“We are getting ready to deploy our Operational Excellence initiative…but struggling to define the resources needed for success.”
Resource planning is central to any operational excellence deployment path. It must occur at the point at which the work begins to translate from a conceptual to a tactical focus. A good resource plan will consider at least three factors: the number of resources required, the competency and experience of the resources, and the resource deployment strategy.
Where do we start?
A Steering Team will be needed to guide the effort, based upon an approved operational excellence charter. It is the responsibility of the Steering Team to create and gain approval for the operational excellence charter, make complex decisions, approve financial or resource requests, regularly review implementation team metrics and performance, and ensure coordination and consistency across implementation teams. The Steering team creates the high level deployment strategy, to include goals and timing. The Steering Team Leader, and Steering Team members, will be selected from the senior leadership ranks who typically are key stakeholders in the OpEx effort.
Deployment Teams will be formed to execute the Operational Excellence initiative. It is the responsibility of the Deployment Team to regularly report results, communicate obstacles and propose solutions, and seek approval or request decisions or changes in direction from the Steering Team. The Deployment Team creates the detailed deployment strategy, to include a listing of specific tasks and timing. The Deployment Team Leader, and Deployment Team members, will be selected from all levels of the organization, to include team members from functional areas and across plant sites, and external resources with expertise in operations, supply chain or operational excellence methodology.
Resource Planning and the Triple Constraint
The Triple Constraint for project management, slightly modified, serves as a model for understanding three foundational pieces of an operational excellence initiative, the schedule, scope and human resource planning. The Steering Team and the Deployment Teams will be more effective if this model and the interaction among these foundational elements is well understood.
A key tenet of the model is that a change cannot be made to one of the three foundational pieces without impacting the other two. As an example, say the number of resources dedicated to the operational excellence deployment is cut in half. The impact of that decision will be to change the scope (fewer, smaller deployments) and to change the schedule (delayed timeline, decreased cost savings). As another example, say a faster implementation is needed. The Scope could be decreased and the Human Resources increased. Every change to the charter, and every decision made by the Steering Team or Implementation teams, will affect the dynamic that exists among these integrated components.
Resource Planning is a key success factor for an Operational Excellence program. Clarity of roles and responsibilities, metrics and reporting systems, a clear escalation path for obstacles and a well-defined change management system will provide the appropriate governance and support for execution and implementation of an Operational Excellence initiative.
“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work." --Peter Drucker
Interested in additional assistance as you craft your OpEx resource strategy? Click here for your free copy of The Expert Cheat Sheet for Planning Your OpEx Resources today.