grow company profitsAlign your operations
The Align Operations Program Instills High Performance Culture
align your operations
Your Managers Build Out The Executive Frameworks…
To Create A High Performance—High Profit—Culture
Without systems, your business leaves money on the table. Unless you have systems, work deliverables cannot be consistent.
Shooting from the hip is where the money is being lost. You might think, “Paying double overtime gets the job done.” What you’re not thinking about though is that it also decimates profit.
Are you thinking, “We have too much work! We can’t stop and fix our messed-up systems.” Understandable. Consider this though. Once the work is done, it’s done. Fixing these problems once and for all is the only path that delivers sustained profitability.
This Program Is Designed To Solve Operational Problems.
And To Systematize Your Road To Sustained Profit
We’ve worked for decades delivering this program to client companies. Every activity in the program is designed to turn your organization into a profit machine. These are the problems this program solves.
- You have frameworks created by the executives, and need to operationalize them. Your managers must examine all systems and processes. Then, they need to streamline and optimize operations to support high performance.
- You have a new strategic direction, but need to systematize operations to deliver. Managers need to examine every factor that causes inconsistent, underperforming, and over-budget projects. It’s time to be brutally honest about profit leakage.
- Systems need to be designed to deliver consistent business results. Your managers must identify, and plan how to correct activities that add time and money—and associated costs. They need to create a decision-making system that empowers high performance.
- Your managers need to create systems that no longer leave money on the table. You want them to develop a frame for employees to recognize profit leakage and to easily adapt to plug the leaks.
- Your managers need a way to systematize high performance culture. High performance starts with cultural onboarding—guiding expectations. Equally as important, managers must decide how to promote and reward high performance.
You Want To Know What Outcomes To Expect.
When You Invest Your Company’s Resources
This program is designed to deliver operational results. Of course, you’re thinking ROI, right! This program is where the “rubber hits the road” insofar as profit is concerned. It’s all about increasing your profit. Here are expected outcomes.
- You’ve built the frameworks; now your managers build operating systems. All the work you did in the Align Strategy program now gets fleshed out by managers. They dig in, and revisit and optimize all your systems. Everything is focused on eliminating profit leakage.
- Your managers translate your strategy into operations that produce high-performance projects. You have a new decision-making process that allows employees to quickly adjust as circumstances change. They can focus on high-profit, not CYA activities.
- Managers take your plan for consistent business results—and operationalize it. As they systematize operations, it becomes easy to know the impact of activities on your bottom line. All contributors can see—real time—how to best manage time, money and associated costs. Your growth numbers are predictable, and profit is too.
- Your managers install systems that eliminate leaving money on the table. Everyone enjoys the empowerment of knowing the facts as you go. It’s a lot easier to know what decisions are more profitable than others.
- Your managers fill in the frameworks to create a high-performance culture. It’s always interesting to see how much impact happens when high performance is the focus. You can feel the shift in pride, ownership, and enjoyment. Hiring to firing becomes about high performance.
This Program Delivers Multiple Operational Benefits
You’ve Probably Never Seen Anything Like It
We’ve put this program together to deliver a heap of benefits. When your managers have finished, your operations are transformed. Not transformed just for the sake of transformation. But, transformed into a profit machine. These are some of the benefits.
- We’ve designed this program specifically not to interrupt your operations. We know your managers are both running around with hair afire and sprinting to put fires. So, we’ve constructed the program to take place over 11 weekly sessions. In many cases, required activities can be delegated and supervised.
- You have an asset management system complete with an asset database. You know the condition, maintenance schedule and expected life of each asset.
- You have a comprehensive work management system. It’s thoroughly designed and documented to support profitability. Everything is discussed, decided, and systematized: Work Requests, Work Classification, Work Prioritization, Work Backlog, and Work Execution.
- Your managers have taken the executives’ strategy and operationalized it. They’ve filled out those frameworks and—in the process—become fully engaged in the outcomes.
- Managers have outlined the path to sustained results to fund managed growth. It’s real now, not just a “hope”. The process of creating that path also developed new commitment among managers.
- You have a collaborative group of managers. Fleshing out the systems together helps build that high-performance culture.
- You have an integrated system of operational systems. Nothing is left to chance. Every activity is seen as a part of the system to deliver high profitability.
- You have real time data for resource utilization, skills, planning, and hardware/software. You’re no longer using lagging information to make real time “guesstimates”.
- You feel the difference made by having a focused and engaged company culture. The environment is charged with new energy. It’s not just you either. You see cooperation and collaboration every day.
- Empowered employees act like owners. You’ve eliminated every possible obstacle, pushing decisions down the organization and providing infrastructure for success.
- Maximizing ROI is the automatic product of your systems. You see consistently improving numbers as a result of collaborative effort. The difference is quite striking.
- Execution excellence is now solidly a part of your culture. You no longer worry whether or not projects will be well-executed or become nightmares. You spend your time on executive activities.
- Distraction no longer distracts. It’s too much fun to watch profit go up real time.
- Decisions made with numbers clarity take your business to new heights. You can see the bottom-line difference that can result from making different decisions.
You Need To “See It” To Imagine Your Own Results.
You Probably Want To Know How The Align Operations Program Works
Showing you our well-thought-out structure helps you see how it works. We want you to go, “WOW! I gotta have this. It’s so comprehensive. It would obviously work!” Here are the details.
Phase 1—Pre-Program Preparation Of Workforce
Step 1: Executive Committee Introduces Initiative To Managers
We start with a handoff meeting from executives to managers. I’m available—as needed—to facilitate the handoff. We introduce the frameworks, and the work that managers need to do to add the systems to the frameworks. The most important part of the handoff is to identify the objectives, explain them, and get buy-in from managers.
Step 2: Company-Wide Introductory Rollout
This is the beginning of a strategic rollout of your initiative. The executive team begins the rollout with a series of communications and a company-wide introduction.
The compelling story is communicated along with why it’s so important to the company and the employees. I’m here as a resource and for support. It’s critical that you get maximum engagement from the get-go. These are some of the things I provide to you to make sure the kickoff is a success.
- A suggested communications plan, plus communications templates
- Suggested timeline for rollout of all initiatives
- Suggested format for the kickoff meeting
- Description of what executives accomplished and announcing what they did
- Description of manager’s meetings and what they will be doing
- Description of managers’ and frontline’s meetings and what they will be doing
- Announcing software training and describing how it’s integral to the initiative
Step 3: Pre-Work for Managers
We provide efficient pre-work before each week’s session—an interactive video training. These videos set your foundations for the upcoming week’s work. The objective is to get you thinking about relevant questions and issues you want to resolve.
The videos are 15-20 minutes long. Managers can easily fit them in during lunch. We recommend review of next week’s work immediately after a session. That gives managers a full week to pay attention to and think about issues for the upcoming work. We put a focus on looking for gaps and profit leakage.
The lengths of the sessions may vary. Managers need to schedule open-endedly to allow time for the variability.
You’re Sitting There Considering This Program
It’s Important You Understand How It Works
You’re not going to buy a suite of programs unless you understand it. Not just a surface-level understanding either, but an in-depth understanding. You want all the details, so you can prove to yourself that it WILL work for you. Here’s how the Align Operation program works.
Phase 2—Managers’ Weekly Rebuild Of Operating Systems
At this point, we move into an 11-week weekly rebuild of operating systems. Managers work together every week to assess each existing system. If there is no system in place, they create one. Doing so could involve both major changes and simple tweaks.
Week after week, we optimize each operating system. Our objectives are to create an overall flawless operating system that is both more Agile and scalable.
- Week 1: Collaboration Culture System
- Week 2: Asset Management System
- Week 3: Work Management System—Work Planning System
- Week 4: Build Software Nomenclature System
- Week 5: Work Management System—Work Scheduling System
- Week 6: Real-time Communications Interface System
- Week 7: Financial Controls System
- Week 8: Decision-Making System
- Week 9: Scorekeeping System
- Week 10: Develop Resource Roster
- Week 11: Software Orientation
Week 1: Collaboration Culture System
We start off creating a collaboration culture through mindset and infrastructure. To transform the culture into one of high performance, we start with mindset.
- Collaboration—We start with the executive version of the collaboration framework. Working with the managers, we fill it out.
- What is collaboration?
- What do we collaborate on?
- How do we develop a collaboration mindset in the workforce?
- How do we—as managers—instill this mindset?
Week 2: Set Up Asset Management System
As CEO, you realize the value of an Asset Management System. Your company’s fast growth pattern probably never lent itself to putting a system in place. That leaves you not knowing what assets you have or their condition.
Your operations can be threatened in many ways when you lack Asset Management. You don’t know the status of critical assets—and probably haven’t even identified them as critical. It’s impossible to predict replacement schedules. You’re at risk of breakdowns forcing operational shutdowns. We start you right off with preventing profit leaks caused by improper asset management.
In week 2, your managers design an Asset Management System. They set up categories for the database. The following week, managers have frontline workers fill in the details.
It’s problematic not to have a preventative maintenance program in place. That could leave you in one of those Ben Franklin proverbial moments: “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost…battle was lost.” Managers delegate the job of laying out preventative maintenance schedules.
Week 3: Design A Work Management System – Work Planning System
Work Management is all about having the right resource at the right place at the right time. There are two parts to a Work Management System: planning and scheduling.
- Planning workflow system—Deciding the workflows that are most efficient, profitable, and effective.
- Scheduling the workflow system—Scheduling the workflow system to make sure what you need is there when you need it.
In week 3, we work on the Work Planning part of the Work Management System. These are the types of questions we discuss and answer for your business.
- When a request for work comes in, what happens to it?
- What is the correct order of activities?
- What is our process to assign people to jobs/projects?
- How are change orders handled?
- How do activities get scheduled?
- What is our process to resolve conflicts before they occur?
- If materials and supplies are involved, how do you ensure that the work isn’t scheduled until materials and supplies are available?
Week 4: Build Software Nomenclature System
In week 4, we customize the categories used in the BOSS software for your company. We apply the day-to-day terminology that you use in conducting your business. It becomes the logical structure for how you find things in your company software.
- What are the common names and terms you use?
- What is our hierarchical structure of names and terms?
- What do we need to do so that this hierarchical structure is scalable and can easily grow with the company?
- How do you add new names and terms without losing control of the system logic?
Week 5: Design A Work Management System – Work Scheduling System
The most important thing that happens this week is instituting the 3-Week Rolling Schedule. You’re going to find that this is your most important tool for more profit. This is how the 3-Week Rolling Schedule works.
- Two weeks out is the forecasted schedule.
- One week out is the planning schedule.
- The current week is the operating schedule.
As you can see, planning three weeks in advance solves most of your delivery problems. When operating with this level of transparency and planning, you can solve problems before they are problematic. You can see them coming.
Once this schedule is instituted, the 3-Week Rolling Schedule rules all operations. Going forward, you have a weekly “all hands” meeting discussing the current state of the 3-Week Rolling Schedule. Combined together, your schedule and the schedule meeting give you control. It’s your tool for resolving conflicts, and ensuring availability of personnel and resources.
One other important change is the selection of the Resource Czar. The Czar drives the process of the whole Work Management System. This person resolves conflicts, and has responsibility for making sure that the schedule happens as planned.
Week 6: Real-time Communications Interface System
The managers decide how to keep everyone informed of status and outcomes in real-time or near-real-time. As we make operational changes, the Communications system must support our efforts. These are some of the topics that managers discuss and decide in Week 6.
- What’s the best technology for us to use to communicate?
- What communications best support our weekly planning and scheduling meetings, and our 3-Week Rolling Schedule discussions?
- What are our expectations for communication about projects?
- What situations should be communicated?
- Who should be responsible to communicate them?
- Communications also include documentation. Managers will also discuss and decide the following documentation topics.
- What needs to be documented?
- What is our documentation system?
- How does this documentation improve collaboration?
- What are our documentation standards?
- What is our version control process?
- What is our filing system going to be?
- How do we do data retrieval?
Week 7: Design A Financial Controls System
The managers love Week 7 and designing Financial Controls. Being able to put numbers to people and activities is just a lot of fun. Good decisions become more obvious. There’s a numerical indicator for each choice. These are some of the controls managers work on:
- Putting transparency and accountability controls in place. You need to be able to see where you are spending time and money, and how it’s spent. You need to account for every transaction.
- Tracking money before any project becomes over-budget.
- Using real-time controls rather than lagging indicators.
- Not just tracking money, but also tracking workforce, materials, and skills.
Week 8: Design A Decision-Making System
In Week 8, managers design the Decision Making Process for how decisions are made on a daily basis. This is an exercise in making decisions about making decisions. They start with the framework designed by the executives and fill it in.
The objective of designing a decision-making system is to push decisions as low as possible. You want to eliminate situations where work stops because, “I have to ask my supervisor.”
Essentially, decision-making consists of considering the following and making the best choice possible.
- What’s the situation?
- What’s the problem?
- What are the options to solve that problem?
- Risk or constraints in solving that problem (time or money—cost of implementing solution)
- Giving employees the authority to make the decision themselves.
These are some of the topics discussed in designing a decision-making process:
- Types of decision-making.
- Operational (day-to-day)
- Unscheduled circumstance (teach them how to make decisions for the unexpected)
- Operational improvement decisions (using trends in data to make decisions) and who makes these decisions
- Decision-making roles:
- Owner/champion—They have responsibility for making the decision.
- Input experts—They have specific expertise to be consulted before the decision.
- Performers—Those who put the decision into practice.
- How we set these roles up in our company, and train people so that they can make effective decisions.
- Set the parameters that teach employees to free think when there are exceptions to their decision-making process.
- How to do proactive succession planning for decision makers.
Week 9: Develop the Scorekeeping System
There’s only one score that matters: How much of that schedule did we complete? The managers develop a Scorekeeping System based on the answer to that question. That answer is the path to profitability and managed growth. These are some of the Scorekeeping System topics we discuss:
The Business Operating System Scorecard is both a scorecard and a planner. Everyone in the company has access to the scorecard. It gives everyone an overall view of how the company is doing as well as how each individual is doing. Obviously such transparency has an impact on collaborative and productive behavior.
It’s easy for anyone to drill down to see what did not work and where (who) the problem originated. With a high-performance culture, plan vs. actual is a key indicator of whether or not the person or organization achieved its goals.
When culture is actually king, it’s self-evident that each person is measured more on behaviors. With the scorecard, those behaviors become visible. When everyone can see the contributions or lack of contribution, there is nowhere to hide. Collaborative culture kicks in and shows up as, “I don’t want to let the team down. We’re all in this together.”
Week 10: Develop Resource Roster
All resources are visible in one software location. Users don’t have to bounce around among multiple systems trying to figure out what they need to know. It makes it easy to make real-time decisions based on actuals, not predictions.
- Workforce including subcontractor or third party vendors
- Materials and supplies (inventory, in-house, supply chain) and cost
- Skills level, knowledge and ability
- Rate of pay (cost)
Week 11: Software Orientation
—Criteria for Success
We orient you to the software, and give you the overview to how it works. This is essentially an orientation to get the managers familiar with what we will be doing the remaining 3 weeks of the program.
Week 13: Go Live on Systems Launch
During week 13, you launch the software. Your organization begins to communicate various successes of the launch. We’re available to you to analyze the successes and problems.
Phase 3—Project Debrief
Sometime in the next two weeks, we hold a project debrief. This post mortem covers progress, lessons learned, documentation, planning for future. By this point, you should be flying and no longer need any “training wheels”. Of course, it’s treated on a case-by-case basis. What we need you to know is that we have one objective: you’re delighted because you’re no longer leaving money on the table.
Here’s a quick summary of everything you receive!
Summary Of Everything Included In The Program
Here’s a quick summary of everything you get.
- Managers flesh out the frameworks created by the executives. This is the next step to getting your entire workforce operating from the same system of systems.
- The managers collaboratively decide on how to push a high-performance collaborative workstyle down to the frontline workers.
- Managers get extensive training in how to produce a collaborative culture.
- They learn how to use provided templates to get frontline to create recipes (Standard Operational Procedures).
- They learn about the software wizard that enforces conformity of information input for “recipes” (Standard Operational Procedures).
- Managers learn how company projects are input into the BOSS (Business Operating System Scorecard) software system to be managed week to week.
- We introduce the use of the Rolling 3-Week Schedule to managers and set them up for the weekly meetings to plan the schedule.
- Managers lay out the outlines of the decision-making system and learn how to empower frontline workers to use it.
- Managers begin the process of turning authority over to the workforce so they can prevent leaving money on the table.
- They start to flesh out the Asset Management System and preventative maintenance schedule.
- Managers flesh out the Work Planning System so that everyone can contribute meaningfully.
- They identify the categories and subcategories of the Software Nomenclature System.
- Managers identify the Resource Czar and put them in place to efficiently manage resource allocation.
- Managers work on the Financial Controls System that delivers profitable projects.
- They get all the elements of the Communications System in place so that everyone can actually see financial results real time.
- They flesh out a Scorekeeping System that measures contribution to success of project completion.
- Managers get the team working on the Resource Roster.
- Your managers are oriented to the BOSS (Business Operating System Scorecard) software system and ready to teach frontline workers.
CALL TO ACTION
THIS IS WHERE YOU SUMMARIZE