On 1st of April 2007 New Future Formula saw the light of day. Over the years, we have assisted organizations create convincing and lasting productivity gains. We have had the pleasure of cooperating with early infancy start-ups as well as thriving businesses in need of new inspiration. Over the next 10 weeks, we will be sharing with you the essence of our learnings plus tips and tricks from our first decade. We hope to provide you with inspiration to continue your journey towards the top. But where are you now? “Mapping” is the theme of this week.
New Future Formula, 10 years
We have discovered the formula for continuously improving effectiveness
1. See the world...
On 1 April 2017 New Future Formula set out on its journey. Much has happened since then. New Future Formula has been dedicating the past few years to fine-tuning the many approaches to making business enterprises work in a better, faster and more intelligent manner. We call this “CBI – Continuous Business Improvement” because it embraces the entire organization and supports a variety of already on-going effectiveness-enhancing initiatives. CBI can therefore improve revitalization of on-going programmes, if this is required. Our CBI is also the ideal tool for companies looking for a simple, yet powerful structure and sturdy tools for their future effectiveness-enhancing programme. We are celebrating our 10-year anniversary by serving you, the readers of New Future Formula's newsletter, 10 easily digestible titbits.
Using the CBI formula, organizations continuously achieve three things:
- Documented bottom-line revenue improvements to the tune of 4-16 %.
- Year by year, improvements that the customers can understand and which make sense for the staff.
- Year by year, people with enhanced skills and improved systems to see and to carry through improvements.
The natural starting point of any improvement process is knowing who does what when by means of what resources leading to which outcome. In view of this, we spend considerable efforts mapping processes and products, and for this part of the process there is a host of tools and supporting IT technologies that can be used to “view things as they are”.
Below I will share some of my experiences with you and offer a few pieces of advice on how to succeed. When you view the world with a keen eye, it gives you a critical background for identification of opportunities and for reflection. Only this way can we really create the much- thought-after continuous improvements.
First, we need to acknowledge that each and every one of us are taken in by wildly different things. From our perspective, mapping of processes and products is a tool with highly different objectives. There is no such thing as true mapping. Your personal inner “geographic map” is strongly dependent on who and where you are. Do you envisage football clubs, museums, blooming parks or something entirely different?
The next challenge that might be in the way can be self-inflicted. This might concern formal IT specifications, ISO requirements, old ERP process mapping in connection with last year's SAP implementation. Add to this, inner mental inhibitions of the type that for many of us disabled the ability to draw horses or cars when we became teenagers.
However, in this context the objective of the mapping process is not to create correct or true maps but to stimulate the insight into where you can improve.
The consequences of this are decisive. Mapping on paper or handwritten boards is often the best approach because by involving yourself you enhance the creation of insights and the ownership of the opportunities you see. Truth be told, most individuals “believe” in what they personally draw today and “question” what others drew the year before. The mapping process creates healthy debates and collective insights highlighting that some things are outdated whilst others are crying out to be simplified or are downright silly. This is what is known as opportunities and potentials, which we will be looking at next week.
Often, you should actually make a conscious effort to “forget” the latest map you drew and instead start from scratch – and then afterwards compare with “the old map” to see if selected parts of that map might actually be better.
Technological support and demands from tools can encourage creativity and insight. With this in mind, you might make a conscious choice and draw the processes using an appropriate system such as iGrafx or making a Value Stream Map every 6 or 12 months. New glasses give you a new perspective and awareness of the world – and thereby enable you to identify new opportunities. But do not jump on the widely acknowledged misconception that one type of glasses will do and that the best person to gaze through the glasses is the brightest young star from HQ.
Since the objective is to map a process or a product for the purpose of creating a basis for viewing improvements, the contributors should preferably change for each stage of the process.
To summarize it briefly, all organizations must be able to answer the following questions when they work with mapping:
- Are we constantly mapping all key processes across the company from scratch, over and over again?
- Does the mapping process involve a wide and changing audience and is ownership shared extensively?
- Who is the driving force behind the mapping process? - externally motivated demands for certification and documentation? - internally motivated objectives and demands for continuous improvements?
- Does every step of the mapping process provide the participants with insight and is the process educational for them?
- Is the mapping process run by technologies, tools and centralised staff functions? Or does the organization select its own mapping technologies and tools?
You might want to address these questions at the next the meeting of your BKI steering group.
Next week’s posting will scrutinize these maps – find opportunities or “potentials” as the jargon goes.
New Future Formula is dedicated to working with CBI - Continuous Business Improvement. Together with our client:
- We design, introduce and support new CBI programmes.
- We inspire, evaluate and improve existing CBI programmes.
The CBI formula is our framework. To begin with we look at purpose, objectives and direction. Through continuous process improvements, employee development and system optimization we create a steady flow of results. This allows us to spread out the continuous effectiveness efforts to all corners of the company and its life.
Since 2007, New Future Formula has completed more than 8,300 improvement projects for more than 80 organizations with a documented effect on the bottom line in excess of EUR 140 million. In the process, more than 500 people have received training.