Breaking Silos: Enhance Speed and Value Delivery
How do we diagnose organizational silos? And how do we slice the large size business teams who are serving many customers or products with poor efficiency?
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How do you diagnose organizational silos? And how do you slice the large size business teams who are serving many customers or products with poor efficiency and many client complaints? These are the question as a coach we are consistently hearing. How can we support the client to optimally fit the size to assure delivery speed can be accomplished?
As Business and Information Technology (IT) collaborators for large enterprises, what thoughts appear in our minds? Too many layers? Large size? Slow decision-making? Multiple locations?
Sometimes we notice that Business is blaming IT or that they are not getting benefit from IT. Business is awfully busy; they do not have time to engage in the solution building process.
IT claims that they are already Agile and blames the business is not appreciating their delivery speed. At the end of the day, the users are the victims. There are silos due for many reasons. The end users are not getting faster solutions so they looking for other vendors who are quick in providing solutions in the swiftly transforming world.
What Can We Do About It?
Shared ownership? How do we form that? Let us look into the current Value stream Map and discover what can we do about it.
The purpose of these maps is to create a 'wakel' to get employees to question current practice, to identify what needs to change, and also to indicate which tools and techniques are likely to be required.
Maps help to define the value streams of the firm and the activities that support the primary principle of understanding customer value.
Let us identify our key value streams within our business. It should be a sequence of activities intended to produce a consistent set of deliverables to produce customer value and customer is willing to pay for those.
How do we identify the Value stream (flow-level kaizen)? We identify the product line with the various process steps or various services. With a clear picture of how the entire process is currently operating, we can then identify value steps. Then we need to discover how we can maximize execution speed by discarding non-value-added steps.
Understand the Real Constraints:
- Highest Product/Service volume in units
- Products/Services with the highest errors or defect rates
- Products/Service with the highest customer related issues
- Taking more time to deliver solutions
- Delay, waiting time, downtime, etc
- Underutilize resources
Some of the questions we may have to look at (to identify the waste in the system) are:
Value-Stream-Mapping makes it visible that the biggest problems aren't individual people, but the system they work in. Everyone focuses on how to improve the system.
How can we optimize the release by addressing all these challenges currently the organization is facing? Create a Value Backlog. A Value Backlog will have Theme, Epic and Dependencies, and timeline.
New Team structure. New release process. New Governance. The most important process that must be designed is how the senior managers can lead change by becoming 'change champions'.
The position of power of the senior manager means that they can unblock problems and promote change throughout the business. We may stop treating Business, IT, and support as a separate entity. They are all one and working for a common goal. We all need to find a way to solve this challenge.
Let us focus on the VSM exercise.
The purpose of a value stream map is to develop a common understanding and identify activities that don't add value to the end product. By eliminating these activities, you will gain a faster throughput, higher level of quality, and decreased inventory.
To achieve this, we may remove some of the organization layers, make it lean. We may remove local optimization and politics by allowing end-to-end ownership. You build, you own and you maintain, you face the aftereffect.
The recommended solution could be, we crush the silos and optimize the flow.
How do we start the journey for the organizational restructuring process to Descale Organizational complexity?
First, let us look into the VSM! What is this VSM? It is a top-down initiative. I have facilitated several workshops to create AS Is VSM and created To Be VSM.
Some of the essential points we need to take care of before we go for VSM workshops are highlighted below. There are several books available on VSM, but I have noted few points which helped me.
A value stream is the process flow from the " point of requested need" to " closure of all activity " after the product or service has been provided.
Value Stream Mapping (VSM), as a process mapping tool, is a way to " see " both the process flow and communication within the process or value stream.
Value Stream Maps are drawn as pictures of the process. Simple, yet logical and powerful representations of the process (i.e., the value stream) are used to document both the current state (i.e., reality) and the future state (i.e., the goal)
The Current State Map is the baseline view of the existing process from which all improvements are measured.
The Future State Map represents the vision of how the project team identifies the value stream at a point in the future after improvements have been performed.
- Process or production flow
- Communication or information flow
- Timelines and travel distances
A Value Stream Map is divided into three sections.
We always began creating process maps of the current state as a way to demonstrate what the project team was facing and perhaps even as a way to create a starting point.
Being competent to logically capture the starting and endpoint of the value stream greatly simplifies VSM work.
Identify a target area or a process that needs improvement. Assemble your mapping team. As a team, conduct the 30-mins. exercise identifying the basic steps in the value stream.
Some of the questions we may ask are:
- Where is the most pain for the customer?
- Where is the most pain for your employees?
- What is most visible to the workforce?
- Where is the perceived largest return on investment (ROI) for the organization?
Identify who the customer and who is the supplier (if any) is in the value stream. Do not allow this to use more than 5 minutes of your time. The purpose is to get everyone on the team and those working within and managing the process on the same page and focused on the customer. It may be necessary to remind the participants that the customer may be internal or external to the organization.
Explain to all participants that they now have 30 minutes to list all basic steps in the value stream, from the supplier point to the customer point. Explain that there is to be no discussion associated with this listing of tasks or steps.
As the team verbalizes the steps, write them down on the list between the supplier and customer. It does not matter if they are in the correct order or, at least, not at this point. Do not allow the team to stray from the exercise by trying to discuss how a particular step works in detail, or whether or not it is actually a part of the value stream.
Value Stream Mapping requires a strong set of observational skills. When we are mapping, we must be able to observe what is going on within a process and document it as it occurs.
What is most important is being able to explain to employees all of the following:
- What they do
- How they do it
- How they interact with the employees on each side of them in the process
- How the entire process flows
Before going out into the process to map, the mapping team should sit down and work through a series of questions designed to open our eyes to the value stream so that we can observe the process clearly, with an open mind.
To map the current state using VSM, we must walk the process. We must observe and document how the process is actually functioning at the time we are walking through the value stream. Documenting what we see and how it operates in the real world is extremely powerful.
The power of VSM lies in the detail. We can map a value stream at several levels of detail:
- We can map at an incredibly high level with little detail.
- We can drill down to provide as much detail as required to satisfy the reasons for creating the map.
- We can provide detail at a very finite level, breaking a process step down into a map of its own
A primary goal of any value stream Current State Map should be to capture how a process or value stream actually operates: in practice, not theory. Another equally important goal of a Value Stream Map is that it be drawn in such a way as to be understood by anyone. Because a Current State Map is a snapshot in time, the viewer should be able to look at the map, and within a relatively short time frame with minimal explanation, understand the value stream.
- Capturing the Main Flow
- Key Items in the Main Flow (Start, stop, etc)
- Understand and document whether the material/work items are being pushed or pulled through the process *
- Calculate Takt time (as the rate or time that a completed product must be finished to meet customer demand)
- Capturing Cycle Time (The average elapsed time from the moment one valuable piece is completed until the moment the next appropriate piece is completed)
A proposed solution could be, we break the silos and optimize the flow. Some of the changes that we are recommending for the organization in this structure are
- Deeply interconnected self-driven and self-managed team and organization
- Less number Boss (flat structure), Self-Organized, autonomous team
- The span of control reduced and the span of support increased. Distributed power
- Sharing and caring Ecosystem.
- A true sense of ownership
- Decentralized decision making
- Support healthy and product collaboration. Fear of failure has been eliminated.
- Best solutions emerge from collective intelligence.
- Many Community to support the system
- We will achieve faster time to market with outstanding customer satisfaction
Published at DZone with permission of CHANDAN LAL PATARY. See the original article here.
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