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If stakeholders does not understand what is the process and associated KPIs - then no process can do magic. It can only create bottleneck.

One of our customer wanted to reduce the waste of raw materials.They found out that the plant floor workers are wasting when they mix two substances.
they are not following process measures, standards etc.

They created a lego bricks like game where they designed all their plant into a Lego. Such that the plant workers will play this physical game before each shift. Say at Shift 1 they will be given total freedom to follow their as-is way of working. In shift 2 they will asked to adhere to measures and there is an incentive associated, in shift 3 they will be asked to adhere to standards and dynamic incentive they can unlock.

This way the management cultivated tiny behaviors/habits in the minds of the workers which resulted in reduce waste and improved quality ~performance.

This was a great success for one plant and they want to scale this globally for which an iPad based game was created which has integration with real time data from ERP/Inventory and an game layer to enable PBL.

IMHO - if edge infrastructures can expose end points for other systems to consume then one can facilitate people-people interactions, people-systems interactions and system-system interactions. so instead of we handling the exception intelligent AI can help us in exception handling. And the experience can be simulated in virtual game like environment to improve performance.


Excellent research topic, John. Seems largely untapped, as the focus is fragmented around various practices (lean, Kata, TOC, agile, scrum, ....) and the cultures of the organizations (or groups of them) are in little to no interaction with others which would foster scalable learning across boundaries.

Having practiced lean thinking (or just process improvement) in SME and OEM context in various circumstances. Small group effectiveness was best when processes were scaling and boldly set goals were on the horizon. This was the case at going from prototyping with fast feedback loops of learning across early users and scaling production at a new automobile plant.

The ingredients of success:
- no hierarchy intervening
- bold goal understandable for involved people and pulling passion, and a mindset of "we can do it together"
- processes were not stabilized yet, and still at a vast growth of learning
- given the appropriate tools and digital means to achieve success (beyond expectations or known knowledge of managers and leaders)

The question of your research is with me since starting my work career some 20 years ago with the question,

"How can organizations sustainably over time create more value for its customers with given resources and stable workforce, enabling #ScalableLearning across boundaries?"

Looking forward to hearing about next steps towards your research.

PS.: "Creative Social Change - Leadership for a Healthy World" by Kathryn Goldman Schuyler gives interesting insights (especially around scaling) and "Whiplash" by Joi Ito on the rising gap between workers'/people's life and accelerating technology which has definitely a huge impact on the success of collaborative working and your research area from my point of view and experience over the years.

Neil Hinrichsen

Are processes not converging into AI - so business bifurcates into automation and exploration?


Groups that have the ability to change themselves while still focusing on an end goal are more likely to do a good job at this.

The Boydian thinking of OODA loops, analysis and synthesis try to allow for this type of adaptation of the team to circumstances.

Another great starting point are the principals put out for Agile. There are many many ways to do agile, but the core tenants are great.

Rashmir Balasubramaniam

Schaeffer Consulting and the Rapid Results Institute (RRI) have done a lot of work in this area. I have worked with them on some social sector projects in the UK and Kenya. The challenge I keep running into in this work and similar work I've done elsewhere is when/how to ensure that the changes in behaviours, practices and outcomes sustain, i.e. get embedded and last, so that continual improvement by frontline teams becomes the norm. In theory the answer is relatively simple, but in practice - especially in large, bureaucratic contexts with multiple stakeholders and financial flows, it is not.

Eng Seng Loh

It doesn't seem to me that business process redesign and business practice redesign are comparable creatures.

The former is tightly focused on achieving a particular outcome. The latter is much more open ended and speaks ultimately to the longevity of the company itself.

In my company, we've created small cross-silo, cross-functional innovation teams that are charged with finding new products/business models in response to exponent change. (These teams themselves are the result of a new process, a business process redesign if you will!)

But they've had varying success because their learnings quickly run up against questions of who's going to fund the new product, who's going to own the new business within the existing company org structure, who's on the hook for achieving the target forecasts, how it fits into the current company channels to market, etc, etc.

Undoubtedly all companies will have to think about how to redesign their business practices and business models to stay competitive in face of exponent change in their markets.

Exponent change create new customer needs and expectations. Companies need to meet these new customer requirements. These new value propositions may not fit well or at all with their current business model. Or they require resources that compete with funding existing cash cows.

Resolving these fundamental questions require significantly more debate at higher levels of the company than a mere business process redesign.

Consequently, I don't see framing the need for business practice redesign as a way to unbind the constraints of business process redesign is a natural one.

Charles O'Reilly has written many articles on organizational ambidexterity. Seems that area of research is pertinent to your questions posed above.


What are the specific practices that can help small, front-line workgroups to learn faster to generate accelerating performance improvement? http://edgeperspectives.typepad.com/edge_perspectives/2017/01/business-practice-redesign.html

Rob Henderson

Hi, John. Excellent question,and I agree that the approach is unique. Look forward to reading the results over time. One caveat:Usually the opportunities for short term improvements are significant,and longer term improvements will not necessarily "accelerate" over the short to medium term.The obvious starting literature for a "Meta - Practice" - and with many cases documented on line - is Mike Rother's "Toyota Kata"

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