I have seen a beta version of the new Execution Dynamics program and it is truly inspiring, not something you say about a piece of software every day. It’s going to be a huge hit because it’s a concrete manifestation of the Profit Mapping philosophy. An idea that was always well received by both practitioner and critic is now packaged in a tangible tool that every business can use.
In my experience one of the problems of modern business is that while the ERP system takes care of the nuts and bolts on the shop floor, there’s nothing to take care of the management side. Most companies have very tight restrictions on hiring indirect labour, so the small group of senior managers are ever squeezed to take on additional responsibilities as businesses get more complex and standards get higher.
In a standards-driven organisation managers are under great pressure to act in conformance with a multitude of policies, procedures and work instructions. Most of the time they have to remember to do the right thing, and then they have to decide to do it, since unlike the shop floor there’s no formal system to guide them. The risk of deviation from standard is a constant problem as individual managers struggle to get parts out on time. You may get over the finish-line in the end, but the price is poor process control and higher costs than necessary. That leads to variable quality, accidents, high energy costs, lack of security and all kinds of waste.
In business nothing continues unchanged for very long. Whether it’s a customer return, a process change due to problems with material or tooling, a breakdown, scheduled maintenance, contractors on site, near-miss or accident, training a new hire, new product introduction or whatever, the managers responsible go off and do stuff, on a best effort basis. They approve changes and do whatever it takes but frequently the system doesn’t catch up and soon you’ve got more deviations and the process is a little more out of control.
The way it’s set up, Execution Dynamics has the potential to plug that gap because you can teach it your standards. It’s quick and easy to reconfigure things and because it’s intelligent it will error trap and be your safety net. It can guide the manager to make the ad hoc change while tracking the implications, risk assessing and making sure that everybody is in the loop. Actions later either get reversed or universally adopted so that the process integrity is maintained, and the manager doesn’t have to carry it all because he or she has the support of the system.
Meanwhile the boss has exception reports that could indicate trends before they become a problem and also has the reassurance that a maverick can’t break something important because the system will defend itself.
So hang in there, help is at hand!