Operations Payoff

Rick's Blog - your source for news and insights into Operations and Supply Chain Management.

Are Your Operations Truly Agile and Flexible?

Many Operations organizations seem to plateau after several years of implementing continuous improvement, Lean or Six Sigma. I believe that the next step is to become truly agile and flexible. But what does that mean?

Agility is the ability to think quickly and make quick and well coordinated movements. The key here is quick. I see many organizations take forever to solve problems and develop new innovations. One client I have is struggling to improve shipped on time, with many meetings, excuses and delays. Being agile would suggest that we should see initial significant results in 90 days or less. There is a Japanese term for this – Kaikaku – which means quick, revolutionary change. Agile thinking helps.

Flexibility includes the ability to bend without breaking, susceptibility to modification, and willingness to yield. Two key words there are susceptibility and willingness, because the great measure of flexibility is in your head. Organizations need to be willing to make the necessary changes to get where they want to go. So many companies struggle with change initiatives simply because they aren’t really willing to change, don’t believe they can, or are locked into the old ways of doing things.

To truly move to the next level, organizations need to be agile and flexible.

© 2011 – Rick Pay – All Rights Reserved

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