Challenge

Challenge

Two years before commencing the project the company underwent an intensive restructuring. As a result, the company structure was changed. The compositions of given teams were altered. Its strategy was also reoriented.

As a result, the organisation in a good state, however many elements needed improving. The financial department saw a need to improve the quality of customer service, inside and outside of the company. It also decoded to establish an atmosphere conducive to development within the team.

The company decided to implement kaizen philosophy and lean methodology. It did encounter these in the past, however it never implemented a comprehensive strategy and philosophy, resulting in changes taking place in a planned and successive manner.

Targets

Targets

We set three objectives:

  • Implementing an organisational culture, which would be more effective, ensure quicker reactions to business needs, which is conducive to team development and process improvements.
  • Improve the quality of service for internal customers (other teams within the company) as well as external customers.
  • Maintaining the effects of the previous reorganisation and team integration.

Phase I

Preparation and execution

Preparation and execution

Our work began with a series of interviews with the project sponsor (a decision maker) and all key managers. This made it possible to make a thorough diagnosis.

A report was the next step. It showed both the areas where improvement is feasible as well as the tools and strategies which we propose.

Intensive, two day workshops followed this stage. The aim of these was to show the entire team, the actions we will be taking and the scope within which these will affect given persons. However, the most important thing we communicated was the reason for the changes taking place.

At the same time we selected lean leaders from amongst the staff, or persons who wanted to become change leaders. Through this they were able to develop their skills and contribute to positive changes at the company.

Right from the outset it was our objective to engage the customer to a large extent already at the implementation design stage. This meant that employees were even more convinced of the solutions, as they worked them out by themselves.

We reinforced the entire process using business games. As working out effective solutions does not have to be a laborious desk based task.

Phase II

Execution

Execution

The next stage was to commence a cycle of trainings improving lean and kaizen knowledge. In most cases these were short, half hour meetings, tailored to given departments and participant level of knowledge. This formula meant that these did not interfere with the performance of current tasks. Gradually the participants were staring to run the workshops and they were able to teach others.

At the same time, we were training lean leaders. We were developing their leadership skills. We organised major, two day trainings on lean, kaizen and change management. Additionally, we met once a month and summarised the progress of each team.

We also worked on developing innovativeness. We introduced a suggestions system, or a tool through which every staff member was able to submit their ideas for improvements, from creating a shortcut on a desktop to finding ways to save millions of zloty.

Phase III

Execution

Execution

Then we consolidated the implemented changes. In order to be able to commence kaizen workshops (these last for a number of days, facilitate new solutions being coined and implemented as a prototype). Thus, lean effects were felt across the entire company. Example results:

  • accounting process time reduced from 15 to 2 days,
  • customer service quality up to 90 %,
  • improved communication between teams.

This marked the end of implementing the continual improvement process culture. Or the first and most important step on the road to change.

We reached a moment where the company consistently began to improve itself and achieve increasingly better business and organisational results. Changes also occurred in the approach and skills of teams. We created a group of leaders, prepared to implement changes efficiently.

Effects

Business (KPI):
  • more than PLN 3 million.
On activity level (KAI):
  • 28 lean leaders in 13 departments,
  • more than 30 workshops and nearly 350 participants,
  • moralist 550 submitted employee suggestions out of which more than 290 were implemented.