Lean East has helped many organizations in the Northeastern US improve their processes using Lean principles. For companies that are struggling with their management system, we developed a simple PERFORMANCE™ Process that helps align the team on their improvement needs and take action. Here are the steps and benefits of the Lean East PERFORMANCE™ Process as well as three reasons why this process works so well.
The PERFORMANCE™ Process
The Lean East PERFORMANCE™ Process is an acronym, with each letter of the word a step in the process. You complete the steps of the process in order, with the initial goal to PERFORM.
- P is for Purpose. What is your reason for being? Your why? Your mission as an organization? Be sure to clarify, and share this before moving forward.
- E is for your Ethics, also known as your Core Values. This is all about who you are as an organization. What are the values you wish to uphold at all costs? Both your purpose and ethics will help guide you as you set your vision for the future.
- R is for Reality. This is understanding your current state as an organization, including the good, the bad, and also the ugly. Many organizations skip a thorough review of their current situation, the business, the metrics, the opportunity, etc., and then struggle to arrive at a vision. This is because leaders see the current situation differently. The Lean East team uses operational assessments, process reviews, and SWOT analysis to help the team understand its reality.
- F is for Future. Once there is agreement on the current reality of the organization you can look at the vision for the future. Where does leadership want the organization to go? Lean East facilitates visioning exercises to help the team clarify their desired future.
- O is for Ownership. Who is going to lead the actions that take the organization from its current state into the future? Begin to break the vision into actions and then determine who is going to own the work.
- R is for Resolving and Restructuring. At this point in your work, you should know where you are headed and who needs to be in which seats to achieve the vision. It is likely you will see issues in your organizational structure and gaps in your team. You may even need to develop or hire new skills. Resolve these problems and get the right people in the right seats!
- M is for Measures. Finally, how will the organization know when the vision is achieved? You need to establish clear measures of success for the end goal – and intermediate steps – so the progress is clear.
Using the PERFORMANCE™ Process to Grow Your Business
The remainder of the PERFORMANCE™ Process is focused on leadership. Your ability to create synergy and maximize the output of the entire team is often the main ingredient that determines your success.
- A is for Accountability. After establishing ownership of tasks and completing any necessary restructuring, then establish expectations and use systems that hold your team accountable to the actions that will achieve the vision. Be ready to adjust your plan – you will learn things and want to make changes!
- N is for iNfluence and iNspire. Leaders must help the team achieve the vision. This requires many leadership skills – Lean East recommends the My Leadership Journey™ training program to support this important work.
- C is for Communication. Keeping all employees informed about every step of the process is critical. Communication is one of the biggest complaints in most organizations and we help provide simple pull systems and tools that improve results.
- E is for Empowering. The final step in the process involves a key Lean principle of respect for people. The best organizations respect and also empower their employees. They achieve better results by having all levels of the organization understand the goals and know how to improve their processes to achieve better outcomes.
Effective teams spread the work around so everyone on the team is making an important contribution towards the vision. Less effective leaders try to do the bulk of the work themselves.
Three Benefits of the Lean East PERFORMANCE™ Process
The Lean East PERFORMANCE™ Process helps guide a leadership team and advance from good to great. Lean East has taken many clients through the PERFORMANCE™ Process steps over the past several years and every company we have worked with has experienced improvement and growth. Here are three key reasons why the Lean East PERFORMANCE™ Process is superior to both do-it-yourself approaches and other operating systems.
- Our PERFORMANCE™ Process focuses on understanding and addressing root-cause issues. We take the time to understand your why and your current situation. We help you focus all of your effort on understanding and improving your weak areas rather than wasting your time addressing areas where you are already strong. Other implementors often present a “one-size fits all” approach and have you use tools you don’t need.
- The Lean East PERFORMANCE™ Process ensures the entire team understands the mission and vision and then uses Lean improvement approaches to unleash the potential of each employee towards achieving the vision. Our approach helps leverage your entire team. This is one reason why you will often see that Lean East has trained all the employees in an organization – not just senior leaders. There is much more growth as well as value in improving 100 employees by 5% each rather than a few leaders by 10% each.
- The PERFORMANCE™ Process is grounded in Change Management theory and Lean process improvement principles. First, we use a proven problem-solving methodology to analyze data, understand root cause issues, and make effective changes. Then, we standardize the improved processes to sustain the results. Key performance indicators keep the team focused on actions that will result in success. Our team members have a long track record of success.
Using the Lean East PERFORMANCE™ Process
You are welcome to use this simple approach to organizational improvement yourself. However, if you are in the Eastern US, we suggest you let Lean East help you. The PERFORMANCE™ Process is proven to work in organizations with 20-200 employees, but we believe the simple steps will work for organizations of any size. Contact us to learn how we can help you benefit from this process.