ADDRESSING CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
The best strategic plans include specific measures for achieving every objective, a means for gathering and publishing data on these measures, and a process for timely review by management. it is critical to identify, col-Iect, and use the right data; otherwise, continuous improvement on the company's most important areas cannot be made.
- A business truism states: "What gets paid attention to, gets done." Many companies find that just posting trend charts in a department immediately improves performance because people naturally want to see that their efforts are making a positive impact.
- By assigning responsibility for keeping trends moving in the right direction, a company institutionalizes continuous improvement in those areas it considers most important.
Deploying the Plan
The most effective strategic plan could be so cell implemented that every task performed by every employee would support one or more corporate objectives. The connections would be traceable, and the employees would understand the connections.
- As our quality role models show, world-class planning processes are only half över when the plan is complete. in the second half, plans must be turned into action.
- This involves identifying the steps necessary to achieve the objectives at the corporate, division, department, workunit, team, and individual levels.
- it is not a particularly mysterious or difficult process, but it does require a deployment process for each level to trans-late corporate goals and objectives into action items, and an evaluation process wherein management can monitör performance and assist those units that are having trouble.
- At Zytec, the plan is deployed by MBP teams using a standard matrix and action plan to show the translation of corporate objectives into team objectives, measurements, and actions.
- Cadillac translates corporate and division objectives into plant objectives, then uses a few visible, broad measures to focus everyone's attention on what is critical. DCC devotes two phases of its planning process to implementation.
- One of DCC's "se-crets to successful strategic planning" is: "Strategic thinking bv the entire Dana Commercial Credit organization is essential to move everyone in the same direction."
Improving the Planning Process
- All three models can point to improvements in their planning processes because they solicit input from those involved, through either feedback sessions or surveys.
- Zytec asks for feedback after each majör step in its planning process;
- DCC has an improvement evçle built into its planning process.