Policy deployment journey and model

· Paul McLoughlin · 4 min read
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I first became aware of Policy Deployment later in my career, when I changed course into the automotive industry in 1994, I worked as an operator across various processes within the manufacturing facilities. One of many observations I made was how little time the team leaders and managers had to spend with their people on value-add activities.

There always seemed to a be a sense of urgency, panic and frustration which I later understood was based around no clear two-way communication on how each individual’s activities and processes impacted the success or failure of achieving the overarching businesses roadmap and objectives.

Around the middle of 1996 I was promoted to the position of team leader, I had 21 people in my team working across various manufacturing processes within a vehicle manufacturing facility. It became very clear that the measure of success was based on how much time you spent frantically trying to meet volume targets and ensuring that process related faults did not get recorded against your area of ownership, this approach also seemed to drive a culture of self-preservation and a siloed mentality to the working environment - only the strong survive.

In the early 2000s the organisation identified that a new way of operating was required to ensure the longevity of the business and also to close our competitive gaps, the turn around of the business was underpinned through the development and deployment of lean manufacturing processes and tools focusing on Safety, Quality, Delivery, Cost, Moral and Environment all of which were alien concepts within our current environment.

The questions that needed answering:

1. How do I really contribute to the success of the organisation?

2. How do I know if my contribution is making a difference?

3. How do my contributions get measured and recognised?

Policy deployment was the catalyst that helped answer the above questions, it allowed the business to set strategic objectives both vertically and horizontally across each business unit, department and team.

Policy deployment outlined a specific plan, visualising goals, timelines, responsibilities and measures aligned to SMART objective setting. Aligning business activities to individual and team contributions became clear and repeatable across all levels and functions of the organisation.

A key organisational objective under safety was ‘Zero Harm’ aim ie.:

1. Senior executive target = No lost time to workplace injuries and no medically treated injuries sustained as part of the process.

2. Senior management target = 100% of processes have an up to date risk assessment.

3. Mid-level management target = 5 safety audits per week conducted with corrective actions complete.

4. Work group manufacturing team targets = 5 hazards are identified and fixed per week.

Through this cascade of key performance indicators each area of the business now clearly understood how their actions and activities supported a ‘Zero Harm’ culture for the business.

It began to drive a culture of ownership through top-down and bottom-up objective setting involving the senior management team and shop floor employees.

It has become very apparent in the modern age that we need to keep evolving and looking at innovative ways to work on the basics of clear objective setting and two-way communication.

Many of us now work across multiple facilities or operations with our teams working multiple shift patterns or even working from home. How do we keep abreast of activities and KPI achievement and having clear visibility through dashboarding which identifies when and where support in the organisation is required.

Our policy deployment model is helping to keep senior leadership teams up to speed:

  1. Cascade of objectives to team owners ie.
    • Organisation
    • General Manager
    • Process Owner
    • Process Lead

  2. Key performance indicators, target, actuals and variance

  3. Value driver trees looking at individual activities

Offering our people new and innovative ways of capturing information and creating ownership in the business is critical for organisational culture and development. You cannot replace face-to-face human interaction as the most important asset for any business is its people, but we can do things differently and Concerto offers the opportunity for this to happen.

Paul McLoughlin is a General Manager of Concerto with a strong focus in business improvement consultancy, he assists organisations to crystallise their strategy for operational, people and analytics transformation.

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