POLL: How many internal CI experts/consultants should a company have?
Organizations that thrive at continuous improvement often do so because they have a staff of dedicated experts acting as guides on their Lean journeys. There are a few different flavors to how these people are assigned, though.
People are assigned to a leadership role such as VP of Operational Excellence or Director of Continuous Improvement. These are generally executive level positions that have oversight on how the organization implements Lean. While they may coach junior leaders, they generally are not engaged at the project level.
People are assigned to an internal consulting organization. They might be called something like the Lean Promotion Office or the Process Excellence Team. They are available to coach managers, lead or facilitate kaizen teams, and conduct training.
People are assigned to a resource team. This group provides talented individuals to either backfill teams working on projects, or can actually participate in kaizen activity. It will typically have a few individuals with special skills like welding assigned on a somewhat permanent basis. The majority of the resource team, though, is filled by the personnel who were freed up through productivity gains. Instead of hiring new team members from outside the company, managers fill their job openings from this group. A big benefit is that they gain significant improvement experience all a part of the resource team.
This poll question focuses on number two. I’d like to find out what you think the appropriate internal expert ratio within the organization is. To keep things uniform, let’s consider companies that have been focusing on continuous improvement for a couple years but still don’t have a fully developed Lean culture.
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