XONITEK Event Makes the Case for Leveraging Operational Excellence to Optimize Business Performance in the Economic Recovery

25th May, 2010, London, UK: On May 18 in London, UK, a group of Process Excellence practitioners and consultants convened at the event, Operational Excellence in the EU — "A Frictionless World," the first part of a series of events hosted by XONITEK. The purpose of the event was to bring forth varying opinions on how Operational Excellence can provide value to stakeholders by optimizing business processes, and how it can be fully embedded within company culture and sustained over time.

The day kicked off with the President of XONITEK, Joseph F. Paris, opening up the event and introducing Gary Downs, Lean Deployment Manager for Shell Exploration, Europe. Downs discussed the challenges of instilling a continuous improvement mindset within an organization and provided case studies that reflected on how Shell has managed to gain buy-in for Lean. The second speaker, James Marsh, Senior Researcher at Sheffield Hallan University, shed light on another pertinent issue for the Process Excellence community: the challenge of sustaining Lean Six Sigma programs. Marsh opened his session by providing key statistics from other studies that have indicated that 76 percent of Lean projects and 77 percent of Six Sigma projects end in failure. He then revealed the preliminary results of his own research, which is seeking to understand why most Lean Six Sigma initiatives fail and to determine the solutions to these failures. Some of Marsh’s findings pointed to organizations’ lack of using adequate root cause analysis, manual use of graphs and charts, and improper use of many existing process improvement methods as attributes to these program failures, but lack of management buy-in remained the top critical issue for program sustainability.

Ben Taylor, Director of RedQuadrant, followed Marsh’s session by focusing on how to integrate competing management approaches — Lean and Systems Thinking — within the U.K.public sector. Using a study to emphasize his point, Taylor talked about the perils of not identifying an appropriate process improvement model, which he said can lead to ineffective change actions within any organization. Closing the event, Andy Spooner, Business Development Director for Suiko, discussed how companies can effectively leverage Operational Excellence to help recover from the recession and provided interactive ways for audience members to rethink how they make the case for using Operational Excellence within their own organizations.

This week XONITEK will be holding the third and the fourth part of the event series on Tuesday, May 25 in Warsaw, Poland and Thursday, May 27 in Frankfurt, Germany; the second part of the event series was held last Thursday, May 20 at The Hague.

For more information on XONITEK, go to http://www.xonitek.com/docs/XSCMain.asp.