Workplace Challenge (WPC)

Basic Idea of WPC
The Workplace Challenge (WPC) is a joint initiative of the National Economic Development Labour Council (Nedlac) and the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) that aims to actively encourage and support negotiated workplace change to improve productivity and job creation. WPC operates in the form of Clusters, facilitated by Productivity SA coaches called Change Facilitators.


WORKPLACE CHALLENGE – your local facilitator towards becoming world-class.


The basic concept of the Workplace Challenge Programme of Productivity SA and the dti is the following:


CLUSTERS
Small clusters consisting of between 5 and 7 companies per cluster (group of companies from the same geographic area).


PARTICIPATING COMPANIES
Mainly small and medium companies in the manufacturing, agriculture, agro processing, mining and beneficiation sectors, although larger enterprises are also welcome. The average number of employees per company ranges between 50 and 250 people. The Clusters provide a more economical self-help option especially for the smaller manufacturing companies.


WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION TOOLKIT
Productivity SA provides training materials comprising the basics of World-Class competitiveness in five Toolkit modules: The World-Class Competitiveness Management System; Goal Alignment; Cleaning and Organising; Teamwork, Leadership and Green Productivity (Improving carbon, water, chemical, paper and human energy footprint).


FACILITATION APPROACH
Productivity SA provides Cluster Facilitators to assist each Cluster and individual member companies with the implementation of Workplace Transformation Toolkits and doing regular audits. The facilitation process focuses on developing capacity in companies to understand problems and implement solutions by themselves i.e. The Productivity SA supplied Cluster Facilitators guide companies to implement change.


AD HOC CONSULTING
Should Cluster Members require additional world-class competitiveness consulting, they may engage the WPC Change Facilitator at fees negotiated with the facilitator.
 
CAPACITY BUILDING AND SHARING
The WPC Facilitator ensures Constructive dialogue, Capacity Building / Training and Collaboration between Cluster members in the same geographic area.
The Change Facilitator helps members to Share experiences and lessons through Monthly Steering Committee Meetings, site visits, Milestone workshops (workshops to share how members implement World-Class Competitiveness principles) and case studies.


IMPLEMENTATION
Implementation takes place over a period of 24 months


 


Workplace Transformation Toolkits


The Workplace Challenge Cluster Programme utilises 5 Workplace Transformation Toolkits to effect development within companies participating Workplace Challenge clusters.


WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION TOOLKIT: MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
The Management System of the Workplace Transformation Toolkit aims at helping organisations to make a successful transition to a culture of continuous improvement. The Management System teaches participants to plan, to implement according to plan, to review plans, to take corrective actions, to measure and to celebrate achievements. It also teaches participants about consistent and regular communication and to start off on the right foot by having a purpose and a vision for the transformation of their workplace.


Objectives of Management System
• Outline of the methodology for implementing continuous improvement.
• Set guidelines for this implementation
• To explain what world-class competitiveness is and why it should be pursued
• Provide tools that will assist in the journey to world-class.


WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION TOOLKIT 1: GOAL ALIGNMENT
Goal achievement is only possible if common goals are owned and pursued by all teams.
Goal alignment can be seen as the starting point for continuous improvement. It is often implemented first.


Objectives: (sequencing)
• To communicate and align goals and targets throughout the organisation, down to first-line team level
• To align top-down and bottom-up management.
• To create effective organisation structures so that everybody will know where they fit in and what they are responsible for
• To manage people with a style of improvement, coaching and caring


WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION TOOLKIT 2: CLEANING AND ORGANISING
Cleaning and organising is not just about having a good looking workplace, but also very much about making work easier and creating a functional, visually organised workplace of which people are proud. Cleaning and organising is one of the most important foundations or pillars for continuous improvement. A sustained, high level of implementation supports high levels of safety, quality and productivity, low cost and fast, on-time delivery. Cleaning and organising is also known as 5S, sort and discard: set in order: shine: standardise and self-discipline.


Objectives:
• Create an understanding of the importance of cleaning and organising, also in terms of the role it plays in providing a foundation for continuous improvement
• Train people in the approaches and techniques for creating and sustaining high levels of cleaning and organising
• Create a visually organised workplace
• Establish an internal benchmarking and review system.


WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION TOOLKIT 3: TEAMWORK
Teamwork is one of four foundation elements of the Workplace Transformation Toolkit. The foundation elements form the basis for continuous improvement of quality, cost, delivery and morale.


Objectives:
• Create an understanding of the importance and role of teamwork, in workplace and business improvement
• Create a culture of continuous improvement
• Equip teams with the knowledge to implement small group activities and Kaizen projects
• Equip teams with the knowledge to apply basic problem solving techniques
• Establish an internal benchmarking and review system, based on the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle and is used by first-line teams for continuous improvement of teamwork.


WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION TOOLKIT 4: LEADERSHIP
Leadership is one of four foundation elements of the Workplace Transformation Toolkit.


The aim of Leadership is to strengthen the skills of every first-line manager to:
• Develop, lead and inspire productive teams
• Ensure that all team members are developed to their full potential.
The managers of team leaders play an important role in the successful implementation of the Leadership Toolkit. They need to coach, on an ongoing basis, their team leaders on the skills introduced in the Toolkit, as well as provide support for implementation of other elements of the Workplace Transformation Toolkit.


WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION TOOLKIT 5: GREEN PRODUCTIVITYThe programme contains:
• Improving carbon footprint
• Improving water footprint
• Improving chemical footprint
• Improving paper footprint
• Improving human energy footprint



Cluster Programme


HOW THE CLUSTER PROGRAMME FUNCTIONS?
The Workplace Challenge Cluster Programme is a focused supply side intervention of the dti, managed by Productivity SA, to assist South African manufacturing, agriculture and agro processing, mining and beneficiation businesses to enhance productivity and world-class competitiveness/Best Operating Practices.


The programme consists of Clusters made up of 5 to 7 companies in the industrial areas of all of the provinces to focus on:
• Improving workplace relations
• Embracing or developing world-class manufacturing practices/Best Operating Practices (BOP) and
• Sharing and disseminating world-class competitiveness experiences.

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY" WORLD CLASS MANUFACTURING"?
The key strategies of” Best Practice or world-class*” organisations include:
• Implementing leadership practices that promote teamwork, participation, continuous learning and flexibility.
• Focusing on simultaneous improvement of quality, speed/delivery; cost and morale.
• Establishing close links with customers and suppliers.
• Driving both linear (kaizen) and non-linear (kaikaku) improvement initiatives.
• Eliminating all forms of waste and making value flow.


*Productivity SA – following Womack, James P. & Daniel T. Jones (1996) Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, Simon & Schuster.


The Cluster Network helps Cluster members to concentrate on these same strategies.

WORLD CLASS COMPETITIVENESS FRAMEWORK FOR THE CLUSTER NETWORK
The Cluster members are given access to a simplified set of materials called the Workplace Transformation Toolkit, consisting of three important components:

Component 1: World-class Competitiveness Management System, containing:
• The rationale/need for change and describing the world-class competitiveness journey.
• An overview of the Workplace Transformation Toolkits.
• World-class Competitiveness Implementation Methodology.
• Implementation roles and responsibilities.

Component 2: World-class Competitiveness Foundation Elements
• Toolkit 1 - Goal Alignment
• Toolkit 2 – Cleaning and Organising
• Toolkit 3 - Teamwork
• Toolkit 4 – Leadership
• Toolkit 5 - Green Productivity


PRODUCTIVITY SA SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR THE CLUSTER NETWORK
• Regional WPC Managers guiding Cluster Network Facilitators (Change Facilitators).
• Cluster Network Facilitators (Change Facilitators) providing coaching, training and auditing services.
• Access to website for calendar of events and other information.
• Cluster Technical Support Consultant making sure Cluster members get service.


FIRST STEP: FACILITATE MEMBER PLANT INFRASTRUCTURE SET-UP
The Workplace Challenge Change Facilitator assists with:

• Selecting the internal company Champion/Driver for the WPC programme.
• Selecting the company Steering Committee members including Key Personnel such as Sponsor and Team Leaders.
• Structuring the Plant Level Forum.
• Structuring mini-businesses of the participating companies.


NEXT STEP: PROVIDE ORIENTATION
Change Facilitator presents Management, Supervisor and Labour Capacity Building Workshop (attended by: Managers, Team Leaders and Champions) to get the company started, to ensure full participation in the decision making process and to build understanding and support for the Workplace Challenge transformation process.

• Change Facilitator presents Best Operating Practice workshops to show plant level stakeholders the practical effects and impact of world-class manufacturing process interventions both on” hard and soft” issues.
• Change Facilitator presents Plant Level Committee training in the selected Workplace Transformation Toolkit to show the internal facilitators how to guide the company through the implementation phase.


IMPLEMENTATION: FACILITATE NETWORKING/SHARING
• Change Facilitator arranges Milestone Workshops so that members can learn implementation lessons from one another (one day per quarter).
• Change Facilitator arranges site visits so that Cluster members could learn from one another (more or less one day per quarter).
• Change Facilitator arranges Steering Committee meetings so that Champions could learn from one another (one day per month).


SELF HELP IMPLEMENTATION
Companies apply selected Workplace Transformation Toolkit modules:

• Companies do self-measurement and reporting – members measure themselves against quality, cost, speed, delivery and morale criteria and report via the quarterly monitoring and evaluation questionnaire to the Workplace Challenge.
• Companies do their own monthly audits following the Workplace Transformation Toolkit audit sheets.
• Change Facilitator monitors progress through quarterly audits and coaching reviews.


MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES
• Hosting one sharing/benchmarking visit to their company per year.
• Providing electronic summary of their case study for use in the Cluster Network’s toolbox.


BENEFITS OF CLUSTER MEMBERSHIP
Members will get value for money input towards moving to world-class status.

• Companies are coached in implementing world-class manufacturing principles.
• Access to powerful world-class manufacturing materials (the Workplace Transformation Toolkit).
• Access to world-class coaching /expertise.
• Promotion of productivity and performance level of the region.
• Attendance of eight Milestone Workshops.
• Attendance of twelve monthly Cluster Steering Committee meetings.
• Implementation of selected modules from Self Help Workplace Transformation Toolkit.
• Four quarterly coaching reviews with feedback and coaching per year.



How the Clusters Function


How the WPC Clusters function - the current WPC Programme for world-class manufacturing
There are several stages through which companies go, once they join a Workplace Challenge Cluster:

STAGES OF PARTICIPATION
Nurturing (appreciation of the WPC process).
Orientation (diagnostics, appointment of plant-level committees, development of individual company implementation plans, collaborative structures and capacity building).
Implementation (implementation of the improvement plans through collaborative structures, quarterly milestone workshops and monthly cluster/sector networking meetings).
Sharing (sharing of information and lessons learnt to other firms and industry sectors).
After Care (continuing to apply Best Operating Practice (BOP) and sharing of information and lessons learned).


THE PROGRAMME ENABLES COMPANIES TO BECOME WORLD-CLASS THROUGH THE FOLLOWING PROCESS:

STEP 1: ORIENTATION
• Members receive orientation (they are helped to diagnose their challenges, to appoint plant-level committees, to develop company programme implementation plans, to establish collaborative structures).

STEP 2: CAPACITY BUILDING
Supervisors attend capacity building workshops (supervisors and management are helped to understand and support the transformation process).

• The programme makes shop-floor participation in improving performance, a key element of membership. Employees attend capacity building workshops (labour is trained to ensure full participation in the decision-making process and understanding of the transformation process).
Stakeholders attend Best Operating Practice workshops (plant level stakeholders are shown the practical effects and impact of world-class interventions on both hard and soft issues).

STEP 3: IMPLEMENTATION
Member companies are helped to implement the programme (implementation of the improvement plans through collaborative structures, quarterly milestone workshops and monthly Steering Committee Meetings).

STEP 4: CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROCESSES
• Plant-level consulting – participating companies implement best operating and world-class competitiveness practices (BOP).
Change Facilitators (best-in-class change agents) share their expertise and train and coach internal sponsor, champions and team leaders in change management processes).
Cluster Facilitators facilitate implementation of BOP and world-class competitiveness in clusters and participating companies.
Sharing of success stories – WPC collates, packages and disseminates the methodologies, processes and lessons learnt that lead to improved operating practices.

STEP 5: NETWORKING
Sharing – cluster members are helped to share information and lessons learnt with other participating firms and industry sectors.

• Change Facilitator arranges Milestone Workshops so that members can learn implementation lessons from one another (one day per quarter).
• Change Facilitator arranges Steering Committee meetings so that Champions could learn from one another (one day per month).
• Change Facilitator arranges site visits so that Cluster members could learn from one another (more or less one day per quarter).


 


Guidelines for Joining a Cluster


This booklet must be read in conjunction with the User Group (Cluster) Contract and aims to provide background information about the Workplace Challenge User Group programme.
This information sets out the:
• Introduction
• How is the Workplace Challenge managed?
• Workplace Challenge support structure
• Cluster objectives
• Coverage of cluster activities
• Guidelines / steps for participating in the WPC cluster programme
• Step 1: WPC provides orientation prior to implementation
• Step 2: Enterprise start-up
• Step 3: Implementation of workplace transformation toolkits
• Step 4: Sharing lessons learned among WPC participants
• Typical implementation plan for typical cluster member
• Toolkit application
• Step 5: After care
• Benefits to participating cluster businesses
• The obligations of the enterprise participating in the WPC are to:
• Membership fees
• Invoicing
• Pricelist for cluster materials



Benefits of Cluster Membership


What’s in it for your enterprise?
Is your enterprise characterised by any of the following problems / “workplace challenges”?
• Unwilling Employees as evident from high levels of ABSENTEEISM, low levels of participation in improvement activities, or few improvement ideas, high staff turnover?
• Rising COSTS, due to high levels of rejects, overtime, product returns, re-work and repairs?
• Poor DELIVERY performance, caused by long lead times, re-work, materials shortages?
• QUALITY problems as evident from high levels of rejects, product returns, repairs under guarantee?


Benefits of belonging to a Cluster
The cluster process as managed by the Workplace Challenge Programme is experienced by many companies as a kick-start on the narrow road towards becoming competitive in world-class terms:
• Enterprises are helped to apply the world-class manufacturing materials by means of a customised implementation programme for applying the Workplace Transformation Toolkits. These help the enterprise to understand world-class concepts in practice
• Companies are helped to set up their internal mini business and performance measurement infrastructure so that they could get started with world-class practices
• Members are invited to attend regular sharing occasions in the form of “Milestone Workshops” so that team members could learn from other companies’ lessons and mistakes
• Enterprises participate in audits by WPC and or internal company facilitators, with feedback and coaching so that they could learn from their own mistakes
• Members attend Monthly User Group Steering Committee meetings (for internal champions and facilitators) so that they could learn valuable lessons regarding Cluster implementation
.
These benefits have resulted in a profound impact among WPC Companies as evident from the most recent Impact measurement.



For more information contact:
info@productivitysa.co.za