November 9, 2018

Analyzing and Improving Operations



Does any of this sound familiar to you?

  • Customers are complaining
  • Staff is frustrated
  • There’s finger pointing and blaming between departments
  • We circumvent procedures to expedite work
  •  Quality, service, and timeliness need improvement
  •  Costs are too high

If you said “yes” then this program is for you.

This is a 3 day training program which can be customized to your particular needs. Below is a description of the training. Here is a link to an Operational Improvement Plan Template, which you might find helpful.

Analyzing and Improving Operations can help you sort out the problems (people, systems, work flow, and information), find the root cause, and develop a course of action to eliminate the issue. The workshop not only focuses on the big-picture perspective of systems and organizational structure, but will also delve into the specifics by analyzing workflow, information, and job issues.

Choose from a variety of improvement methodologies based on the type of problem and the organization’s goals and constraints. Often, organizations are trained in one problem solving approach and then use this approach on every problem. In other words, “Now that we know how to use a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” In this workshop you will be able to use the correct methodology for specific problems, including: lean manufacturing principles, basic six sigma techniques, business process reengineering, organizational restructuring, continuous improvement, workflow redesign, eight key problem classes, fast cycle time, and creating cooperation between departments. By the end of the seminar, you will know when and how to use each one.

As a part of this workshop, you’ll bring one or more problems to class to analyze and then create an improvement plan using the tools and methodologies presented.

Seminar Benefits

You’ll learn how to:

  • Benchmark your operational improvement efforts against the Malcolm
  • Baldrige Award winners and learn to take your organization to the next level
  • Focus your efforts on high impact and immediate improvements
  • Evaluate and then partner with suppliers
  • Create breakthroughs with your customers that help you surpass the competition
  • Use Activity Based Costing on processes to discover “true” profitability
  • Uncover and then calculate your quality costs
  • Design elegant operational work flows using powerful design principles
  • Use basic Six Sigma tools to improve quality
  • Create a fast cycle time organization using lean techniques
  • Overcome the eight major barriers to operational improvement
  • Boost retention of your work force
  • Create higher levels of interdepartmental cooperation
  • Select the right measurement system that will build operational excellence
  • Solve the most difficult operational problems through eight distinct problem types
  • Get “buy-in” for your operational improvement effort
  • Understand the basics of organizational change and plan your change
  • Compare your operational improvement effort against “best practices”

Seminar Outline

Management of work

  • The six key types
  • Your organization vs. The Malcolm Baldrige Award winners
  • Service organizations and manufacturing organizations

What are organizations?

  • The four main elements
  • Where do most organizational problems originate?

Comparing and contrasting improvement methods and when to use each one

  • Continuous Improvement
  • Process redesign
  • Lean Techniques
  • Six Sigma
  • Total Quality Management
  • Reengineering

Supplier requirements

  • Measurement and feedback
  • Partnering with suppliers

Customer Report Card

  • Finding high impact areas
  • Creating breakthroughs vs. the competition
  • Key measurements

Process Analysis

  • Main and support process
  • Sixteen telltale symptoms of a broken process
  • Advantages to process mapping
  • The four lenses of analysis: time, quality costs, process costs, and frustration
  • Flow chart symbols
  • Levels of detail
  • Macro flow charts
  • Functional-activity flow charts
  • Task and procedural flow charts
  • Value Stream mapping
  • Process metrics

Process improvement techniques

  • Eliminating bottlenecks
  • Bureaucracy elimination
  • Automation and information technology
  • Fast cycle time techniques

Process Cycle Time Analysis

  • Processing time
  • Move time
  • Wait time
  • Set up time
  • Inspect time
  • Rework time
  • Cycle time

Lean principles and eliminating waste (Muda) in both manufacturing and service organizations
Activity Based Costing Analysis

  • Calculating “true” profitability by product, customer, and market

Quality costs

  • Where quality costs reside
  • Calculating quality costs

Six Sigma

  • Six Sigma roles and responsibilities
  • Cause and Effect Diagram
  • Check sheets
  • Pareto Diagram
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
  • Error-Proofing
  • Work simplification
  • Standardization
  • 8-D form

Thirty-eight operational design principles

  • Workflow design principles
  • Information design principles
  • Staffing design principles
  • Lean design principles

Creating a “clean sheet” operational process

  • Five implementation options
  • The eight thorny barriers to operational redesign
  • The ten step operational redesign method

People issues

  • Unsatisfactory performance analysis
  • The five critical retention factors
  • Getting buy-in to operational improvement efforts

Operational improvement and getting cross-department cooperation

  • Six levels of cooperation
  • The 13 criteria needed for seamless operational improvement

Solving the most difficult operational problems

  • Puzzles
  • Uncertainties
  • What are our priorities?
  • Many voices
  • Dilemmas
  • Life of their own
  • Of our own making
  • That bite

Harvesting the fruit of operational improvement
Understanding organizational change

  • Kickoff speech outline before any change effort
  • The Hero’s Journey model of change
  • Dealing with resistance

Organizational best practices
Your own personal action plan


“This is the single most valuable management course of any length I have ever taken.”
Pat Harsche
VP Business Development Planning and Regulatory Affairs
Fox Chase Cancer Center

“Great! Everything I expected. Lot’s of hands on and a very good notebook.”
Doug Paynter
Plant Manager
Inland Telco

“Excellent seminar! Great interaction! The “war stories” as examples really help.”
Rob Dunn
Engineering Designer
Automated Systems

“The best training I have attended in years. Great, no nonsense class! Very prepared and knowledgeable instructor. Thanks!”
Fernando Pontes
Sr. Procurement Analyst

“Dan just wanted to jot a short note to pass onto you how much I enjoyed and learned from your Analyzing and Improving Operations seminar at University of Chicago. I felt the seminar fit my needs perfectly. Everything was relevant!! Now it is up to me to take my learning’s and put them into effect at my company. The outline and design tools will help me organize an action plan and review our progress.”
Nick Nichols
Plant Manager
Kronos Products, Inc