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Top 7 Secrets of Creating High Performance Organizations

By Gregory Smith

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Do you want to know a secret? The reason successful businesses become successful is they pay attention to small details and improve everything they do. It is those same small details that make major differences to customer loyalty and the bottom-line.

The secret to success for the Ritz-Carlton hotels and other excellent companies is they have made process improvement and defect removal a science. The techniques and steps the Ritz-Carlton hotels use can be applied to any business or industry no matter what the size. The process Ritz-Carlton hotels use to remove defects improves everything they do and saves them millions of dollars each year. In 1994, they increased sales by $75 million using 500,000 less man-hours. They did it by eliminating defects, rework and time-consuming steps in their key processes impacting customer service.

Fixing problems and improving service doesn't happen by accident. They have created a non-stop problem identification and solution process. The process begins at a comprehensive employee orientation program. All employees receive training and must pass an orientation exam with 100% accuracy or take the course over again.

One important factor they learn about is the Internal Defect Form (IDF). Any employee noticing a deficiency or defect during the workday writes up an IDF. All forms are forwarded to the hotel Quality Office for consolidation. The Quality Office tracks them and sends them to the appropriate department for action. Department managers and Quality Coaches take action to improve, repair or replace the defect. The important thing to remember is that it is the small, seemingly insignificant defects that have a major impact on good service. Average organizations will ignore or overlook minor customer inconveniences. Excellent organizations focus on the details. Here are seven suggestions to consider when initiating a process improvement strategy for your business.

  1. Top Management's Involvement and Commitment

    This is the most important key. Without strong commitment and active involvement from top management, process improvement will become just another program, a flavor of the month...here today and gone tomorrow.

  2. Strategic Focus

    All activities, actions, teams etc. need to be working on projects related to the overall vision or mission of the organization. Major improvements come from a project by project improvement approach.

  3. Establish a Guidance Team/Steering Group

    The purpose of this group is to oversee the various process improvement teams and projects within the organization. Their main job is to prioritize projects and provide the resources including the training, support and guidance during the process. They approve the charter, timelines and the final recommendations.

  4. Identify Key Improvement Projects

    Search your business for areas needing improvement. Obviously, key efforts should focus on improving customer service to both the internal and external customers. Internal customers are the employees. External customers are the ones who actually pay for or use the members who use the service or product.

  5. Pick a Team

    Insure you have the right people represented on the team. Appoint a facilitator who is trained in process improvement techniques and a team leader. Be careful to include the process owner.

  6. Establish a Charter

    The charter is a written agreement between the steering group and the process improvement team on the who, what, where and how of the team. Agree on the purpose of the team and the goal, and then write out a mission statement.

  7. Measure, Measure, Measure

    Continued success depends on measurable results. Change is difficult unless people can see the results of their efforts. Begin measuring improvements immediately. Are your members more pleased with your service? Has morale improved? Is waste reduced? Link results to the bottom line and publicly post the results for all to see. Then start all over again.

Smith shows businesses how to build productive and profitable work environments that attract, keep and motivate their workforce. He speaks at conferences and is the president of a management consulting firm called Chart Your Course International located in Conyers, Georgia. Phone him at (770)860-9464 or send an email at greg@chartcourse.com. More information and articles are available at >www.ChartCourse.com [http://www.ChartCourse.com.].

Source: http://Top7Business.com/?expert=Gregory_Smith

Article Submitted On: January 31, 2000