As your processes and execution mature, clearly manage the message of performance up and through the organization. Here’s a brief look at each type and how you can use each type as an advantage:
Messaging Up (to the Boss)
When it comes to MRO business performance, employee relations, and customer issues, bad news travels at the speed of light. Don’t get caught off-guard by a boss who’s misinformed, under informed, or worse yet, not informed. The blast area in these situations can be brutal and difficult to recover from if it’s commonplace. Instead, create a communication rhythm with your boss that’s consistent and covers key performance and business topics.
Create a one-page dashboard summary that walks through each element with a data point, variance against plan, and one or two comments that provide color on any recovery action you are taking. That’s it, don’t overwhelm your boss with too much data. If the bosses want more, let them tell...
It’s easy to think that we’re always transparent with our customers, right? I used to feel the same way until I led a major MRO turnaround and discovered what I thought was transparency was causing more customer confusion and frustration than ever. Typical customer transparency is often clouded by self-preservation, conflict-avoidance, and company politics.
Moving toward a more authentic customer relationship can be uncomfortable, for sure, but more authentic customer relationships result in customers for life and a deeper level of mutual respect. Play the long game, don’t settle for a quick “get-out-of-jail-free” card that’ll only last as long as a warm bath.
It’s human nature to want to shine the brightest light possible on any negative situation. Through my experience; however, I’ve found that most customers have a sixth sense in calling the bullshit card when they see it. When this happens, and it inevitably does, your personal...
Simple, simple, simple…that’s the way to think about creating and implementing an effective accountability structure. If the structure is too onerous and administratively complicated, it’ll never gain traction and will lose support within two weeks; however, if this structure is done correctly, it will be a total game changer for your MRO business.
Make this investment and build sustained accountability from the first-level shop floor employee to the most-senior leader in the organization.
Here’s what a starter accountability system might look like for a typical MRO work cell:
1. At the start of each morning shift, every employee assigned to a specific cell gathers around a 4’ X 6’ accountability board located in the middle of the shop floor or where the work happens.
2. The communication board includes a collection of elements that describe “What Success Looks Like” for that work cell. These elements should include the following:
For every MRO organization, there are standard sets of metrics we spend time and energy trying to perfect. Depending on your organization type and structure, these metrics can number from six to 20, or even more!
The challenge doesn’t come from managing any one metric in isolation but chasing a dozen or more simultaneously and actually believing that we can be successful. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus, which can cause your business to spiral out of control and be unable to adjust to the pace required for all MRO’s to effectively operate.
To become a successful MRO leader, it’s important not to get caught up in the “death by a thousand metrics” trap, even though your leaders may already be deep in the thorns on this. Let your business performance speak for itself and use that great performance to educate others.
I recommend you spend a good portion of your total time and brain power, (about 20%), managing the performance and outcomes...