We also recently introduced two other things that are the bottom two: Business Process Improvements and Customer Journey Mapping. Customer Journey Mapping I will come on to in a minute. Has anybody come across this Customer Journey Mapping before? Yeah, it is not new, but it is very, very effective.

Business Process Improvement was another layer in our training and our skill set capability. Why it is we had Black Belts who had 15-day training completing two projects, they have to deliver at least a million a piece, very, very high level stuff. The Green Belts, 10 days training probably one project typically delivering about 50,000 pounds.

We have got a lot of other people in the business who we need to have some rudimentary knowledge of what process improvement is all about. So the very least they know the names of the tools and we got an idea of what is going on. And they can help out on projects and that is what the BPI, the Business Process Improvement, training does. It lasts one day; it goes through a lot of the basic tools. You can take probably 30-40 people on each cost and you focus on a specific problem a business area has.

So everybody will come with a problem and they will agree which one they want to address and you can probably do two of three in the cost, and you use all the BPI tools, all the process improvement tools, all the Lean and Sigma tools as appropriate to solve that problem. It is about making quick decisions. That again gives us a lot of grassroots buying.

So that was the stuff that went well. The stuff that did not go quite so well were basically external influences, things such as the current credit crunch, people are getting pulled off all of a sudden, there are more important fires to fight than there is to do process improvement. A massive, massive problem for us, I have already hinted is that when we get successful buying, the people who give us that buying, senior level tend to be pretty good, and they get promoted out. We have got a horrendous turnover of senior management.

In one absolute classic lunch time, I just completed some Green Belt training, gone out to the pub with the people who would finish the exam. So they had a couple of beers and something to eat. I was in the pub for an hour, I got three phone calls and in the space of that hour I had four different bosses. You answer the phone you are working for Martin, you answer the phone again, you are not working for Martin anymore, you are working for Sue, pick up the phone, you are not working for Sue anymore, you are now working for Alex.

Fantastic turnover of management, fantastic turnover of sponsors. If we could keep hold of a sponsor for more than about six months, we would be doing really, really well. So I guess that is the end of the message. You need this high-level buying that stays around. They have got to stop disappearing. The conflicting business priorities, again, comes back to this-a good example is the situation that we are in now. As soon as things start going wrong, people will stop looking at doing process improvement and they will get back out to doing the fire-fighting. That is still a big problem for us.

That is a customer journey map, very powerful, very simple, obviously this is not a Norwich Union customer journey map. I would get shot if I showed you a genuine Norwich Union customer journey map. So it is a very genetic example, and it is in the packet hopefully as well.

What it does is it puts a process in customer language. Now all of this stuff about implementing change and making change successful comes down to one thing. It is the people, the people will make it work and the people will screw it over. It is all down to people.

Now in a customer journey map what we have done is gone into all of the business areas and with Black Belts to support and we have talked about what it is that that business area delivers to our customers? Not in business voice, not in technical process mapping voice, but in customer voice. So we face things like, I want, I need.

So in this particular case, we are looking at going to a supermarket. Now what all customers at shops and customers at supermarkets, so they can do this fairly easily. If you think about the times when you actually have contact with that supermarket, they are the touch-points, and within those touch points you have moments of truth when the supermarket can either make a really good experience for you or really bad experience for you. And you also have decision points where you can think, this is so bad, I am not going to come here ever again or this is brilliant and I will definitely come back next time.

So the second one in there, the first one is it is easy to get to. Well, if it is not easy to get to you are not going to go. It has got decent car parking. Well you might decide if the car park is full you are not going to go back there again. And this thing attracts too and what you do is with a great deal of honesty, put down where you are in terms of your customers’ view on this map. So if you have got something where you think you are really good at, so this supermarket obviously thinks it is easy to get to, and there is enough car parking because they are above the line.

However, there are some questions about how friendly the staffs are, which is probably not a good thing, and there is some question about whether the people can actually find what they want. So you complete this customer journey map, and guess what, that highlights to yourself the areas where you need to improve. This would then drill down into what are our processes, what are the things that we do that support that particular customer experience?

If you have got something that is below the line, that highlights the areas where you need to start thinking. It brings it around to the customer; it makes the people think in terms of customer voice. They are very, very powerful. They are not easy to do because people often cannot think or find it difficult to think in terms of what a customer is thinking, and the trick there is to use the appropriate language. So the staff are friendly and helpful, I can find what I want, I need this, I want that; that into customer voice.

Third challenge: Retaining the energy of the excitements of your core process improvement team. From very, very recent experience, a good way of not doing this is making half of the redundancy. It does not encourage people to stick around and carry on doing their jobs. So what we have tried to do is to give the people who have come on to our central team and the people in the business. The kind of support that they need in order to carrying on wanting to do this stuff because if do not want to do it, we have gotten no chance of the people on the shop floor wanting to do it. They have a less chance of the senior management supporting.

What we found is that the roles have kind of adapted as we have gone along. So the Black Belts have gone from being project managers into doing consultancy. So now instead of actually going in and doing things, we are actually being the catalysts and supporting the projects that go on. We recently had a project that I consulted on, and it was along the lines of kind of like gone aways. So in the transactional business we send out letters to people informing them that something is going on, and that letter comes back on open because it has gone to the wrong address in theory.

There are lots and lots of reasons why that can happen, but they wanted to solve these gone-aways problem because it was a massive, massive amount of mail coming in. Now that sounds like an absolutely classic leaning process, process improvement project, brilliant. I did not go in and do it; somebody else went and did it. That was an inappropriate business area. I went and supported it, helped them to design simple systems, used some of the tools, facilitating workshops. It was good because I not only got to go into a new business area, but I was only in that part of the time. So for me that worked really well. I do not particularly enjoy Project Management but I do enjoy consultancy. Other people enjoy Project Management. They have carried on doing Project Management type stuff.

Others wanted to actually to go back into the business, they wanted to go back into finance, they wanted to go back into recoveries, and to some business area, and apply their process improvement, try that. So that is what they have done. So people have actually gone down the career paths that they have wanted whilst maintaining their Black Belt skills and, therefore, that started to spread the Black Belt skills out.

We have got formal accreditation for Black Belts. Now this is a bit of a soap box of mine because I could easily say, yup, you are a Black Belt, well done! I am not qualified to do that. I am not accredited Master Black Belt. I do a Master Black Belt’s job but I am not accredited to be a Master Black Belt. So I would never accredit anybody to be a Black Belt. I will do Green Belts, Lean Green Belts, no problem. But we did find a way of guessing people to be Black Belt accredited. I either buy bringing in third-parties such as IBM, I want the consultancies who had that qualification, or as turned out recently, we have a fully-fledged flying Master Black Belts or Master Black Belt depending on which part of the U.K. it come from in our healthcare division, so working very closely with healthcare.

It means we are getting a lot of best practice sharing and Trevor who is the Master Black Belt down there. He is quite happy to go through and accredit our Black Belts and he makes it really, really hard for them. They have to jump through hoops of fire to get their Black Belt accreditation. But that makes it really feel like they have done something worthwhile, and the feedback we have had from that has been very, very positive. It is not like, congratulations, you have finished the project, here is the sticker and you are a Black Belt. They have got to do a presentation to the business, they have got to prove the benefits, they have got to write the technical story board, they have to prove they can really handle the tools, so what they get is a good solid qualification. That makes it worthwhile and keeps people infused, and despite having to jump through these hoops of fire, people are still wanting to do it.

Training and Mentoring: We have been increasing the business skills, as I said. So what we have done is get people to actually deliver the training. So I am going to be doing Lean Green Belt training. We use our existing Black Belts to deliver that training, which maintains their skills and gives them a chance to revise and use skills that they probably would not get to use in our industry otherwise. And the final point is the Black Belt Master classes. What we are doing here is focusing on specific areas where people think they might have problems. Statistical Analysis is a classic one. They might want to do more on Hypothesis Testing because we do not use it. We have also done Customer Journey Mapping and we have done Mentoring. I think one of the next things that we are be looking at-oh yeah, simulation. Using Process Modeling, this kind of thing, we do not to get to do it very often.

Now the fourth one, and another potentially new thing is the Change Practice Framework. The idea is to build and sustain changes in working practices within the company. Now we actually developed the Change Practice Framework. It is a blatant plagiarization of Cotter’s work. It has been very, very effective; it was pushing down into three areas. We have the people change journey, which is, imagine, you go through a change but as a person, what is it like to go through that change, not what does the process do but what does the individual do? Makes you think about what is happening to the teams that you are working with.

Within that, there is the Change Practice Framework that shows us the skills, the knowledge, and the behaviors that people need in order to be successful in that particular stage of the change, and we have an online Center of Excellence that enables us to identify potential training interventions or templates of tools or samples that worked in the past examples of each of those stages of that change journey.

The way we have rolled it out is to actually run one-day classes, the class is experiential, so we put people into the situation that uses the URI, property developing company. So you are going to take an old house and develop it into something really expensive, and we get the people to actually run that through as a team who are going through that series of changes, it is very, very different. Again people find it difficult sometimes, I think in terms of people as opposed to processes. The other thing that has been new for people is using data to influence decisions. Typically, what you got was the person who shouted loudest got their project done. So using Dieter (ph) has become something that is very new.

Staff development is around the fact that on the back of the Change Practice Framework we were trying to build more rounded individuals. We had a situation where we have people from my IT delivering change, and we had people from our Lean Six Sigma team delivering change. It was a bit difficult to tell who was doing what. What the Change Practice Framework enabled us to do was to build training interventions to try and get a more rounded changed team. It is worked with the moderate degree of success so far, and it is also now being rolled down to other the business areas. That is which I am sure you cannot rate is the Change Practice Framework.

What we have along the top is the stages of the journey that quite blatantly nicked from Cotter, and down the side we have the emotional endpoint. We had a lot of fund coming up with the emotional endpoints.

I am excited about where we are, dying to get it done. It is all about that, it is like the kind of thought that you would be having at that point in that particular change journey.

The next section down is the kind of activities that would be going on at that stage. Below that we have the required outcomes of that stage of the change journey. The kind of behaviors that somebody would be exhibiting at that point, and finally some of the supporting factors that would be going on.

So if you have mentioned all of these, you have got a change journey going along, you are in a particular point of the change journey. So you are just kicking it off and you think DMAIC, what would I have been doing in the DMAIC phase? So what we have done with the Center of Excellence is enable drill downs that would go down to the kind of tools you would find in the DMAIC phase of a project.

It has worked out very powerful, but it has been quite convoluted, and it is working extremely well. But it is kind of the thing embedded, it is so complex, it is a case of getting the thing embedded. It is working about four or five business areas now and people are really adopting it.

So quick summary: Lessons learned; we got the four challenges. So the challenges have been lack of direction and focus. A strong support from the highest level, it is continuous improvement ability and the mindset of continuous improvement within the business area. And I think somebody else mentioned earlier: communicate, communicate, communicate. Keep communicating your successes.

The expectations of instant Return On Investment, well, the key is basically, we found lots of areas in our business where we can do JDIs, Just Do Its. Run many workshops, find the things that can be done quickly and do them, that way people start building confidence.

Central change teams move in motivation. It has not really happened in all, the redundancies have not helped, but it is still there, but keep them involved, keep the skills up today, get them involved in training and mentoring, and try to deliver things like master classes to make sure they are still wanted and loved.

External forces sometimes lead to a lack of business involvement, we start to lose interest. The consultancy approach worked really well. So why not deliver by helping other people to deliver that changes so they got lot more buying, and effectively it will lead this to a situation where we do not actually own any of this change anymore. All the change that goes on is owned by the business areas, because it is owned by the business areas, it goes through a lot smoother, almost smoothly, and the control phase becomes a lot easier because people want to keep it going.

So that is basically all I have got apart from one extra slide. Have you all got pencil and paper? No. This is a blatant personal dig. I am not going home at the end of this-I am going to New York. I am going to New York-I would say race in the New York Marathon, but that is nice, I am going to run in the New York Marathon and if I get around in one piece I would be really, really happy.

I am not doing that for fun, I am doing it for two reasons. First of all, because I am 50, and I wanted to do something really silly, and secondly, to raise money for a children’s charity. So I thought as I had actually got probably once in a lifetime opportunity to talk to an international conference. If anybody would like to sponsor me, please feel free to make a note of that Web address, and anyone who is not coming, that goes direct to Barnardo’s which is a children’s charity and supports vulnerable kids, not only in the U.K. but outside the rest of the Europe and the world as well


Jerry Chang – A Search Engine Marketing generalist with substantial in-house advertising and marketing experience. High Premium on providing web/graphic design support in English, Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese. …
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Business process modelling