Achieving Operational Excellence won’t happen overnight, but it won’t take years or decades either.  There are two major steps that, done correctly in the beginning, will enable us to “jump” to Operational Excellence.  These steps are:

  1. Establishing a destination.
  2. Building a roadmap to that destination.

Today we will speak about the destination and the next blog post on Tuesday we will go over the roadmap. Stay tuned!

The destination

Establishing the destination of our efforts is key.  It lets everyone know we are not trying to just get better every day; we are trying to attain a level of performance in the operation where management is no longer needed to tell each employee what to do.  To achieve this, a good destination to set is Operational Excellence.

Operational excellence is when: “Each and every employee can see the flow of value to the customer, and fix that flow before it breaks down.”

This means we want to get our operation to a point where the flow of product has been made so visual that everyone in the operation can see if we are on time to the customer without asking any questions. We also want to make disruptions to the flow visual, too, and then create standard work for abnormal flow conditions that employees can enact when – or even before – flow breaks down.

There are nine questions about continuous improvement that do just this.  These questions are critical to achieving Operational Excellence because they show that there are many “opinions” on why we do continuous improvement instead of one straightforward, solid answer that each employee can understand.  Here are the nine questions.

  • Why do we do continuous improvement?
  • What is the best way to improve?
  • How do we know where to improve?
  • Why do we strive to create flow?
  • What causes the death of flow?
  • What would the spa floor look like if we did everything right?
  • What would the office look like if we did everything right?
  • What would the supply chain look like if we did everything right?
  • Where will our continuous improvement journey take us?

You need to set the destination with your team, there is no pre-set universal destination, each spa is different and the best way to decide upon where you want to go, is to do this together with your team.

Once we’ve set our destination as Operational Excellence and understand what it is, we then need to create the roadmap that will get us there.

Until next time!



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