Why Service & Knowledge-Work Teams are "Pre-Lean" and Can Therefore Quickly Double Their Productivity or better!

Setting the Foundations for High Performance in Service and Knowledge-Work Organisations
15 June 2021 by
Why Service & Knowledge-Work Teams are "Pre-Lean" and Can Therefore Quickly Double  Their Productivity or better!
Expertivity Technologies , Alex McDonnell

Most Service and Knowledge-Work Organisations are Pre-Lean and by that I mean, the core skills and disciplines of Operations Management, the operations management fundamentals, are weak or absent. This weakness is at the root cause of much of why Lean doesn't sustain in service and knowledge-work organisations. Expertivity Technologies have collaborated with Technological University of Dublin to bring these core skills to teams and organisations in the Service and Knowledge-Work Sectors.

Lean itself is a relatively new management technology, having its origins  in post WWII Japan where the Toyota Motor Company leveraged the many advances in manufacturing at that time  and took it to a new level in what is now called Lean Manufacturing. The principles and thinking (Lean Thinking & Lean Management) behind Lean Manufacturing have successfully been adapted by organizations such as ourselves and applied in the service and knowledge work sectors with great success.

However, the manufacturing sectors had developed many advanced management practices and methods  long before Lean came along and it can reasonably be argued that Lean is an advanced management methodology built on the solid foundations that these core skills bring.  The modern service and knowledge work organisations that currently dominate our modern economies are a relatively new breed of organisation who have yet to develop a similar management eco infrastructure that has served the manufacturing sector so well and driven their high levels of quality and productivity. 

However much of this management eco infrastructure can be easily adapted and diffused to the modern service and knowledge-work organisations to help them solve similar problems. For example, every team in every organisation needs to manage its workload demand and its resource capacity, to understand  its demand trends and be able to plan the near future  with some reasonable degree of accuracy. When done properly, teams often find that much of the work that turns up each day has its origins in failures elsewhere in the organisation, and this failure demand often accounts for more than 50% of their workload.

Service and Knowledge Work organisations inhabit a VUCA world ( volatilite, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) and often default to becoming servants of the VUCA master, doing their best to respond as best they can when they can. But some, if not many of the contributors to the VUCA world can be harnessed and tamed. For example, we come across many clients who take free form text in the form of emails etc as the basis for a service request from either internal or external customers. Moving such requests to a more structured format can often halve the time and double the service quality of  dealing with service requests. Similarly, using these structured inputs to better direct the service requests to the most suitably skilled and available resource  can dramatically reduce the time it takes to answer service requests and provide a better overall customer experience.

This Lean Service Operations Management Programme helps Team Leaders and Mid-Level managers build these and other core skills and apply them to their team and their organization. In doing so, they will  dramatically improve their teams productivity and overall performance with teams who have recently been exposed to these skills improving their productivity by 300% in a relatively short period of time.

Contact Alex McDonnell : amcdonnell@expertivity.com for more information about this and other programmes that can help dramatically improve your service and knowledge-worker productivity.

Click here to download our brochure  

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Why Service & Knowledge-Work Teams are "Pre-Lean" and Can Therefore Quickly Double  Their Productivity or better!
Expertivity Technologies , Alex McDonnell 15 June 2021
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