In my next posting, we'll lay out the structured approach that SystemCPI presents and then explain each step in more detail.
Bob Sproull

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