How can you visualize the impact of perfect planning and execution? This video from OK Go is about the most awesome music video I have seen. In just 4 seconds these guys execute such a perfect process that is so extremely complicated with plenty of dependencies that you are left really puzzled how they could accomplish this.

OK Go

This is my take at this video formulated as a set of New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Dare to dream big: Why not set an objective that is outside your comfort zone? Because you are afraid your manager will hold it against you if you don’t achieve it? One of our customers had taken 5 years to digitally transform 20% of his orders. Doubling that number in just one year as we proposed felt as a disruptive target but together we managed to triple digital orders to 60% of the total in 14 months. Business Networks and Cloud Apps set new standards for collaboration: All bets are off!

2. Visual Planning: Think through all your steps, the potential errors, the desired effects and visualize your entire process. OK Go made a frame-by-frame storyboard of their 4 second clip: That’s 6.000 frames timed to the 0,04 second spelled out! One of our customers visualizes 20-25 steps with near real-time updates on 6 million orders executed in 250 locations worldwide. That’s almost 4 milestones every second of the year. A visual planning dashboard connected to near real time data makes it possible to control the process and avoid buffers in throughput time and inventory. Updating your plan from month-end reporting from your ERP system will not provide the same result.

3. Flawless execution: Only accept perfection and enjoy detail. This is probably the least popular resolution for most managers: You must take the time for root cause analysis, sieve through the data, train your stakeholders and be prepared to do this over and over again. OK Go’s team spent nearly 3 months on this project. Quyntess built some very neat apps last year that are misleading by their “ease of use” from the end user perspective. It’s all mobile first single web page stuff and 2 or 3 buttons to click: How easy could it be to build that? Guess what: There’s a lot of craft and sweat involved in building a poka yoke process.

4. Celebrate or learn: If you adopt a combination of the 3 resolutions above you need to define success: The most important factor is to make your feedback loop as short as possible. One of our new customers dared to re-engineer their entire supply chain process for a product line that will define their future success. They took along 30 co-designing suppliers on this journey scheduled to be implemented with us in 4 months. We needed another feedback loop and eventually it took a month extra before everything was working. Was this a failure? Well, they actually promoted the project manager! This will be the new standard.

Which resolutions would you adopt with us in 2017??

By Rob van Ipenburg (@2871rob)

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