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Business901

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems

Continuously improving thru PDCA Guest was Dean Ziegler of Systems2win

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Continuously improving thru PDCA

Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


Business901

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Since 2003, Systems2win's long list of delighted customers have continued to trust Systems2win to provide a standardized set of easy-to-use Excel templates for business process improvement with surprisingly inexpensive self-paced online training and eye-popping flexibility to personalize your templates to fit your needs to dramatically improve the speed, quality, and cost of any process. Their mission is in their tagline: to continuously improve (your) tools for continuous improvement. Dean Ziegler is the Owner of Systems2win. Systems2win templates were originally developed during 14 years of manufacturing systems consulting by the founder of Systems2win, Dean Ziegler, CPIM. In the years 1989 to 2003, Dean enjoyed a very successful consulting practice as a truly independent and unbiased software selection consultant - helping over 100 clients select & implements enterprise software. His clients chose him because he promised to "sit on your side of the negotiating table; and consider only your best interests" - and he delivered on every promise - not selling or supporting any one software solution, and not promoting only one way of doing things for process improvement. As a testament to just how truly unbiased Dean Ziegler was, his 100+ ERP software selection clients chose and implemented over 80 different software packages! In 2003, some of Dean's clients began pointing out that "no one has templates like you've developed for us. You should sell your templates - even without the consulting services." As is his habit, Dean listened to his clients' wisdom... and the rest is history. Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe Dager: Welcome everyone. This is Joe Dager, the host of the Business901 podcast. With me today is Dean Ziegler of the Systems2win Company. His mission is his tagline to continuously improve tools for continuous improvement. And that's really what we're here to talk about today is exactly how he does that. Welcome, Dean. I would like for you to start out here, how did you start designing Excel templates? Dean Ziegler: Well, Joe, I was actually an independent consultant for umpteen years helping people to select and implement ERP software, which is a different way of getting into lean. I used to preach what I used to call the U.S.A. principal. People would hire me to automate. We actually chose over 80 different ERP software packages for my hundred-plus clients. A lot of people don't know that there are 80. So they hired me to automate and our first step was to understand what they were doing, but my big emphasis was their biggest gain out of this whole project, was to simplify your processes. You don't want to just pave your winding cow paths, you want to straighten those cow paths out into freeways and then you pave that. That's how I got into lean. Joe: So you started out with designing your own templates to assist in this. Dean: Yes. Not all the templates, but many of the templates were started for my clients. We would apply the appropriate process simplification methodologies for whatever it was that was their primary focus. I made it able to implement our finite scheduling software. By the time that we got done with it they realized that, "Gee everything was visual. We don't even need a computer to schedule it" Sometimes it would be that radical.

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: How did you start applying these to lean? How did these templates become Lean and the Six Sigma packages that you offer? Dean: At some point, my clients brought it to my attention. They said, "You know what, nobody's got these tools that you have developed. Why don't you do that without the consulting?" I actually listened to my clients. That was back in 2002, 2003, so rest is history. Joe: I may jump ahead a little bit but I was always impressed with your company for the fact that there is always something being developed. Your tag line is really the essence of your company. Did that tag line just evolve? How did you get there? Dean: The tag line being "Continuously improving tools for continuous improvement". It just kind of evolved. I went through two or three tag lines before we settled on that one, but it really does tell the story. That's what we do. Joe: It does. Why did you pick Lean to tell the story of the templates? Why did you follow the lean path? Dean: Frankly, the Six Sigma is not my strength. I am not a Black Belt, to start out with. Frankly, what we noticed is that people get wrapped around the axle, a lot of smaller companies especially. Statistics is something that you should grow into once you've got a foundational base. If you don't even have a FMEA, you don't even have your failure modes identified as what could possibly go wrong and how bad would that be and what might cause that to go wrong. You haven't even gotten there yet. What do you do with all these statistics? You need to get your foundations. You haven't even done root cause analysis Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems yet, you haven't done the fish bone yet. So, all of those statistics should be something that gets added later. Our whole focus is on the foundational tools and methods that everybody needs rather than the ones who are already pretty sophisticated. Joe: I have to ask you a question here; it's kind of a loaded question. Do you use your own tools? Dean: That is a loaded question. We have over 150 templates for lean, Kaizen, Six Sigma, and Ocean Planning. That's an excellent question because that's the exact same question that every one of our customers has to ask in their own organization. Which tools are appropriate for your challenges and for your business? Nobody, including me, and I created this thing, nobody uses all 150 tools, especially with a small organization like ours. We're in kind of a unique situation, Joe, in that we are a small organization that serves large organizations. So, we use tools and methods that are appropriate to a PDCA cycle for our type of software development business in a smaller organization that doesn't have layers upon layers. Let's say for instance in a PDCA cycle for... our customers are mostly larger organizations that need more sophisticated methods and tools to accomplish similar results that are beyond what are appropriate for us. So, we're kind of in a unique situation to help others to understand that paradox or that question that's always there. Which of the tools and methods are most appropriate for what you are trying to accomplish? We have to look at our own and we have to look at our customers and that puts us in that unique situation that I think is a good theme for this podcast is "how do you choose". How do you choose the right tools for your PDCA needs? Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: That's interesting because there's so many of them, I think first one, for your first look at them and even when I go to your first website and I'm a tool gadget guy, so I like them all, OK, but how do I pick out the ones I want to master first? That's a tough decision. Dean: Sure as like most things in life, the answer usually comes more from pain than from desire. The truth is that what you're customers are screaming about are what is going to be a top priority. If they're not screaming about anything at the moment you have the luxury of saying "Well, how could we delight them�? I don't want to pretend that we're perfect. We, ourselves, have fallen to similar situations. It’s like, "Oh my gosh." It's kind of like, my parents used to own a cider mill. It would be like delivering apple cider and all of the sudden you realize that people got sick from drinking your cider. It's a consequence that we didn't even anticipate. All of the sudden the FMEA became unbelievably important and that's how I think FMEA's get started in almost any organization. It's like, you weren't really thinking about the possible consequences, then all of the sudden it became your top priority because it became really important. Similar to any tool or any problem that your customer's currently screaming about is going to be your top priority then you start getting in to delighting them which is where we spend most of our time these days. Joe: That's interesting that you have to actually see the pain before maybe you actually start in a cycle. I think so many of us do that but we all think that we're better than that, don't we. Dean: I think we all think we should be and that's probably true. Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: Could you explain what a PDCA cycle means to a small company like yours or how is it used in a company like yours? Dean: Sure. Well, you start with a plan and in a smaller organization like us I use our todo list. It's a hyper template for a to do list with all the drop downs and excel filtering capability. It's got some fancy conditional formatting with color coding and stuff like that. But it's a to-do list. It's about as simple as a tool as you need. With a small organization like mine I can literally wake up in the morning and just go, I know catching problems, I can literally say, "Gosh, where do I start to delight our customers." You can just look through the to-do list and say, "Huh, we are going to do that." It can be a lot more informal. Let's say, a larger organization might very much justify something like a quality functional deployment matrix, also known as a house of quality. The bottom line of putting together a large team of functional expertise's, that's the word, is to come up with an answer to the question "What do our customers care about and how can we best meet those needs". And you go through a very sophisticated process; it might take months, which might have literally thousands of man hours to go through it in a more sophisticated organization. Somewhere in between might be something like a cause and effect matrix, answers the same question using a much more simple chart, what do our customer care about most. You're able to get to the answer more quickly but still with a formalized, structured group decision making process. Joe: So when you look at that planning stage, you're looking really at things that have come on to your plate, that you're kind of putting over here and seeing how valuable they Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems are to your customers and your prioritizing them as you are getting feedback from your customers? Dean: Sure, Sure. The feedback of course is in the "C," the check, also "S," you know PDSA study, analyzing, that you are taking this feedback saying, "Where are our customer listening posts?" So, in the voice of the customer, in the Six Sigma world, they have a concept known as our customer listening posts. So how do we listen to our customers? And with any organization, some of the popular ways of hearing what your customer is saying is through sales and more importantly through repeat sales, in our case annual maintenance renewals, same as like, testimonials. If you go to our site you'll see a whole lot of testimonials. You get feedback when you go out, to trade shows and what-not, and communicate and correspond. So everyone has those types of feedback mechanisms and then some organizations will take it further and they'll actually find it worthwhile to establish, may be their own Internet forum, for their product, maybe to have a formal study where all of a sudden operational definitions become important. You know, that Jack is asking the same questions the same as Joe that they are interpreting the results the same so that you have valid comparable results. It starts getting more complex and important to cross your t's and dot your I's as you get larger. We are small enough that we can use our technical support in the software industry is a great customer listening post. What are people asking questions about, what are they getting frustrated about, and what could we do, that would help them to get over that. Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: One of the things that I have to ask you is, I am sitting here to think about, there is an endless list of tools out there, aren't there? Dean: There's quite a lot. I will say this; we have several more, like a hundred more, on our development possibilities list. So, our philosophy has been is to get the tougher ones. Things like the standard work combination sheet that automatically draws, the "work-walk-wait machine time." That was one of our first, templates in the first few years. It was a real piece of work to put together. The value stream map that doesn't just draw but has all of the math pre-programmed. When I say all the math, I am not just talking about addition and subtraction and things like that, but things that VISIO can't dream of doing. Like calculating every part every interval, or the total capacity with what if scenarios. So, "What if sales actually met their objectives? How many of these suckers could we make?" Things like that. We did early on and frankly where we are now is, we are kind of flushing out the simpler things. We just did a major upgrade to the "Hoshin Planning X-Matrix" and one of the new templates that are going to be coming up is the Hoshin Boolean Chart. Well, the boolean chart is a pretty doggone easy template, but it's, still even the easiest template you might spend a full day, creating on your own and you are probably will not create a professional type page with pop-up help and online training and training videos and professionally developed programming type of a thing, even a simple template. But, that's kind of what we are, mostly tough ones have been done and we are looking more at flushing it out with the easier ones now. Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: I am amazed at your value stream mapping and your standard work templates, I mean, they're a work of art. They really are. I go back to the fact that, I learned so much about Excel, that I never knew that I didn't know when I got involved with your templates. Dean: That was one of our big templates last year was a "Self-Paced Learning Tool." So, again we spoke to our listening post, we were hearing some frustration from people who were saying, "Guys it's great what you can do with Excel, but you know, my people don't know that." So what we did was we created a self-paced learning tool, so that supervisor's kit is able to hand out this Excel template that's basically a quiz, and it has the questions and drop down answers and then you have links to the training videos and training pages that have the answers, but when the person gets the answer right it turns green and then when they bring that back to their supervisor and all the answers are green. With one glance, the supervisor can have some confidence that this person has learned what they need to know, so they're probably not going to get stuck, when they use any of these 150 templates. Joe: I think that's where a lot of learning is going right now, is that you build slack time into someone's work things, that they can continuously improve themselves, improve on templates that they're using. And then when the actual work is to take place or that face to face meeting takes place, that's when you can really answer questions. Dean: Yes and use the TWI, Training within Industry, methodology of causing the learner to prove to the trainer that they really got it. That you didn't just go through the motions and think you trained them and then who knows. But using the TWI methodologies, you're able to have some confidence that this person... the baton has been passed. They've got it. Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems They're able to take the next leg of the relay and you've got confidence that they've really proved that they learned it. Joe: But really what brought that development and brought that forward was people talking to you about that. Was it not? Dean: Yes, our customers asked for TWI. And our customers asked for the job instructions, another one of the templates that we use for having a picture and a description. They have a very clearly defined training. So for a new hire or vacation replacement, it's a whole other level of detail. A standard or combination sheet will have one liners, just to load the machine. Well, I'm filling in for Jack who is on vacation. How? How do I load a machine? So that's another level of detail. So the job instructions involves that one of our clients chartered us. They were already creating their own using Microsoft Word and you'd never know the difference if you looked at the end results in the PDF format. It looks identical. You've got the pictures. It's a gorgeous document. But they go through such pain when they would try to create. You know, step one, step two, step three, so it was like a child's shuffle game to try to put in another step. What we did is we create it so it's a push of the button, so it automatically reshuffles this and makes it look gorgeous. So we listen to our customers and they bring it to us and say, so this is what we're spending a whole lot of non-value added time doing. Can you make this easier? Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: How does a small company build a culture of PDCA? I mean is it just that individual saying, I'm continuously improving? How do you balance it? Dean: Well, I think you've probably heard this before. The top, the leadership at the top, is absolutely everything. I tell people when they come to a demo or what not. It's not uncommon for us though because we have weekly webinars every Wednesday. We have someone show up who's a frustrated employee. They can't get their boss to come. They really want to do the best thing. They're thinking about buying the tools themselves because the company won't pay for it. That happens more often than I like to see. That kind of a culture, I tell the person straight up, "Save your money. The best that you're going to do is have a small pocket of excellence", maybe you, which isn't such a bad thing. Sometimes they'll do that and they'll move on to another company. But you can only have tiny pockets of excellence if you do not have leadership. So the answer to your question, as far as culture, is first and foremost, leadership. But the tougher question comes in, OK. We've got the leader. This is a much more difficult attendee at our webinar. It's someone who is a vice president, who is a senior level person and has the political juice to make it happen. But they don't know they're not sure how to do it. And frankly, that's where we're a Sensei, a consultant who has been there before. Ideally, better than a consultant, is to hire an in house expert who has been there, done that. And if they're going to charge you 200 bucks an hour to do it but they're going to develop full-time and you really got a great in house leader. That's the missing ingredient for others. Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Our philosophy is our training is the cliff notes from the books. But somebody ... and that's really nice because if you've read the books it's great to have the cliff notes, searchable with keyword search and instantly available. You left the book at home. That's really nice. But somebody has to have read the book to really understand the full version. Some of the other team members can get by with just the cliff notes, as long as there's somebody leading it who really does get it and not just the quick notes. Joe: So what you're saying is that for a PDCA cycle and for that lean culture to be developed, you really need Sensei or someone there that's been there. Dean: Yes, you need somebody in your group, ideally in your group. Not just advising your group but somebody in your group, who has some level of expertise and hopefully a higher level of expertise, but at least some. You need that leader with the political juice to back him up because you're going to have ... and it doesn't have to be the same person because you're going to have those situations where that person needs to burn the bridges because they're going to want to jump in the boats and go home, and you've got to burn those boats and say, "No, this is what we're doing. Now go do it," and we're going to do it. It's ironic because it really evolves into a very bottom up continuous improvement methodology but it always starts as a very dictatorial top down, you know what, you're doing it. Joe: Is that good?

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Dean: It's the way it is. If you don't recognize that that's the way it is and then you think all your people are just going to jump in and start bubbling up ideas spontaneously without your guidance and without your leadership, you're dreaming and it's going to be a failed implementation. Joe: I think a lot of people that haven't experienced let's say a lean transformation thinks that everyone out there is just going to start continuously improving, and that isn't that way at all. Dean: No, the biggest reason for failure is middle managers. They don't know what they're supposed to do, and what they're sure of is that what they used to do isn't working so well. Joe: Well, that's one of my big arguments, is these poor middle managers? We've got this bottom up support and we've got all these things that empower the operators, then we've got leadership sitting there telling them we're going to become lean culture. But Oh yeah, middle managers, you need to drive this but you still need to keep quality, and you still need to meet delivery dates, and you still need to get it out the door. The poor middle manager looks like‌ Dean: Exactly, and senior management is still rewarding them for being firefighters. Instead of putting on their proactive, "Let's learn from this and make sure this never happens again hat", its like, "No, you took care of the fire, you're good. Here's your bonus." That is part of top leadership but what top leadership needs is to provide the structure and organization and tools for middle managers to say here's the answer to your question when they say, "What am I supposed to do? Everybody else is going lean but I Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems feel kind of left out here. Frankly, I'm supposed to be leading this parade and I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to do." That's just for a leader standard work, is the centerpiece. That leader standard work is one of the tools we just introduced last year, and the reason that we introduced it so late is because it's so flexible. The key is not near so much the tool, even though it's nice to kind of have the tool, online training, but it's basically a checklist that you're saying what are you doing as a manager on a daily or on a cyclical basis, doesn't have to be daily. What are you doing daily, what are you doing weekly, what are you doing every Tuesday afternoon, that type of thing. When you've got a cycle and the lower you are on the totem pole of management, the higher your percent of work that is a standardized work. So your lowest level supervisors, line supervisors, might be 80 percent of their day is following their checklist. And even your top senior executives should have at a least five percent of their time that they do standard work, and they carry it with them and they've got their clipboard or their iPad and they're able to show and demonstrate that they believe in it because they are doing it. These are the weekly meetings that I have with my people. These are the weekly gamble walks that I do every week, and I do it, and I expect you to do it because standard work is important here. Then the leaders start to get it. Now you've given them something they can grasp onto instead of just a philosophical platitude, be lean. "OK, how do I do that?" They're able to do it in a very systematized, rhythmic, measurable, rewardable way. Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: I've heard you talk before and one of the things you're a big proponent of is successful lean companies are the ones who've mastered standard work. I'm not sure that's an exact quote but its close, isn't it? Dean: Yes, we never got to the A of PDCA, act. Joe: That's the ultimate goal of PDCA is saying we realized we closed that gap. Here's our new standard work. Dean: Exactly. Joe: It doesn't mean we stopped improving on it but we come up with a new standard work platform. Dean: And that becomes your new starting point. So standard work is absolutely, yes, you heard me say it before and I'll say it again. There's only one tool and method that you take away from lean, it's got to be standard work. If you don't have standard work, everything else is a complete waste of time. Standard work is how you ratchet your gains. If you do not ratchet your gains, you're going to deal with backsliding all the time. So, standard work is the way that you ensure that you've got the night shift doing it the same as the day shift. That plant A is doing it the same as plant B, that Jack is doing it the same as Jill. Then if you don't have that, then whatever great grandiose plans you introduce from your most recent Kaizen event or A3 project, is a complete waste of time, because everyone is going to nod their head and go, "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah." Then when you come back and do a Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems standard work audit, if you can do a standard work audit, you are going to just realize that everybody is back slid and doing it their own way anyway, so what was the point? Joe: One of the other things that you brought up, I think is really interesting, is that you have that standard work, that platform, but you also have that meeting where you are going to go through what's been accomplished and stuff at the end of the shift, at the end of the week with your team. Dean: Team accountability. You betcha! That team accountability board is where you are going to publish your 5S results, both on a trend basis, how are we doing since the last few times that we on a snapshot basis, you've got your 5S checklist again, similar to the leader standard work checklist, now this is for a line person. So you've got that team accountability board, has your summaries, your results matrix which is another one of our templates. This is what we are working on, these are the most important measurable objectives we are trying to accomplish with our team and here are the latest results. So that goes on your team accountability board, your heijunka, load leveling, success monitoring. We don't try to replace your heijunka board for scheduling. You could be using MRP, you could be using heijunka, and you could be using a pitch mode leveling system. It doesn't matter what system you are using, we have tools that will monitor the success, and how you deal with that. How low is your stuff floating? How much is it bunching up? And that goes on your team accountability board in a systematized, measurable, rewardable way. Joe: Now, when you are looking at PDCA, does it all run together in your company as a small company or do you see a defined separation between the different stages. Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Dean: Well, I think it's one of those; one of those things. I am also a clinical hypnotherapist, I don't know if you knew that. But, one of the things that they teach in that world is that you have phases of development where you are unconsciously incompetent. That's where you start off. Once you realize that you become consciously incompetent when you go "Man! I got to change." Then you begin to master your skills and you become consciously competent, but you have to work at it. Then finally, the ultimate stage is where you become unconsciously competent or where you really don't have to think in terms of PDCA. You don't have to be thinking in terms of you don't have to pull out your notes in order to... it becomes ingrained. Then the Shingo Prize really emphasizes this too is that, that people then; what they teach is that you got your tools, and you got your methods and you got your principles. And recently it's become kind of popular to bash the tools and go "Hey, when do you get beyond tools" and I just roll my eyes when I hear that, because again it is back to platitudes. "Yeah, I got to get beyond the wall." Wait a second. Most folks start with tools and Shingo teaches us that. You start with that pain point and then you have a specific tool to deal with your specific pain point, and that's most people's introduction to lean methods. Then you learn the lean methods and then the goal is that you evolve and you realize that these methods are interconnected and that there are a lot of common threads and principles, behind those methods. When you finally get to that point where you've got a person or a team, that is unconsciously competent, they really get it, because they've applied PDCA in so many Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems diverse ways, now they can start inventing creative tools and methods to accomplish the objectives that they need to accomplish. But, you don't start there. Joe: That's a great take on that Dean, because I've heard others use the Zen thing, where, you know when you start out with Zen, a mountain is a mountain, and then you go into the next step of Zen, you don't see the mountain as a mountain and then you go to the next step of Zen and then the mountain becomes a mountain again. Dean: "Before enlightenment sweep the floor, after enlightenment sweep the floor." Joe: You see so much bashing of tools, but, I think that's what made lean so popular because Lean is an easier story to learn than what Six Sigma is. Dean: Right. It's not only easier, but it's also more widely applicable, again, it's kind of a building block thing that Six Sigma should sit on top of lean in order to be successful. Try doing it without tools... That's what I tell people who are bashing the tools. Try doing it without them. You're absolutely correct in saying that you do need to evolve and progress to the point that you're not locked into the limited palette of the tools that others have used to accomplish similar objectives in their company. But that's where you start, modeling. You want to understand the best that others have done in the similar situation, and then you can build and digress from there. But you don't just start by reinventing it without even studying what anybody else has done. Or started with a blank page and a blinking cursor, now you're going to create your own tool, and you don't even understand the classic tools you had. Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: No, I, and I think that's one of the great things your template does, so you don't start with a blank piece of paper, which is, it's tough to do. Can you tell me why there, you don't have a PDCA template? Dean: Well, they're all PDCA. When you look at 8D as a classic approach to a scientific method, A3 is a classic approach to the scientific method. Kaizen is a classic approach to the scientific method. So, I could argue that absolutely every one of the tools fits within the PDCA cycle, usually in more than one space. Some of them are used to do all four phases of PDCA and others, only for one or two. So, PDCA itself, I don't see it as a specific enough method. It's more of a principle that underlies these other, more specific methods, and each of those methods has their own tools that underlie them. Joe: I look at PDCA as really being the culture of lean. It is one of my sayings that I've used a couple different times. Dean: It really is. If you apply scientific thinking, and you can call it whatever you want. DMAIC is another way of putting it, you know, define, measure, analyze, improve, control. People have got their own ways of viewing the scientific method, and they're all valid. But the bottom line is, you establish a hypothesis, you go out there and you test whether or not it's true. If it is true, if it isn't true, you go back until you find something that is. If it is true, you lock it in. You lock it in and standardize it and make sure that's your starting point that you can now ratchet, and now you go do it again. And if you do that, all the other methods are details.

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: When you get to the A in the PDCA cycle, and you've got a fork in the road there, I'm either going to go through another cycle, or its standard work. How do I know that its good is good enough? Dean: You don't, and that's the reality of life. The truth is, is that, God didn't intend for this to be perfect. The truth is none of us are going to get out of here alive. The truth is no business is going to survive more than 500 years. The truth is, is that it's never going to be perfect. And the ones who get analysis paralysis are going to go quickest. You've got to do something at some point and you get on with it. Joe: So what you're saying is that you make it standard work and you move on. Do I need to improve on this more, or do I have another project that has more priority? Dean: Yes, absolutely. Again, back to our original conversation, what's screaming the loudest now? If the process that you just got done improving is better than it was, and it seems to be good enough for now, then... The continuous improvement is misnamed, because it's far from continuous. It's actually a very spurty process. What you want to do is lock in those gains until your next spurt. What you don't want to do is have backsliding between spurts. Joe: The one thing that you said earlier and we talked about and it goes back to your basic theme of continuously improving tools for continuous improvement. You look at it from the outside in, and it's not necessarily screaming customers, but you're looking from the point, "How can I continually delight my customers?" And that's what sets your priority in development. Is that a good summary? Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Dean: Sure, assuming that you've got the screams taken care of. And I'm using graphic terminology, but you know what I'm saying. The first thing I do in the morning, just like most folks, is I'm going to check my email and see if anybody needs me. You know, they're unable to install or whatever. You've got to take care of it. You've got to get people going. Then once you've got that, now, like any other organization, that is when you become free to apply your attention to continuous improvement. That's what, to me, delineates a world class organization from a firefighting organization, and is the ratios. The ratio's not zero with either one of them hopefully. Even a firefighter is going to spend of little time on conclusive improvement. Even a world class organization is going to have to fight a fire every now and again. But the ratios are what you're looking for. You're looking for a dramatic shift, the 80 -20 that a world class organization is going to be spending 80% of its time. Senior managers are spending 80% of their time on truly delighting in where are we going. Instead of, "Oh my god, how are we going to fix this?" Joe: That's a pretty good ratio to look at on a daily or weekly basis isn't it? Dean: Mine is actually a three days out of five. So I spend one day marketing or you know doing calls and what not. I'll spend about three quarters of a day doing demos. Then every morning I've got you know some tech support that you have got to clean up. And I've got the rest of my time. About 60% is truly development and making good on our tag line. Because if we fail to continuously improve these tools for continuous improvement. We're not going to get the annual maintenance renewals. We're not going to get the testimonials. We're not going to get that delighted customers. Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


Business901

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: I think that's a great way to look at it because one of my things that I always look at is if people are willing to pay for your marketing. Because if your marketing is good enough their willing to pay for it. And in fact your strongest marketing, they are doing that because that's your annual renewals right? Dean: Yes, absolutely, absolutely, that's the highest high and the lowest low is when you get the yes on the annual maintenance. That's a huge endorsement that, "Hey were doing it." When you get the gosh, and during this reception it was even harder because you get people skip a year or something. But even if they just start skipping a year, it's hard. Because it's telling you that it wasn't quite good enough. So that's true with every business. Joe: One of the things I noticed about most software is they put a lot of things out there that kind of works. In annual upgrades, an annual renewal is more about service to the product it upgrades the product. But yours is about new stuff. Dean: Yes, we're always not adding new templates but some of the big on new training videos and things like that. But some of the big thing is we just did a few months ago was where we came up with a mass update and that's huge. What we’re teaching ourselves, one of the biggest advantages is you can use everything you know about Word and Excel to personalize these things. So your personalized template to all of your 100 licensed users so they're all on the same version. That was a real big step about five years ago. But now what we came up with was the mass personalization. When you upgrade we cycle through your old templates. And find the most common personalizations that you were likely to have made. Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


Business901

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems And it automatically migrates your personalizations up with the new template so you don't have to do it again and again. So you can have the best of your personalizations plus all the things that we've improved over the last year. Joe: That's impressive. Now you are also doing the language upgrade of some type are you not? Dean: Yeah, that's kind of a predecessor of that. Because who wants to get stuck back in 2011 just because you did a few personalizations when Systems2win introduces the new language translation tables which is going to be the big product introduction for this year. All of our templates are going to be with a click of a button, you're going to be able to switch between languages. So whatever languages our customers want first. But you're going to be able to click a button and now your templates in French, now it's in German, now it's in Chinese. So you don't want to get stuck back in 2011 just because you made some personalizations to your template. So we're all about continuous improvement and that's what our tagline is and that's what we try to live up to. Joe: Well Dean, I'd like to thank you very much. I appreciate all the insights and especially the insights on lean and PDCA that you added and the knowledge of your tools that you have. I think that's a great bunch of things to look at. I encourage people to look at Systems2win.com where you can download a trial basis. And also get some free tools can't they? Dean: Yes you can. The only two can't have's I'm going to put in there; number one is get the name right. We're now big enough that we have a parasite site so if you misspell it, you get hooked on some average advertising site that has duplicated every one of our Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


Business901

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems pages for ads. So it's Systems and then the number two win. com. And the second is when you do download your free trials. That you get, we give about twelve of our more complicated templates. And I want to emphasize that because there are 150 tools and we don't give away the easy ones. You can try them all with a money back guarantee but if you can master those more sophisticated ones the rest of them are going to be really easy. Joe: Again thank you very much and this podcast will be available on the Business901 iTunes store and also the Business901 blog site. So thanks again Dean. Dean: Thank you so much Joe.

Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901


Business901

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Ph: 260-438-0411 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: jtdager@business901.com Web/Blog: http://www.business901.com Twitter: @business901 What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joe's ability to combine his expertise with "out of the box" thinking is unsurpassed. He has always delivered quickly, cost effectively and with ingenuity. A brilliant mind that is always a pleasure to work with." James R. Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive company providing direction in areas such as Lean Marketing, Product Marketing, Product Launches and Re-Launches. As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Business901 provides and implements marketing, project and performance planning methodologies in small businesses. The simplicity of a single flexible model will create clarity for your staff and as a result better execution. My goal is to allow you spend your time on the need versus the plan. An example of how we may work: Business901 could start with a consulting style utilizing an individual from your organization or a virtual assistance that is well versed in our principles. We have capabilities to plug virtually any marketing function into your process immediately. As proficiencies develop, Business901 moves into a coach’s role supporting the process as needed. The goal of implementing a system is that the processes will become a habit and not an event.

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Guest was Dean Ziegler of Systems2win Related Podcast: Continuously improving thru PDCA Copyright Business901

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