An extreme focus on leadership to increase transparency and alignment across business functions.
The pilot project
End-to-end, is characterized as a supply chain program. The key drivers behind the program are to create one coherent end-to-end solution to handle increased complexity and growth. The focus of the program is to increase transparency and alignment across all business areas - including Finance, Production and Supply Chain. Further, to increase transparency in the activity level for optimized prioritization, fast decision-making and financial engineering.
The end-to-end supply chain program is divided into four main groups, which together constitute the core project team:
These four groups have focused on identifying and implementing potential improvement initiatives within their given field to achieve the overall goal of the project.
As part of the program, Terma has launched several projects. Some of these projects are selected for investigation in this report.
The three core elements of the HDM: Impact, Flow and Leadership were specifically tailored to fit the project and the Terma organization and came to life in practice through the following initiatives.
Impact case and impact solution design: In the first phase focus improvement initiatives were chosen. Terma had a list of approx. 70 ideas related to improving the supply chain process. A selection process was initiated to choose only five ideas per group in order to reduce the time to impact and to focus intensively on each of the ideas. In the project, an impact case for each of the prioritized improvement initiatives was created. The impact cases were mainly used to identify and clarify the deliverables which were required to obtain the desired impact. The main part of the initiatives was focused on process optimization, and therefore the core team found it difficult to identify quantifiable measures. Instead, the behavioural impact was emphasized. The main learning through the work with impact cases was to define and emphasize the importance of defining KPIs in the impact case and being structured about applying impact tracking. The impact case was visualized and embedded in the entire process.
Further, in the impact solution design, much emphasis was put on engaging the key stakeholders from management. For instance, this was accomplished by hosting a board game session where all the key stakeholders participated. The actual board game represented the supply chain process, and as the participants moved forward on the board, they were presented with what-if game cards representing the challenges experienced in the supply chain process. This session worked well as a way of communicating the process and challenges which the core team had experienced. This enabled the key stakeholders to understand and discuss important aspects of the project.
Pulse checks: The pulse check was applied to gain insight into the thoughts of the core team members and to create a platform to freely express frustrations, issues or good stories encountered in the project. The pulse check was performed on a monthly basis with a follow-up meeting discussing the feedback. The main learning was that the pulse check should have been applied more frequently, thereby giving the core team a better opportunity to address all the issues occurring in the project.
Co-location design to support intensity: The core team consisted of 18 people, who were allocated 40% of their time to work intensively on the project. During the project, the core team had a dedicated project room available to create the appropriate working conditions for high-intensity work. The co-location allowed problems to be solved faster and more efficiently by working across the four groups and utilizing the competences of all the core team members.
Rhythm in key events: A fixed project heartbeat and rhythm were created in the project by always having a report-in and a report-out every week of the project. During the report-in session, by applying visual planning the core team and project leader would present the upcoming week's tasks. The report-out session included the core team, project leader, project owner, key stakeholders and parts of the management team. The report-out sessions were used as a platform to communicate the progress of the project but also to state the challenges encountered in the project where help from the management was required.
Visual planning and project visuals: Visual plans were created and updated throughout the project, which allowed the project team and other stakeholders to monitor the progress continuously. Furthermore, the visual plan allowed the project participants and project leader to identify bottlenecks and take corrective actions.
Active ownership and collaborative leadership behaviour: The owner of the project participated in the weekly report-out sessions. During these report-out sessions, the owner questioned and helped guide the core team in the right direction. The project leader was present and allocated to the project for the same period of time as the core team. The project leader collaborated with the core team in the different workshops, helping guide the team in the right direction but also challenging the team members when needed. Furthermore, the project leader took responsibility or offered help when the core team experienced resistance from certain parts of the organization.
Reflective and adaptive behaviour: The reflective and adaptive mindset was also in focus during the project. The reflective mindset was especially employed during the report-in and report-out sessions where the project leader, core team and key stakeholders discussed the project progress and challenges. Both the project leader and the core team were good at accepting input from the stakeholders and seeing it as an opportunity to make the project even better.