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The articles below explain how to overcome common barriers to improvement and the highlight how industry leaders sustain the gains when others are not able to.

This is based on our work with well-known and award winning organisations.  There is much to learn from them.  If there are any topics you would like is to add, please get in touch.

Getting to Net Zero: Putting The Basics in Place

One of the commitments made by the UK at COP26 is that UK firms must outline how they will meet the net zero goal by 2050.  Not surprising as this goal has been written into law so government were always bound to take steps to encourage industry to engage with this theme.

The 2050 net zero goal is a forecast (with is a 50% probability) of what it will take to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.  The science indicates that this is necessary to mitigate the most severe long-term economic consequences of climate change.  

  So what are the options?

Adapting to the Changing Management Landscape

Despite the fact that online meetings have been around since the 1980's it took the lockdown to make this a part of business as usual.   Of course, this adoption would not have been possible without the wider availability of decent broadband and personal computing.  The opportunities provided by the convergence of technology trends is obvious with hind sight but at the time, as in previous industrial revolutions, recognising and applying that potential is more like a voyage of discovery.

A lesson to learn from this is that as technology advances, organisations will need to lean how to adapt.

This is not a straight forward journey, for example, an industry leading organisation committed to exploring the potential of Industry 4.0 gains failed on more than one occasion to deliver the gains from advanced technology. 

They finally succeeded when they recognised that:

The Project Managers Secret Sauce: Improvement Leader Network

Research shows that Initiatives in which employees contribute to development are more than 3 times as successful as those driven top down.  Formally or informally, the backbone of these more successful improvement projects is a network of improvement leaders who work together to overcome the challenges faced by those less successful organisations.

In addition to those in formal leadership roles such as Senior/functional managers, First Line Managers/Team Leaders, the improvement leaders network includes planners, trainers, support functions and front line opinion shapers.

Manufacturing Project Management Roles

Classic project management methods sidestep the need to collate internal knowledge, facilitate decision making, coordinate the part time involvement of internal resources and engage people with changing ways of working. In the real world, the project manager needs to become a team leader, facilitator and internal consultant. 

Nowhere is that more important than the emerging approach to digitisation projects involves steps to

Making Standard Work, Work

Have you ever wondered why you find some things easy to learn whilst others are more difficult.
The answer lies in the behavioural "wiring up" behind your learning process.  

Where things are easy to learn your mind picks up on something you already know or are good at and builds on that. Known as Instinctive learning, this is also much easier to recall when you need to.

 

What Manufacturers Can Learn from Deliveroo

When considering an investment in advanced technology it is easy to fall prey to the siren call of individual gadgets or systems platforms but too much emphasis on the technology is a common characteristic of those who fail to deliver a return on their investment. 

So where do the real gains come from?

Improving Manufacturing Project Delivery

Every business needs to develop the capability to deliver projects well to respond to changes in market conditions and advances in technology.

As almost all new ideas require testing to confirm proof of concept or to refine changes in work routines, project delivery is at the heart of any improvement process.

Unfortunately, studies show that only 1/3 of organisations achieve their planned level of return on investment so most managers and engineers have had experience of when things go wrong. The outcome is troublesome new assets that need significant attention during routine operation. Perhaps even of assets that take months before they can be used productively.

Research into the causes of project failures indicate a number of common oversights during the early project steps.

Finding Answers That Matter

When your organisation is trapped in a cycle of fix and failure it can be difficult to break out of it.  Even though the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, when you are in the muck and bullets it is not easy to be objective about what to do next.

In our experience, the answer is as much to do with mindset as it is with tools and techniques.   In particular, it is important to avoid a mindset that focusses on the top few issues of the day.  Even though that may seem counter intuitive the search for "answers that matter" must consider how to deal with the most common causes of repetitive downtime.  Research shows that: 

DAK Academy Website Resource Guide

Below are some notes to help you find your way around the DAK Academy website resource content. The headings are linked to more detailed resources which provide further links to videos, articles and downloads.

If you would like more information about any of the items shown, use the contact form or to book on a course use the course booking form

Spot The Problem: A Skill For Leaders To Learn

In my youth in Liverpool I remember a football edition of the Liverpool Echo (known as the football pink) which had a competition called spot the ball. The winner of the competition was the one who guessed where the ball was.