On Monday, February 15, Ultra was privileged to host a webinar with a pioneer in the theory and practice of integrating business functions with Lean business operations. “Lean Transformation Core Elements: Strategic Deployment, Value Stream Management, and Managing for Daily Improvement” was presented by Jean Cunningham, a leader in Lean Business Management, and Founder and President of Jean Cunningham Consulting. In addition to her numerous accolades and leadership positions, Jean teaches Lean Accounting at Ohio State University and has co-authored two books titled Real Numbers: Management Accounting in a Lean Organization and Easier, Simpler, Faster: Systems Strategy for Lean IT.
Jean’s Involvement with Ultra
Ultra’s founder, Jeff Carr, credits Jean with being influential in the development of Ultra’s methodology, and this was seen throughout Jean’s presentation. Some of the similarities that stood out most were around Jean’s topics of strategic deployment, Kaizen events, and Managing for Daily Improvement.
Jean began by suggesting that organizations considering a transformation to Lean business operations should have only five to seven key focus initiatives at any one time, and to be sure that large initiatives are broken into smaller segments, thereby making them easier to measure. She also suggested a focused and dedicated team be assigned; this is very similar to Ultra’s view on the ERP project management plan where we suggest establishing clear and achievable objectives, and having a dedicated team responsible for the project.
Jean’s Ten Kaizen Event Steps for Lean Business Operations
Further on in the presentation, Jean discussed Ten Kaizen Event Steps that mirror Ultra’s ERP preparation, education, selection, and implementation methodology. Below are the key Kaizen Event Steps and Ultra’s methodology lined up to demonstrate these similarities:
|Jean’s Kaizen Event Steps||Ultra's Methodology|
|Call To Action (Why?)||Business Case For Change|
|As Is/Current State||Process Mapping Current State Review|
|Future State/Brainstorm||Future State Definition/Requirements/Demo Script|
|Selection Process||Vendor Selection|
Organizational Change Management is a core service at Ultra. There is an increased interest from our clients to understand the different approaches to change management, and the Managing for Daily Improvement (MDI) System that Jean shared is one of these. The MDI system consists of daily or weekly management activities, using common tools and processes to communicate performance status, issues, and actions, using data as a source for continuous improvement. The system encourages management and employees to be proactively involved in day-to-day operations so that they can see the causes of problems and support problem solving efforts, and provide the opportunity to recognize and be recognized for the improvements made by those efforts.
Jean and Ultra would like to remind everyone that the key to any transformation is the facilitation, support, and commitment from the leaders within the organization, and not forgetting to celebrate the accomplishments and wins at each milestone.
Ultra would like to thank Jean not only for her excellent presentation on Lean business operations, but also for all of her work as a pioneer in the industry and for the obvious influence it has had on our methodology and success.
If you would like to learn more about Jean, her company and services, visit her website here.
To request this webinar and gain access to our entire webinar recording library, visit our On-Demand Webinars page.