1 Rigorous execution

Toward Value and Strategic advantage through rigorous execution

In the learning organization, the basics of rigor, logical validity, evidence- based actions, and discipline combine with creativity and innovation to make things work the first time, and to continuously find and implement better ways to compete.

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2 The Nature of Value

To win at the business game, a company must master the art of simultaneously creating value for its customers, its employees, and its shareholders.

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3 The Nature of Process

Companies create value for their clients, employees, and shareholders through processes. They embody organizational know-how and are the key to strategic capabilities. Focusing on them is critical to learning and sustainable competitive advantage.

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4 Think globally, act locally

Processes come in many varieties. Operations strategy states how processes turn the organization’s game plan into a reality. The design, improvement, and management of processes must ensure that they all work in harmony toward that end.

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5 Professional services

Professional service delivery processes

Professional services exist in different types of organizations and contexts. The professional service encounter is an experience for both clients and provider where the latter is expected to demonstrate leadership and respect. Professional SDPs share a common nature but take a variety of shapes and forms depending on the type of business in which they operate.

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6 Managing a process

Variation is the voice of a process. It is the enemy of value, but the friend of anyone who wants to characterize a process and learn how it works. Statistics is the language of variation. Adopting a systems view of the organization potentiates the process approach.

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7 Value to processes

Connecting Value to Processes: The Techniques

Deciding on the right thing to do requires the identification of the processes you should focus on to provide superior value and create competitive advantage. Effective change happens in bite-sized chunks, but you have to ensure coherence among the pieces. To achieve the proper scope, an organization must determine where a project fits into the global picture and pick the right part of the right process to improve. We present a project scoping methodology to do just that.

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8 Learning Cycle

The Learning Cycle and the Kaizen event

The “learning pump” lies at the heart of the learning organization. But change vehicles are often poorly understood. The kaizen workshop is a very effective vehicle for operational change. It can be difficult to decide which methodology, tools, and change vehicle to use to make the most out of every improvement opportunity, and the impact of mismatches can be fatal to a fledgling improvement program. We present a framework to reduce this risk.

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9 Improving a process

Doing things Better: Improving an Existing Process

The DMAIC improvement methodology, adapted to a professional service environment.

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10 Designing a process

Doing things right the first time: Designing a Process that works

The DCDV process design methodology adapted to a professional service environment.

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11 Operational excellence

The approaches to and Practice of Continuous Improvement

The world of operations improvement initiatives is confusing. It is difficult to isolate fads from breakthroughs and find what the company needs to move ahead toward the new paradigm: the learning organization. Knowing your learning assets and liabilities and understanding what each initiative can contribute is essential to avoid the “me too,” flavor of the month syndrome.

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12 Getting personal

Personal Processes: Wellness and the One-Person Business

With some adaptation, the philosophy, approaches, and techniques proposed in this book apply to the processes of the autonomous worker or one-person business. They can also be very beneficial in several spheres of our personal lives, if we so choose.

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