Many, if not most, companies are looking to improve productivity these days. They may design single, initiatives or projects to look at key issues or, if they are smart, have an ongoing ‘movement’ that systematically addresses all business processes.
Too often, however, even the smarter companies concentrate on ‘up front’ processes and tasks – the direct-to-customer activity. This is not necessarily bad – in fact it is an effective starting point. Howevere, it is also necessaery to work ‘back’ through ancillary and support activities to ensure the commitment to improving productiivty extends throughout the organisation and all it does.
Let’s take a simple example.
A conmpany might review its manufacturing process and work out ways in which performance can be improved – either in quality or throughput terms.
They then need to work through supporting processes so that logistics activities, warehousing and so on are attuned to the new process. They also need to review staff onboarding, training and development processes to ensure staff are prepared to fully contribute to the new process. Sounds sensible, doesn’t it?
However, in productivity development, the devil is in the detail. The organisation needs. to think through the full consequencs of all the process and support activity changes. Are production planning processes fit for (new) purpose. Are quality assurance and quality control processes still relevant?
Further … if we have changed onboarding, training and development processes, do we have the administrative processes and skills to make sure those activities are effective and efficient.
The organisation must continue to work ‘backwards’ through support processes and support roles to ‘complete’ the picture and build a truly effective organisation with holistic and comprehensive, productive processes, roles and activities.