Each year we hold hundreds of amazing conversations with Decision Makers, Key Influencers, and Thought Leaders in the business improvement space, and like most companies, we take every interaction with clients and prospective clients as an opportunity to learn and improve. One area where we will continue to evolve is in helping clients to successfully embed EON’s valuable tools and features into their normal workflow.
Put another way, what we often hear from companies during their evaluation of the product is, “I really like what I see. Help me understand how we would introduce EON into the organization?” And that’s a really good question because there are so many potential organizational workflows that EON supports, picking the proper way to get started does require a bit of thought. So to answer the above question, I think it makes sense to consider how our clients are currently using the product. Thus, the remainder of this article will focus on EON’s value at three levels.
A great way to get started with EON is to introduce it as a management tool for your organization’s strategy deployment process. Simply put, most organizations do a below average job of executing against their strategy, and a big reason for it is the inability to align the workforce to the strategy and hold the workforce accountable for meeting their commitments in service to the strategy. Research done by David Norton in an article titled “Strategy Execution: A Competency that Creates Competitive Advantage” reveals the following startling statistics:
- 85-90% of organizations fail to execute their strategies
- 95% of the typical workforce doesn’t understand what the strategy is
- 73% of organizations with no formal strategy execution process achieve less than superior performance
So a great way to introduce EON into the organization is to use it to document your strategic objectives at all levels, connect those objectives up and down the organizational tree, assign ownership for each objective to the appropriate leader, and adaptively manage progress against each objective through your business performance review process. The image below is a visual representation of the flow of just one corporate objective through an organization. EON can be used interactively in a strategy/business review meeting to identify and discuss “at risk” strategic objectives.
Another way that EON provides strategic value is in its ability to help your organization define an “execution model.” By this I mean you’re able to define the set of standard business processes and proven best practices that you expect to be implemented anywhere or everywhere in the organization. There is huge strategic value that comes simply from clearly defining “what good looks like” for your business and communicating those expectations in a meaningful way. Companies that are implementing their version of a “production system” or “business system” find the process goes so much more smoothly if EON is involved instead of spreadsheets and SharePoint folders. Below is a generic version of an execution model that one of our clients is introducing into the organization to standardize the way all manufacturing facilities manage certain key performance areas, such as occupational safety and product quality.
For some organizations, introducing EON into the business to drive the enterprise strategy or deploy a business system model isn’t the right approach. It may be an issue of timing or there may be some cultural risk factors at play. Instead, what some of our clients have opted to do is get started by using EON to address tactical execution challenges. For example, one global client of ours wanted to drive better structure, discipline, and consistency in how improvement projects were being managed across the enterprise. EON’s project portfolio and lifecycle management feature is ideal in this regard because it includes tools that facilitate a structured approach to chartering, prioritizing, planning, and managing improvement projects at all levels, both simple and complex. The image below shows EON’s project prioritization matrix, which visually represents multiple projects against standard criteria for cost, complexity, and ROI.
Another way to introduce EON that can create immediate tactical value is through the Gap to Perfect Analytic. The GTP can help each operating location to see with relatively little effort what their improvement opportunities are in financial terms so that they can focus their time and resources on improvement projects that will generate maximum value to the business. The image below shows just one screen view from the GTP Analytic tool, showing the gap to perfect related to production volumes and the financial value of that gap when calculated based on either gross margin or labor contribution.
Finally, when it comes to tactical value, the Heat Maps feature in EON can be used to replace your existing spreadsheets and other applications for LEAN assessments or compliance audits. EON is a great platform for visualizing the opportunities identified through an assessment and managing the activities taking place afterward. Figure 2 above shows a visual representation for one location post-assessment. Figure 5 below represents an example of an action list for just one individual involved in post-assessment gap closure.
What I’ve found really interesting is the creative ways that our clients have found to use EON to support daily operational workflows. One such example is a manufacturing client that’s using the action item management features in EON to track all of the actions identified during their daily plant operations review meeting. EON is great tool for this application because of how easy it is to add, sort, and close action items and because the product sends e-mail alerts to employees when they’re assigned an item and when that item is coming due. So an employee who misses the review meeting is still alerted to any assignments he/she received as a result of that meeting. And by housing these items in EON, folks in above-site operational or continuous improvement roles have visibility into the action items as well.
Lots of Options…We’re Here to Help
Our clients should feel excited about all of the great possibilities for EON in their business not concerned that they need to start using all of EON’s great features right away in order to justify their decision to move forward with us. The right answer for most is to introduce the features that are going to solve the most pressing problems or generate the most immediate tangible value to the organization, whether that value is of a strategic, tactical, or transactional nature. Our Client Success Managers, who have a background in continuous improvement, work with each client to define a product introduction plan that takes into account their unique needs, challenges, and objectives. Likewise, our “on demand” commercial model helps aligns the price of the product to the value our customers receive from it.
Long story made short, there’s lots of great reasons to get started using EON and very few reasons to delay. Please contact us to learn more.