The Oliver Wight Class A Standard for Business Excellence is the definitive, comprehensive statement of excellence in business today. Oliver Wight's Class A Standard is the accumulated practice and experience of Oliver Wight Consultants around the world. It reflects the effort and achievement of thousands of client companies who have used the standard, and the benchmark capability it enables, to differentiate their business.
The Seventh Edition will be the standard of business excellence for all businesses. The standard will take the reader through an understanding of business maturity and how to drive increase maturity with corresponding sustainable business benefit. Using the Oliver Wight Proven Path, a journey of "Milestones" focused on strategic priorities that drive you through a series of defined Maturity Transitions, people, behavior and processes all become more aligned and focused. Updated content will include new information on collaboration, segmentation, value chain, analytics, optimization, and planning.
Please note: Previous editions of this book were titled The Oliver Wight Class A Checklist for Business Excellence.
OLIVER WIGHT INTERNATIONAL, INC. is recognized as global business improvement specialists who educate, coach, and mentor people and teams to lead and transform their business on a journey to sustained business excellence with world class business performance. The largest organization of its type, Oliver Wight has built a team of motivated key influencers with recognized thought leadership and, through knowledge transfer and application skills, clients are facilitated by Oliver Wight to apply best practice, to their specific requirements.
This seventh edition of The Oliver Wight Class A Standard for Business Excellence follows the same structure as the previous edition but has transitioned from a checklist format to focus solely on the characteristics of Business Excellence-the Standard. This is in recognition that, for most businesses, the quest to attain the Business Excellence standard is a transformational journey, not a single initiative but a series of improvement programs known as Class A Milestones to facilitate the journey. The milestones are based on the elements in the Standard required to support the business objective to be achieved. Oliver Wight has created a series of workbooks designed to define typical Class A Milestones. The Standard and the workbooks answer the what required for Business Excellence. The how is answered through the Oliver Wight Proven Path for Business Transformation, which is founded on best-practice education, facilitated workshops to apply best practices to specific businesses, and implementation coaching.
The Journey to Business Excellence is demanding, and this latest edition has been updated to address changes in business practices since the sixth edition was updated in 2010. Moreover, the changes in business expectations continue apace. Companies holding back from keeping up with the pack may be found wanting in the race to win in business.
Winning with Class A
Every company that achieves a Class A Milestone is rewarded with bottom-line results and an energized and empowered workforce-life gets better, if for no other reason than completing the day with a feeling of accomplishment. Achieving a Class A Milestone takes more than just this Standard. Having worked with companies on Class A since 1978, we recognize what is required to be successful. It isn't as simple as buying a book and then setting out to meet the requirements. The seven steps for success are:
- The Standard-describes the Business Excellence benchmark.
- The Proven Path-a proven approach to delivering business transformation. This includes the why we need to do this; what we are going to do, in prioritized sequence, to support a journey; and the how to implement sustainably.
- Milestone Workbooks-describe the what for a specific milestone along the journey.
- Education-explains the what and the how, in detail, for each element of the Standard associated with a milestone.
- Application Workshops-address the how to apply these practices tailored to your specific business and organization requirements.
- Coaching-supports your people on the how to handle the specific issues and challenges of milestone activities and the crucial change management requirements.
- Celebration-recognition for the successful completion of a milestone.
Scope of the Standard
The Standard encompasses all business sectors and business processes. Manufacturing and service sectors are growing closer together in their characteristics. In many ways, the new best-practice manufacturing companies may be considered service companies but whose service is to sell products. Business differentiators have moved to managing products and services, managing the supply chain (often without manufacturing any of the product), managing the procurement of externally sourced items, and developing more effective relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and consumers. All these dimensions are extensively covered, alongside the more traditional foundation elements you would expect to find in the Standard for Business Excellence. Further technology advances now permit dynamic business management, where business performance, including financials, can be reviewed daily and where agility permits the business to respond and move with market forces in days, not weeks or months.
At the start of each chapter, a Purpose statement describes the purpose and scope of the chapter process. There is also a Positioning statement in recognition that we are not attempting to describe the characteristics of every transition in maturity. This Standard consists of defining characteristics, competencies, and performance requirements of a business positioned toward the top of Phase 2 of the Business Maturity Map (see Foundation, Figure I.1). Many good practices developed in Phase 1 are now assumed rather than expressed while, in other cases, there is a transition of processes and roles from Phase 1 to Phase 2. The Phase 1 characteristics and performance requirements are captured in the respective Phase 1 Milestone Workbooks, not in this Standard. Please read the Positioning statement so that you are orientated to understand which characteristics, behaviors, capabilities, performance levels, and organizational challenges have already been addressed in Phase 1 before reading the new or continued requirements of Phase 2.
The chapter structure in the Standard is aligned with the Integrated Business Model. It begins with "Managing the Strategic Planning Process" as the driver of the business, followed by the two enabling disciplines of "Managing and Leading People" and "Driving Business Improvement." Chapters 4 through 9 address the core processes, commencing with Integrated Business Planning.
- Managing the Strategic Planning Process: The business Vision and Strategic Plan need to be explicit so that your people have clear direction for their plans and activities. This chapter will challenge your process for longer-term planning of the business. It will demand the setting of business priorities and clear communication when deploying your plans and your Business Excellence program throughout the business.
- Managing and Leading People: People are the ultimate differentiator as business gets more competitive and markets more demanding. This chapter will require you to think through your business values and how you are organized for the tasks ahead; that you are clear about the company culture and behaviors that you need; and that you have active development programs designed to improve the competencies of your people for the new challenges ahead. It will also challenge your processes for knowledge management and your culture of Leadership and Teamwork.
- Driving Business Improvement: This articulates the maturity of your business improvement processes. It then challenges how you prioritize your Business Improvement programs to achieve the early gains in areas that create a solid foundation for the future. You'll be challenged to walk before you try to run and to give value to those everyday issues that are at the heart of excellence in business.
- Integrated Business Planning: Integrated Business Planning (IBP) is the business management process driving in strategy deployment and optimized business performance and, thereby, directs revenue and earnings-generating activities.
At the foundation of IBP is Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), originally developed by Oliver Wight as a vehicle to engage the Senior Management Team in integrated management of the Supply Chain.
The IBP process is becoming the unique and, increasingly, the de facto best-practice approach to deploy business strategy and manage integration with day-to-day activity; it is the prime tool for keeping all parts of the company on a common agenda and set of priorities; and it manages the entire business through one set of numbers-dynamically tuned to the latest market situation that ensures timely actions to maintain management control of business performance. IBP provides long-term visibility and, through modeling and rigorous risk management tools, enables optimized outcomes with suitable contingency planning.
- Managing the Products and Services Portfolio: In every business sector, product life cycles are shortening. Portfolios should represent the optimization of products and services, including appropriate introduction of new and carefully planned phase-out of old. This chapter challenges how well and how fast you align your portfolio and monitor the performance of products and services. Your clear Technology Roadmap supports this and, when applicable, includes prototyping to increase the speed to market. The portfolio is managed to ensure margin development, but when this becomes a problem, the Strategic Plan, Product and Portfolio Roadmap, and processes are challenged to introduce changes to enable sustainable positive margins. It expects the deployment of the latest practices in program and project management supported by computer-aided risk management and decision making to anticipate and avoid adverse consequences.
- Managing Market Demand: Greater understanding of customer and consumer needs and of what is happening in your marketplace, when applied effectively, leads directly to increased predictability throughout the business horizon. Knowing your market enables better planning of your position, with more successful order-winning plans and activities. These plans are directed by the Strategic Market Roadmap which, in turn, drives Market Segmentation Roadmaps to address the needs of homogeneous customer and consumer groups specifically. This chapter challenges your development of analytics and predictive modeling and how close you are to real demand knowledge. The chapter ensures a focus on demand plan creation and accuracy and how...