Author: Shiv Sivaguru

What are typical benefits of a Business Excellence Program?

A common question that many organizations have is related to the business benefits in terms of top-line, bottom-line or risk management and mitigation. Would an initiative on a path of Business Excellence be helpful? A study conducted by the National University of Singapore in 2009 found that, over a four-year period, the productivity of leading business excellence organizations that have won the Singapore Quality Award (SQA), as measured by value-add per employee, was 35% higher than their industry counterparts. The positive impact on productivity was also established in an earlier 2008 study which found that the annual increase in value- add per employee of SQA winners was 33% higher than their industry counterparts. Some excerpts from the report: Other case studies and experiences shared by many award and prize winning organizations have highlighted the increase in cross-functional conversations within an organization as well as with the stakeholders such as suppliers, partners etc. have reduced many operational wastages and also helped accelerate innovative solutions for improvements and product breakthroughs. The key to success of a Business Excellence program is a clear articulation of the commitment from the senior leadership team and they walking the talk and being role models.   Reference: www.spring.gov.sg Picture courtesy  Fré Sonneveld from...

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What should be the scope of a Business Excellence initiative?

This is a question that I get asked frequently. In my close to 20 years of association with some national Business Excellence Award programs, I would stress on just two aspects. To ensure that the growth of any organization is balanced and that results are caused by intention – and hence sustainable. With these two objectives, other sub-objectives may be identified which would include systematic planning, reviews and refinements and an obsessive connect with all stakeholders. While there is an opportunity to be acknowledged as an excellent organization by a neutral external agency [at a national level], most organizations that have embarked on a journey of business excellence have done so to strengthen their internal systems and enabling the growth of a cohesive organization. Through alignment of objectives by effectively cascading them from the senior leadership and create shared goals to integrate the functions of various departments, organizations have been able to improve their performance as seen and experienced by all stakeholders. Some commonly seen, specific, improvements include: Risk management and governance – while a common practice is to get an external assessment / audit of risks, having a cohesive governance approach will let an organization identify risks early and implement corrective actions to mitigate critical risks Supply chain improvement – Business Excellence approaches force an organization to think of the key process and value chains on a continual...

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The role of a transition manager

Many Managed Services Programs discover surprises during the steady state delivery relating to unmet expectations from customers. The root cause of many of these can be traced to inadequate attention paid to the transitioning. While there are multiple experts contributing to the pre-sales and proposal stages, the due diligence conducted may not have gone into the details of many aspects related to the service delivery to follow. In the recent years, the role of a transition manager has been evolving to address these aspects with specialized focus. A transition manager is typically trained and exposed to many unique aspects that are very critical in the transition phase of an engagement. these may include: – translating the MSA KPIs into operational parameters and set up the overall engagement governance – conducting a detailed due diligence on the scope of work and specific areas to be transitioned – working out the interfaces, protocols for dependencies on other service providers – handling HR issues of rebadged employees as well as ones that would be made redundant [TUPE laws and related union regulations etc. could be significant] – getting the complete technical landscape mapped [at application, portfolio and environment levels] – assessing application structural qualities – to understand the risks associated – inferring  the stability and other aspects from run books – ensuring that playback sessions are conducted to confirm understanding and ability...

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Letting go: For new Project Managers

    It is always hard to let go. We get so attached to something that has become familiar or something that we feel is our own creation. In taking up a role of a Project Manager, there are many things that we need to let go – which were possibly our strengths as individual contributors or first level [technical] leaders. Having been good at whatever we did, we rose to accept new and greater responsibilities. With the objective of delivering or creating something much larger than what we could do as individuals. But deep inside, we continue to enjoy doings things that we were good at.. But, that does not do justice to the new expectations from us. As parents, we tend to be very protective of our children. Yes, we have a responsibility towards them, but not at the cost of stifling them. Let us treat our team members as colleagues and give them room to grow. In this series of posts, I intend sharing some of my own experiences with letting go. Sometimes, when I could, and many times, when I could not. Sometimes when the approaches worked and sometimes, when it did not. In the picture you see the way a cat carries her kitten. It might appear hard to bite the neck of a young one, but that is surely not hurting. In this case,...

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