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Operational Excellence Facilitation and Advisory

Professional services:

Operational Excellence Facilitation and Advisory

Service type:

Operational Excellence


Co-design of your continuous improvement framework and deployment of training, advisory support and event facilitation


Tailored to your needs. Price depends on the programme we design and deploy. Please enquire


Large and Mid-Size Organisations, Startups

Details of the service:

The Challenge:

Let's be frank: Most organisations struggle with operational excellence in knowledge work. Where manufacturing, especially automotive, has moved the mark regarding quality with Kaizen, we are still far from this level of rigour in digital, service, and knowledge work. Do you hear "technical debt" as the reason to be slow and tip-toe your way into fragile releases? Then your organisation probably suffers from this problem too. 

The challenge of quality is that engineers tend to address it as a technical challenge and go through iterations of documenting the expected quality process, but nobody follows what's documented. And standards that are not used are just a waste.  

The challenge of technical debt should be seen as an operational debt challenge : 

  • People, especially senior managers, do not understand their role in quality; they just expect it and take it for granted, 

  • More often than not, by creating cost and delivery pressures, they end up unwittingly compromising quality, 

  • As organisations go from one urgency to the next, leakages of quality build up, and they start taking control of the work schedule with incidents and errors that end up disrupting and taking the whole attention, 

  • When disruption starts to hit, the problems are already pretty severe, and there is no minor patching anymore. It requires a profound rethink and attention, 

  • Agile retrospectives, the "Kaizen" part of Agile Ways-of-Working, are generally woefully executed. Most actions are given to people outside of the team! 

If the challenges are operational and cultural, then that's where you need to start acting. You will also discover that once your business can make coherent and continuous improvements, the more considerable transformation efforts take care of themselves... #StartWithKaizen is our motto! 

Expected Outcomes: 

Our approach brings Kaizen thinking into the world of Knowledge Work at multiple levels of the organisation, and we aim to realise:

  • Better retrospectives at team level concluding with improvements that the teams will make, 

  • Measures of quality that inform the attention to detail, daily choices and better performance,  

  • Reduction in disruption and technical debt contributing over time to better Flow, 

  • Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) events at multiple levels of the system: product level, domain level, and cross-functional level, to create cadences and develop an organisation that improves itself continually, 

  • Education of people to challenge themselves towards a better quality and generally raising the standards, 

  • Most importantly, a new energy and mutual accountability for quality and the belief in everybody that they can make a difference, 

Warning: Kaizen is for the long haul, and it is not easy. Expect hard work and be challenged. 

Our Differentiated Approach:

Our approach brings the pragmatic thinking and techniques of the Lean Senseis, adapted to the work of Digital and Services. To create the ownership of quality, we purposefully do not engage as consultants but as challengers. 

You can feed people fish or teach them how to fish. It is the same with Kaizen! You get the people to build the framework for quality so they know how to operate it. It drives mutual accountability and develops the resilience that will keep growing once we are gone. 

Our principles are: 

  • People will follow the standards if they are actively invited to define and improve the standards, 

  • Kaizen is practical. You educate Kaizen through practice. It is, therefore, essential to have a concerted change effort for Kaizen at all levels, 

  • Big changes start with small steps. Large transformation efforts have been incredibly wasteful and would have been much more effective if they had started with getting Kaizen right, 

  • People focus where leaders pay attention. Leaders must be part of the Kaizen effort, and we equally work at this organisational level. 

Note: We purposefully take a challenger stance to generate ownership. It can only effectively work with solid leadership accountability to set this discipline starting with selves. 

Service Format:

We review the state of quality from data available, quality boards, and work organisation boards, and we "Go Genba" (ie. Visit several team sessions, from planning to retros) to take stock of the engagement ownership. 

From this review, we'll engage with various levels of leadership to understand their radar and proactiveness on quality and their approach to visualising quality and considering it in their decisions.

We identify the quality champions and the "systems" and then arrange workshops to co-design a multi-level approach that ensures attention from the teams to the product/service level and across scopes. 

We then offer to design the approach to quality events across all levels by creating collaborative workshops, bringing education and coaching the roles to progress those events. 

It takes repetitive effort to embed the practices in the standard ways of working, and the organisation becomes a better place when it does.

Training programmes that support this service: 

Applied Flow Fundamentals

This course is a foundation course for organisations and practitioners looking to recalibrate and re-energise digital and agile transformation initiatives by applying Flow thinking.

Agile Effectiveness

This course is a must for Agile practitioners and Leaders and revisits all the Agile practices with a focus on stimulating performance, collaboration and genuine agility

Leadership of Operational Excellence

This course develops the foundational practices of Operational Excellence and its leadership

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