THE 360° METHOD
SECURING SUSTAINABILITY AND RESULTS
The MTEK 360° Method is all about reaching out to the entire organization. While keeping a holistic view with a hands-on approach in order to generate a sustainable and increased level of operation.
The 360° Method is a way-of-working with improvements, both internally and externally. It can be applied to any project or program. The method has been developed by MTEK from the collected experience of over 100 improvement projects in more than 18 different countries performed all over the world.
360° METHOD DESCRIPTION
The method consists of four main phases that enables an organization to move from a current skill level into more sustainable results and the possibility to govern with excellence. The model is graphically depicted below.
The main phases are Skill, Proof, Trust and Excellence. Each phase builds upon the knowledge and tools developed in the earlier phases. Within each phase three main steps are made that take the organization through new challenges and develop the human capital to gain ability and sustainability in the new way-of-working.
If the method is followed, the new ways-of-working will be an integrated part of the company’s culture.
The skill phase aims to provide a skill set to the people within the program. This skill set will then be used as a foundation to build and develop the progress in the program. This phase is perhaps the most important one, since without skill it is difficult to reach true success in the following phases.
It is however not always the case that a customer needs to perform this phase. The organization may already have the required skills and an efficient way-of-working that suits and fulfills the program or project goals.
In many cases though, it is often necessary to change in particular the way-of-working in order to reach the desired result; This means to change the habits of people. To be sustainable and successful in such a mindset transition it is in general necessary to pass through the following three steps:
In order to improve, the current levels must be known and the future target level should be defined. The awareness part of the skill phase is used to give the employees the proper awareness by learning from other world-class examples.
There is also a need to optimize the utilization of the new skill set as well as creating an understanding of how the implementations of these skills will affect the operations. The understanding section therefore includes hands-on exercises that facilitate this.
The ability to independently improve and sustain a way-of-working is established through experience and practical exercises. The ability section of the skill phase is therefore used to mentor and support the employees during the implementation.
The proof phase is used to convert the acquired skill set into routines and internal ways-of-working to further improve the operations. MTEK will mentor in creating, reviewing and executing the routine adaptations in order to build internal trust within the company.
The proof phase typically includes a number of adaptations to the current methodologies. It spans not only through the manufacturing but also into other departments such as project management, sales, marketing and R&D.
One of the main goals of the proof phase is to prove to the organization that it is possible to reach much better results by utilizing the new skill set and ability gained from the skill phase. “Seeing is believing...” is a saying that MTEK has found to be very relevant in all improvement work. The improvement rate tends to speed up as proof is given by example that the goals can be reached.
A key action in the proof phase is therefore to perform pilot projects on smaller parts of the operations (such as e.g. a product/line etc.) that utilizes the new way-of-working to show that the intended results can be reached.
The following steps are in general performed within the proof phase:
The first step in changing the way-of-working is to analyze already available routines and if necessary adapt them or create new ones for missing areas. This is done by visualizing the current situation and compare it to a wanted position and then close the gaps.
This part of the proof phase takes monitoring and control into account and allows the possibility to further fine tune the methodology. This is mainly achieved by setting up relevant key performance indicators, their trigger levels and clear escalation models.
The last step of the proof phase is based on lessons learned in order to prevent earlier challenges from reoccurring. This part provides additional tools and methodologies on how to find and eliminate the real root causes.
This phase builds up and reinforces the trust towards the customers and suppliers by proving increased internal efficiency in relation towards world-class benchmarking. It shows additional customer value by improved proactivity.
As the trust phase first implement tools and methods to survey the operations, the company will gain the ability to evaluate the data and take fact-based decisions. Correctly done this gives a tremendous business benefit and increases the competitiveness.
By benchmarking the internal performance key performance indicators towards world-class standards it is also possible to use that information as marketing material towards current as well as new potential customers.
As the organization learns more and takes advantage from the gained information it becomes possible to transition into proactivity. In order to be well-equipped for the future proactivity will change the way-of-working in order to meet the upcoming market needs.
One vital part of trust is the ability to truly understand the needs of the customer’s customer.
Creates an understanding and management function of the interaction of customers and suppliers. In this step MTEK can facilitate the creation of a well-functioning survey system that can be used to become increasingly proactive.
In order to steer and manage the operation as well as to market the performance, it is necessary to know how well the operations are performing in relation to other players in the same market area. At this step, MTEK can help establish a benchmarking program where relevant data is gathered and compared to world-class levels. Such benchmarking can also be used to further increase sales and trust levels by exposing the key strength areas to the market.
The transition from preventive to proactive includes the skill on how to use the measurements as a foundation for fact-based decisions regarding necessary future actions. Proactivity is a vital step towards excellence.
With all the previous steps performed, it is possible to turn the earlier gained skill sets and operational improvements into real business opportunities.
This can be done by making the new way-of-working sustainable and to become increasingly predictive in the decision-making. With all tools available it is possible to govern the entire business situation instead of being controlled by others.
It is only natural that the demands and attention from the management is higher during an active program or project. However, as the improvement has been verified it becomes all too easy that the demands are relaxed and that attention to the indicators are not monitored to the same extent. The challenge is to make the new ways-of-working sustainable. This is a top management topic and perseverance is essential in order to succeed.
With sustainable improvements it becomes easier to be predictive in the decision-making. This is in general achieved by optimizing forecasting methodologies and performance indicators that are suitable for the business requirements.
Excellence can only be achieved with durability to sustain the implemented changes and adaptations. Without sustainability it will not be possible to turn the effort into further business opportunities. In this phase MTEK can support in creating tools for the management to further ensure that sustainability is achieved for the implemented steps.
To be predictive is to be able to use existing knowledge to create the ability to project or forecast an outcome. It is a prerequisite to reach true operational excellence. With the correct data available it is possible to understand what will happen at a later stage in either a products life cycle or in an organization.
When all other areas of the 360° method are fulfilled it will be possible for the organization to govern a business situation instead of being controlled by the market.