Data Analytics is essential to understand situations and build knowledge upon which decision making and action taking can be grounded. Even though lots of data and IT resources are available in most of the organizations, data analytics is performed by the end of the month, quarter or the year and for reporting purposes trying to explain what happened in the past and making impossible to make timely decisions and take effective actions when and where the things happened. Lean Management can help organizations to achieve both at once and to leave behind the “Black Box” by:
Create transparency in performance
Define process performance indicators that act as drivers of the monthly KPIs reported and extract information from data on daily and weekly basis will allow to create transparency at all organizational level. MS Power BI can help to summarize the key performance drivers at each organizational level on a Dashboard creating transparency and a continuous flow to consolidate information which might not be real-time, but it is more streamline. Nevertheless, neither Power BI nor other IT solution is enough by itself, because we need to adopt an E2E approach considering for example the availability of the inputs for that performance drivers, so People and Process should be part of the solution.
Drive learning and empower people
Extract information from data at each organizational level will help to drive learning but leadership and engagement are enablers of the “Learning by Doing” process. The information must be contextualized to bring insights and a better understanding of the current situation to build knowledge and engagement is a key driver in the learning process to take effective actions. Leadership is needed to develop engagement by empowering the people through delegation not only the task but also to the decision increasing people`s autonomy. Leaders must create a clear vision of the future state and the goals to make easier identify performance gaps, define problems and take effective actions at operational levels. Also, the leaders can help people through develop new insights by sharing the data analytics results from the consolidation level.
Develop a Lean Management architecture
Daily team meetings are required to develop a Lean Management architecture and to prevent the accumulation of data, work and issues. Of course, not all the data is available on daily basis but is hard to believe that none of the data is available before the end of the month, quarter or year. Current management architectures are built upon the “Black Box” paradigm where only results are important hence are reporting oriented. But is in the “Way” where the foundations of performance are built and that is why we need to develop a new management architecture to go and see what is happening in the process with the people and stop acting as if we were managing a “Black Box”. Weekly staff meetings are essential to build the Lean Management Architecture, also to hold team meetings which is not the same that speak with each team member and to arrive to conclusions. Finally, an E2E approach since each process will have suppliers and inputs that must be aligned within the new management architecture.