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Episode 36: How to Build a Continuous Improvement Culture from the Ground Up w/ Khalid Said, IMIG

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Building a continuous improvement culture from the ground up can be a challenge, especially if it focusses on the tools rather than the people.

In this episode of The SME Growth Podcast, host Dave Parry is joined by special guest Khalid Said, Executive Vice President at IMIG, to share some practical experiences of successfully building a continuous improvement culture within an organisation. Khalid explains how the structured approach he uses helps to ensure everyone is taken on the journey and the culture builds across the whole organisation. He also talks about the process to identify internal champions and how to make the change process stick, long after any outside help has stepped back.

Many companies have tried 'Implementing Lean' and it has fallen flat. This can often be because the focus is on some initial training around the tools rather than building momentum from the top down and the bottom up.

Gain valuable insights into creating lasting change and driving measurable differences in your business, and avoid being one of those companies with a disappointing implementation.

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REad the transcript

Please note: Whilst all transcripts are double checked for accuracy, they are transcribed via Otter.AI so may contain errors.

David Parry 01:59

 So hello, and welcome again to The SME Growth Podcast from Wellmeadow. Every week, we come together either just me and Rich or with a guest. And we talk about something that may be of interest to especially small and medium sized enterprises, on their journey to grow. It could cover anything from the marketing and sales function through to coping with the growth when it comes through to increase capacity and capability for their organisations. So I'm very pleased to announce that this week, we have a guest and hello Khalid, Khalid Said,

Khalid Said 02:42

Thank you, Dave

David Parry 02:43

Welcome to The SME Growth Podcast.

Khalid Said 02:44

Thank you. Thank you very much. And well done for pronouncing my name correctly. 

David Parry 02:47

Did I get that right?

Khalid Said 02:48

Absolutely.

DavidParry 02:49

Well, I've only known you for 10 years. I've been practising.

Khalid Said 02:53

For years they've called me Khaleed instead of Khalid.

DavidParry 02:57

So you work for an organisation called IMIG, which you want to introduce in a moment, but the topic of today's podcasts really intrigued me, I've got a bit of a background nowhere near like yours, but a bit of a background around continuous improvement, Lean Six Sigma that type of thing. So I've always taken a bit of a view of it. And it's, it's very much pros and cons. I've always had a bit of a love hate relationship with the idea because it's clearly brilliant when it works well. But I've seen it misapplied so many times as well. You were telling me about an approach that you take through your company, which really inspired me, actually. And I wish that I had come up to a company like you back when I was running factories, because I think that is the way to do it. And it just goes to show you need a certain scale a certain approach to get it. So I wanted you to come in and tell us all about that today, because I'm sure members of our audience will be interested in, happy to do that?

Khalid Said 03:46

100%, absolutely

David Parry 03:47

Why don't you start off then, just get the advert out the way tell us a little bit about IMIG, the company what they do and where they operate, that type of thing.

Khalid Said 03:56

IMIG, obviously, it's an international management and innovation group. So it's a very 25 years old company with various presence and entities in projects around the world. We, you know, we're passionate, absolutely passionate about our products, because we think of our partners and the benefit of our partners ahead of everything else. 

David Parry 04:22

very admirable. Well, it has to be doesn't it otherwise it doesn't get you don't get repeat business. And I think that's probably one of the things in this area about improvement. Continuous improvement, especially, is that it can be seen as a good thing to do with intangible benefits, but actually, it's a very hard nosed numbers thing. You're not going to do it if it doesn't produce enough return that you can pay to do it again, this isn't just a nice to have,

Khalid Said 04:45

if it's not sustainable. You've wasted your efforts and money.

David Parry 04:48

But the point is, and you explained this to me before, this really does have a benefit that you can audit and we'll come back to that later as to how you do that. But you can show backed up by the internal people that this pays back multiples of the cost of doing it by doing it this way. And I think that's where I've seen it fail in the past where nobody has that belief that it has delivered that sort of impact, but your experiences, and you're going to tell us today, how you do that, that it does come up with that sort of benefit. So very exciting journey ahead, then strap in for the next half an hour. And we'll go through Khalid's model of how to do it. So it's all about continuous improvement. Just why don't we give a quick definition of what we mean by that? I think most people are familiar with the the general area, but how do you describe continuous improvement in a business context?

Khalid Said 05:35

The whole concept of this, the main purpose of our programme, is that building continuous improvement culture.

David Parry 05:47

Yeah, okay. So it's more about the culture than the technique, they all comes together. 

Khalid Said 05:51

That's right. It's not just about the tools is about the culture. If you build the culture, you can sustain it. So you're driven by process, managed by facts. So you are not relying on just people, you rely on a process that people follow.

David Parry 06:07

Okay, and your mission is to embed that not to do it to somebody, but to transfer that culture that the company does it for itself.

Khalid Said 06:17

That's right. And that's why we give it that exact name. You know, that is exactly why we worked hard and hard to come out with.

David Parry 06:25

So what's the name you've given this approach

Khalid Said 06:27

We call it the Capability by Conversion 

David Parry 06:30

Capability by Conversion

Khalid Said 06:31

Capabilities by Conversion.

David Parry 06:33

Okay so that already sounds very...

Khalid Said 06:36

Honestly, we it's tried and tested is absolutely amazing. And it really impacts the individuals, before they leave the course we even before and some of them, guess what? They said, Oh, we've been there, done it before. And when they leave, you can measure, we measure the mood 

David Parry 06:59

So it's worth saying beginning then if you're listening to this, and you think ah, this is another one of those Lean things. I've seen that before we've even run some programmes. Yeah, they're okay. They're sort of flash in the pan they came and went they didn't really stick around. This is different. And you're going to explain how this approach makes it different. Okay, good. So you've got a number of phases to this. And you were talking to me about this a couple of weeks ago, and we thought that's got to be worth exploring and sharing.

Khalid Said 07:26

And that was when you got hooked?

David Parry 07:27

Yeah. So go on, take us through the steps. And what's the first first step you do in this capability by conversion process?

Khalid Said 07:33

The first thing is that we call this the scoping stage. Okay, see how far the company wants to go? Which department, high number of people, the number of people need to attend, what type of modules we need to have to suit different layers of the organisation. Okay, so you don't want to put people on a course that you know, they're never gonna use it. 

David Parry 07:54

So like any good project, there's a good project initiation phase, make sure everybody's understood the scope and got the remit. Okay, so we've gone through that stage, then, what's the first thing 

Khalid Said 08:06

It goes to the readiness check? Okay, readiness stage, we have a one to one with, with, with the people. And, obviously, the exec team, because we want to have everyone at wave one, to go through the course.

David Parry 08:23

So wave one of what,

Khalid Said 08:25

Of the programme of the training.

David Parry 08:27

So there's a training well, for everybody?

Khalid Said 08:29

Every single one person with an organisation have to know the journey, the company is going on 

David Parry 08:35

And this is as much if it's a manufacturing organisation, there'll be the office staff as well as the shop floor staff. That's every single employee.

Khalid Said 08:43

And this is applicable not just to manufacturing in any industry you can think of

David Parry 08:47

so what sort of when we say training, what sort of training are we talking about here? Is it classroom based chalk and talk type stuff, the And that one day of training out how would participants describe it where they say it was very, like a lecture was very academic, or is it quite hands on and fun? Or how do you 

Khalid Said 08:53

first the one day, it's only a one dayer, just to give people a flavour of what is continuous improvements all about. And let's remember, continuous improvement is about small incremental change. It's not about innovation, innovation, it's not about long term projects. It's about small increment, incremental change, Spot the waste, and go remove it. Spot the waste, process waste, and remove it We don't want to get it people by slides and presentations we keep them engaged with give them in the room with us. So I use more. I use a lot of my ears and then my mouth. I'll get them to interact

David Parry 09:42

So it's quite participative

Khalid Said 09:43

That's right. I want to get we want to get their feelings. Because remember, this is an opener for a long term, for another for wave two.

David Parry 09:53

So wave two starts then, with this wave one training and then you talked about this readiness check readiness check, stay just right. So that comes after the training. And you mentioned one to ones how does how does that work?

Khalid Said 10:05

The one to one we have a standard sheet which we asked was a certain the questionnaires. 

David Parry 10:10

This is everybody that's been on the course?

Khalid Said 10:11

No only the people we think can be potential subject matter expert or champions.

David Parry 10:18

All right. Welcome to define there's a moment there so and is that just your decision? or can people volunteer

Khalid Said 10:23

a combination between their stakeholders, and the people who choose

David Parry 10:26

So it's a very inclusive process in that everybody's involved. And as part of that one day course, you explain what's going to happen next, and the opportunities available to adopt other roles? And then they'll either shine and show an interest or your spot a talent and one way or another, you have a set of people you do this one to one, check this around. So what's involved in that one to one, what do you check in for

Khalid Said 10:49

Before the one to one, just remember, that sponsor of the programme from the client or the partner, will clearly he will have a brief where he will brief everyone, this is the programme going forward, this is what we're going we are, we would like to build a continuous sustainable, continuous improvement culture, 

David Parry 11:09

okay. To set the scene made it quite clear, this is their buy in.

Khalid Said 11:16

Then the readiness is about actually check in see, okay, what kind of resistance individuals have what kind of blockers would they face when they come to convert the theory to practical when they go back after the training?

David Parry 11:28

This really interested me when you told me about this? You're not testing how keen they are on improvement, per se. You're checking for this resistance point? What would get in your way?

Khalid Said 11:37

What would a blocker be? What type of blockers you have? Because we have to make sure that those blockers are not there? Or would be controlled?

David Parry 11:45

And just as it is that what sort of blockers Do you tend to find in those one to ones?

Khalid Said 11:49

The common one, when people go back to leave the training course that was the first thing they're going to do? They want to go back to their day job, oh, I've got loads of email to catch up. I've got a load of backlog, I need to catch up. So that has to be addressed. So you have to create the environment ready for people to go and implement the improvements, 

David Parry 12:09

Right and at this stage, you're testing who might be possible for a champion role or a subject matter expert? Why don't you just explain what each of those roles do?

Khalid Said 12:19

So start from the second subject matter expert is a person who will become expert on this particular tool, 

David Parry 12:27

a tool, a continuous improvement tool of some sort of which presumably there are many

Khalid Said 12:31

Could be workplace organisation could be vision management could be practical problem solving. So you build, and the whole purpose of this is you build internal capability within an organisation, and subject matter experts that they can do it without IMIG. 

David Parry 12:46

Great, okay, so that's the SME the subject matter. And what about the champion, then 

Khalid Said 12:52

The champions are the people who will manage those SMEs, the champions are going to be continuous improvement champions, we will be so guys, okay, we will be controlling all these improvements coming from all departments. And they will send them across to various SMEs. 

David Parry 13:07

So in a, in a firm of a certain size or larger firm, maybe you could imagine a person having a full time job as the continuous improvement manager in a bit larger, again, you'd have a continuous improvement department, potentially

Khalid Said 13:20

That's correct 

David Parry 13:21

So if we're starting from scratch, here, you're looking for candidates to either be that Department of one or to lead that department, that would be the champion. That's right. That's, where's the SMEs, they're not full time in this role, they still got their day job, they just have this extra expertise. And they just lend it to projects when they come up is that the idea? 

Khalid Said 13:39

They first of all, it has to be built within a job description.

David Parry 13:42

Oh really so it's quite formalised

Khalid Said 13:44

Absolutely it has to be clear that your job description you are a machine operator, for example, and you part of your job, you have to go and implement one improvement per month or per week, or whatever. If you are finance or you are up in purchasing department is built within your scope that you must improve one will implement one improvement per week

David Parry 14:07

As part of the job description. I do these people tend to come from the more middle and senior manager ranks of the organisation.

Khalid Said 14:15

To be quite honest, David comes to the come from all different departments, all different levels. Yeah, but some some people use it as a way to be get promoted and grow further within enrollment within an organisation. 

DavidParry 14:26

Okay, yeah, well understandable. And I guess you can quite often find people very interested in this and looking for a way of developing their career alongside whatever they've done before. 

Khalid Said 14:36

That's right. So the last, for example, the last client we finished this with, and they ended up with a continuous improvement department with five SMEs and one champion. 

David Parry 14:44

Well, that must be a company of some size, I guess,

Khalid Said 14:47

yes, that they had about about 340 350 people 

David Parry 14:53

but does it still work for firms much smaller than that? 

Khalid Said 14:57

Absolutely.

David Parry 14:58

Say 50 employees a small manufacturing firm

Khalid Said 15:01

It works, with one client, they only had one champion. And he's that he's the only continuous improvement guy.

David Parry 15:08

Right? And when I'm talking about employees in that type of firm would be

Khalid Said 15:12

40 to 50 people but what's important is he needs to transfer that. What he learned to others.

David Parry 15:19

Yeah. So as a passion for that and some ability to enthuse. So we've done the wave one training, everybody's gone through that and Awareness Day quite fun quite hands on, then there's been this readiness check stage where it's one to one interviews where those checking for resistance. That's right, so okay, what happens after that, 

Khalid Said 15:37

after that, you would run the tailored training programme,

David Parry 15:41

another wave of training now, 

Khalid Said 15:43

right now, you're talking about three to five days training,

David Parry 15:46

A bit more intensive now. Would this be everybody again?

Khalid Said 15:49

No this is the selected potential SMEs or champions

David Parry 15:54

Okay, right. So how many of the 100%? Before might want to

Khalid Said 15:58

You want to aim for 40%?

David Parry 15:59

Oh, so quite a lot.

Khalid Said 16:00

That's right.

David Parry 16:01

In that pool you might be choosing from, 40%, let's say of the population having three to four days out, I can imagine now the reaction of various people listening, running a business or a production area or any department thinking that's a lot, I'm going to lose another three days or the last one day for everybody and now its another three days of nearly half my people. So it's starting to get a feel this is where the investment comes in. That's the time you have to take out. And do people tend to backfill this somehow with overtime, or to take on temps to backup or is it just,

Khalid Said 16:37

It all depends on the organisation and the workload, but most importantly, is the delivery of three days is spread based on their availability. So it doesn't have to be straightforward. It could be a delay of one month, for example

David Parry 16:51

So it doesn't have to be three days in a block, okay, so that I can imagine that bit more manageable. So one day at a time, minimum, really. So daily,

Khalid Said 16:58

daily, we could do one day per week, but you can't have a massive gap, because otherwise they lose the connection.

David Parry 17:05

But a day a week could be manageable over three weeks, actually. And lots of companies of course, I've got training, aspirations KPIs, yeah, it's good anyway, isn't it to have a certain amount of training, development of your own team. And so this three days does that come across as different from the first day? How do people feel about that?

Khalid Said 17:24

It is more because now you're getting into the details of the of the tools within a continuous improvement. Now it's broken down about 70/60 70% about simulation exercises, introduction, they stand up and they you know, complete exercises and puzzles and that other 30% is just literally materials and presentation. And you would spot during that is what we'll call rowers rudders and anchors. So the runners are ehe people who are really good leadership, Oh, guys, let's go, Oh, we're getting distracted, moving away from something come back. So these are potential leaders. And they're always and people actually just do it, just give me what I want. And I'm just going to do it. So they could fall towards the SMEs side, where the rudder could actually become part of the champion

David Parry 17:58

Rowers, rudders and anchors? As part of the job description.

Khalid Said 18:07

That's right, where the anchors Oh, my God, no, we don't need them, because they're just literally a blocker.

David Parry 18:30

Yeah, and that happens in any organisation, people have got different priorities in life. And you know, maybe their job isn't everything. That's, that's fine. That's what makes the rich tapestry of who we all are, so I come through this, then if I've been on one of these three day ones, I've been lucky enough to be one to one and pass through that resistance check or my readiness check. And I'm keen to go further, I want to take it to the next stage. So what happens next to me, so after the three day that I've come to the three day and I'm now thinking, hey, this is good, this I'm getting into this, how do I how do I take this further?

Khalid Said 19:01

Now, at the end, obviously, this will be explained to them from the first day of the three days or five days before you will be expected at the end of the three days to sign or will you will given a learning contract, where you have one week to populate sign it and get it signed by your manager. During the training, they already shared with the group some of the problems

David Parry 19:32

So they have come out on the way through.

Khalid Said 19:35

That's right. So we create a carpark with all improvements, all ideas that could actually implement and then they have a week to say okay, here's my learning contract and within that learning contract, hey, this explains the problem. What is the solution and which tool he will use to remove this problem or implement the solution? Sign it, put the date and sign up by his manager and submit it.

David Parry 20:03

Okay, right. So I do that then I get my learner contract come up with a project idea that's already been flushed out through wave two training my manager to sign up start to get excited about it. But am I still having to compete with others to be allowed to go ahead with my project? Or does everybody gets to have a go?

Khalid Said 20:21

It now depends on the size of the organisation depends on how many delegates attended the course. It could be every learning contract is four people. So it could be a project consists of four team members? Or could be everyone's just going to go into one learning contract. And now four weeks, only four weeks to close the improvements. This is not about long term projects. Small, it's about small, incremental change. So they go in, implemented and part of IMIG, we coach them, we we coach them after because it's all about conversion, converting the learnings. 

David Parry 20:58

So you haven't left anybody alone? You're still around, you're hands on.

Khalid Said 21:01

That's right, we are still supporting them depends against depends on the size of the organisation and number of projects, we could be there five days a week, or could be there one day per week, then at the end, they will submit an improvement summary. Improvement summary says this is the situation before. This is what we've done. And this is the situation after

David Parry 21:23

Are they encouraged at that stage to put that in financial terms or does it? Is that not the focus at this stage? 

Khalid Said 21:28

The bottom right hand corner is that improvement benefits

David Parry 21:32

The value of it.

Khalid Said 21:34

And that gets signed by the relevant stakeholders? Okay, yes. Okay. You have done 5% efficiency for me, that 5% efficiency for me could be it could mean 120,000 pounds, or could be 10,000 pounds.

David Parry 21:48

But it could have been in less tangible

Khalid Said 21:52

Absolutely. It could mean we you know, we saved an hour a day? Or could be actually we actually optimised our process or a safer environment, absolutely better quality could be all different elements of improvement. But it's so important. This improvement summary will not be submitted and approved and approved without a clear benefits.

David Parry 22:12

Yeah. Okay. So we're at the stage now, where we've run a number of projects, depending on the size of the company, it might have been a couple, there might have been lots, but there's been a whole wave of projects. And you and your colleagues have been there helping the various candidates that have shown an interest to do a good job and to make sure that they get their improvements. But you still got all of those people that were involved in that second wave of training, somehow involved as a team or as, as a potential subject. There's still a lot of people here all vying for, where do I go next with this, you know, you've built a certain level of expectation. And that's part is trickier isn't it? How do you not let people down, you've, you've built it up as this big thing.

Khalid Said 22:51

And that's why it has to be supported. Remember, the traditional most I'm not gonna say every organisation, but some organisations is top down. The continuous improvement improvement culture, inverts that triangle

David Parry 23:05

The very bottom up

Khalid Said 23:06

Correct. The people that the people are doing the people who understand that businesses, their processes, the other ones will come with the improvements, and the team and the leadership supports those guys. That's the whole thing. And that's the is the very important part of, of continuous improvement culture.

David Parry 23:24

It's not just bottom up in that you talked before about the letter from the MD, if you like, that missive, that declaration of support, which is heartfelt from the main stakeholder of the business,

Khalid Said 23:36

the sponsor of the programme could be the top guy could be the CEO was some of his direct reports. But it's got to be some very brief saying this is where the company's going. And this is the programme starts this, this, this this, and this is where and, and this is the vision and objective from this programme.

David Parry 23:55

So we've run all these projects, then we've got some improvements, summaries, presumably, there's some sort of presentation is there first. So what happens next

Khalid Said 24:02

So now now it comes down to the reward and recognition stage? So we have our improvements Hopper, the learning contract Hopper, which we will map over a learning contract? When is it jus, when is it supposed to an improvement summary submitted, as it has got an identified clear benefits, and then becomes to the final presentation. So all the participants all these potential champions and SMEs that come and present their improvement summaries to the sponsor, this is what we've done. And these are the benefits 

David Parry 24:35

and companies quite often make a bit of a special effort here to celebrate the successes.

Khalid Said 24:41

And part of the investment on the customer from the from the partners is they will award them with the LCS accreditation, lean competency system accreditation, which is supported by Cardiff University.

David Parry 24:52

Okay, so that's a qualification

Khalid Said 24:54

that's right from it. Yes. This is a like a recognition rewards from the company. So, we you have invested your time with us, you have done this, this is our reward. And this is now takes us to the next stage.

David Parry 25:09

Next stage, so you haven't finished yet you're still involved?

Khalid Said 25:11

Because remember, Dave, what is the purpose? It's to build internal capability

David Parry 25:16

Yeah, I can sense that at this stage, we've got a certain body of excitement growing and project has been run. And I've seen this go so many times to this stage. And that's when it sort of fizzles away a little bit. So what happens next is critical in my mind

Khalid Said 25:30

The final stage is the assess? Now, remember, we have to sustain it. If you don't build internal capability is going to disappear. And people are going to think, Oh, another flavour of the month. So you assess and you build your subject matter expert, and champions. Now we have those guys. And those guys, now we'll take the role

David Parry 25:51

so this is a more formal interview process, but based on projects, they've run,

Khalid Said 25:55

based on the submission in the submitted improvement summary based on their character based on their their their their behaviours, doing all that that programme, there's so many different aspects you take into consideration to say, Okay, you're ready, you can do it, and then the job description will change. And then they take that role. 

David Parry 26:15

So clearly, the managers in the organisation are instrumental in this, they're very much part of that selection process. You're supporting them and highlighting, but did you notice that or what about this, but ultimately, the the internal managers are selecting, presumably one champion as a minimum, maybe more, but certainly at least a champion, and then a number of subject matter experts who've shown some, some talent for one of the tools you've talked about

Khalid Said 26:40

That's right. One of our customers, the latest customer, we've completed the programme with. Based on their organisation, we would end up with a continuous improvement department with one champion and five SMEs. 

David Parry 26:53

And that then becomes part of the organisation, it's a new department has been born.

Khalid Said 26:57

It's a continuous improvement culture. This is happening, this is staying. This is not just a tester.

David Parry 27:02

Yeah, I think this is part of what I'm seeing as a key ingredient that often gets missed, especially if you send someone or several people away for some training on continuous improvement. And they come back that you've, you've said afterwards, if we're going to carry on with this, we need someone, even if they're not full time, but someone whose job it is to predominantly manage this through. But the difference seems to be that you've got a whole group of people who know what they're trying to do now. Whereas when someone comes back from a course, they're kind of in a sea of sceptics? And is that sort of part of your thinking in how you designed it this way, this idea of everybody having the training, no matter who you are at the beginning?

Khalid Said 27:39

That's right. Because that remember, we are introducing different language or language that might be a well, you know, we've experienced before, but a language that is staying. So all acronyms, all the tools they are using becomes common.

David Parry 27:54

So you got a common language when we're talking about it?

Khalid Said 27:56

Yeah. Now, the the bottom line is, is that this programme, helps everyone helps organisation that they have a, an engine generates more efficiency, more efficiency, more, more improvements, better, better and safer environment. And the same time you have changing the behaviours of the people. Because remember, continuous improvement, it's about the mindset.

David Parry 28:24

You said at the beginning, it's the culture,

Khalid Said 28:26

it's the culture, it's the mindset, you know, and that's what that's every SME and champions must be ready for change.

David Parry 28:34

And there must have been times where you've really been quite amazed at someone who's ended up being the champion, who even the internal people who knew them quite well. wouldn't have guessed in a month of Sundays. That that was the person that would shine through. 

Khalid Said 28:48

That's right. Absolutely.

David Parry 28:50

Such an amazing feeling

Khalid Said 28:51

Ah, oh my god, am I still in touch with them as they still text? Message me? Oh, we've done this. We've done this. Oh, my God, for example, you know, Dave called me the other day saying, Oh, my God, golly, we never thought we're gonna go above 55% OEE only now we're at 85% sustainable. Now target never go below 85%. Wow 

David Parry 29:13

that's a big change

Khalid Said 29:14

That is the change when somebody comes to me and say, Wow, Khalid, I don't work weekends anymore. I actually don't work Saturdays and Sundays anymore.

David Parry 29:21

So those sorts of other benefits. And that is obviously going to be noticed inside the business at the financial level, you start taking OEE from 55% to 85%. Well, I think of the extra capacity you've just created and the efficiencies. So we're still left at this point where you've selected your champion or champions, and certainly some subject matter experts SMEs, but now they need to do some more projects right up until now they've been doing them as part of their selection process. But now the rubber hits the road. They've really got to start getting on with them. Are you do you do just run it again, doing another wave with you facilitating it all or at what point do you sort of cut the open strings.

Khalid Said 30:00

Once it was developed them, theoretically speaking, we should be out.

David Parry 30:05

So at this stage, even?

Khalid Said 30:06

Now we created the internal capability with a subject matter expert people, you don't need us now unless they wanted a completely separate tool that these guys have never been taught

David Parry 30:17

So if its gone well, at this point, you back away entirely, you've done enough work with your champion and your subject matter experts. And they pick it up and run with it.

Khalid Said 30:28

Yeah. And, by the way, a lot of I'm gonna say a lot of my colleagues don't like it

David Parry 30:36

Right? They want to stay involved,

Khalid Said 30:38

One of my colleagues who work in the same field, what are you doing, we're losing clients, because you built an internal internal capability, that means you're, you getting yourself out of a job. But this is the benefit, this is the benefit organisation, they invest it, they have to sustain it. Now, on average, at the moment, we are reaching, you know, 7 to 1 or 1, 2 or 7 net benefit or retaining investment benefits.

David Parry 31:06

Now, you mentioned that the auditable benefits. So that's an impressive number, but just explain it in detail for me. Seven, what to one? What

Khalid Said 31:16

if the cost, if the programme costs 50,000 pounds will cost let's make it simple. If it costs 100,000 pounds, they will get 600 to 700,000 pounds of gain 

David Parry 31:26

Now, is that just you toting up the numbers and doing a bit of kidology? How do you come up with that

Khalid Said 31:31

on every improvement summary that you'll do from the end of the programme or after it will be have to be aligned with their financial p&l? Or their their department managers or their stakeholders? Yes, I can see evidence, seen this, this is the benefit of it

David Parry 31:51

And in that cost, whether it be 50,000 100,000 5000. That's not the cost of getting a load of consultants in on its own, that we're talking here about the time that we're investing in our existing employees to come off the job and just work on continuous improvement. That's probably the larger part of the cost. If there's all these people, that's so seven to one, and is that signed off by the stakeholder of each of the projects. When they will get added up? You want someone on the board level sign that off as well, I guess.

Khalid Said 32:18

And that is what we want to see

David Parry 32:20

So that's an average, what's the range? Do you ever get some that just don't even cover their costs? going to guarantee that now

Khalid Said 32:24

The minimum in the market is three to one. That's the market. At the moment, the lowest we've ever achieved, you know, touching wood, thank God, is six to one, that's the lowest we've achieved so far. And some areas we achieved 10 to one, trust me, honestly. And that's what we're proud of. Honestly, honestly, and that is why we were so passionate about what we deliver. And if it's a blocker, honestly, we will tell the customer, guys, you're gonna lose.

David Parry 32:58

Do you ever get in at the beginning, and you think they're just going through the motions here, I'm not seeing the sponsor really believe in this, I'd rather walk away than fail

Khalid Said 33:05

At the readiness stage. Sorry, guys, you're not ready. This is the gap. This is the gap. This is the gap, please disclose it because we care about you will protect our return on investment or net benefit ratio. We want to protect as much as we don't want you to waste your money on not getting any value.

David Parry 33:25

Yep. Okay, impressive. And I'm getting the impression that a lot of this does happen in manufacturing environments, but not exclusively it can it work elsewhere in more office based environments

Khalid Said 33:37

You know, we've done it in the railway. We've done it with with financial departments, we've done it with food, I'm starting one next week in the food industry. So it works in various various sectors and departments. So this is those tools, not just on the shop floor.

David Parry 33:55

So when you talk about department, can you, especially if I'm thinking there's people here listening that say, I like the idea of this, but I'd like to dip my toe in the water and do a pilot study? Could you do at department level rather than having to evolve the whole business?

Khalid Said 34:09

It could be department level? That's right.

David Parry 34:11

Department of 1015 20 people, you could say every one of those will get trained, and we'll do it within ourselves, even if the rest of the business aren't involved.

Khalid Said 34:19

We don't recommend that. But it can, but we don't recommend that because you need the whole values team involved. Right? Because you might improve the purchasing department, you might improve the HR department, but if it's not linked to where the value has been added, you're not gonna really really gain long term benefits.

David Parry 34:39

Sure. And I suppose also, there's an argument of efficiency of the training you and your trainer in you'd like them to train as many people as you can it in the room. How many people can be on a programme at once?

Khalid Said 34:49

Minimum 12 Maximum 18. So with one you could have one consultant delivering or one facilitator with 18 You could end up with with with two people,

David Parry 34:59

But as long as you want to have enough people involved in the programme that you get a big body of people getting that training, even if there's several waves of that you run the one day session several times you want, ideally everybody to be talking using the same language.

Khalid Said 35:13

That's right.

David Parry 35:14

Fascinating. Pretty good. I'd love to see this seven to one thing

Khalid Said 35:20

I can share with you honest, I can share with you some real case studies, but obviously, because previously, because of confidentiality, I can't mention the customers but can absolutely this some some case studies will get approved from our customers to share. Not a problem I can share with you.

David Parry 35:35

Yeah, great. Well, it'd be good if you can do that. And similarly, for some of these basic templating things, if you can share any of those, we can put those on the website for people to download with your company's branding on it. But it'd be nice if people can just see the way you've gone about it. Because you don't have to, you know, no, disrespect doesn't have to be your company doing this, this is a great template for someone to follow. But unless you've got the skills in house to do the facilitation, you're going to have to get them from somewhere, at least for this, this CBC period that you're running for. And how long are we talking from scoping through to when you back out and leave them to run it on their own

Khalid Said 36:11

Some organisation could be a three months could be six months, and the one we've just about to sign is a year and a half.

David Parry 36:17

Okay, so there's obviously a range for size of company. But if a company wanted to really push themselves through that they could imagine it as a three to six month programme.

Khalid Said 36:25

That's right. That's correct.

David Parry 36:27

That's great. And that's interesting to note as well, for seasonal businesses. There's a few seasonal businesses we work with that couldn't touch this with a bargepole during their busy season. But they don't like to lose the skills that often retain skills when they're less busy through the quiet patch. What a great time to invest in the training. Because that cost you've talked about, you know, the opportunity cost is a lot lower, isn't it? If really, there isn't the same pressure to get the work in. Well coloured, thank you very much for coming.

Khalid Said 36:53

My pleasure,

David Parry 36:55

As I said to you before, is interested in the approach the way you very systematically have thought about this, and, and the fact that having done it that way so many times, and I've got this track record of multiple of benefits over the costs. Very impressive work.

Khalid Said 37:08

Thank you. Thank you very much

David Parry 37:09

good luck with all of that,

Khalid Said 37:10

Thank you for your time.

David Parry 37:11

And I hope somebody listening has just had a bit of a thought, a seed planted in their mind to think you know what, however I go about it, I've got to think again about this. I may have tried these continuous improvement programmes before this Lean stuff. But I can see that if it's structured well and everybody's involved, then the benefits are there to be heard.

Khalid Said 37:29

And they can contact us anytime they have any other questions we can we're more than happy to fulfil,

David Parry 37:34

thanks, Scarlett, but I'm sure people will see this promoted on LinkedIn and on YouTube and on Instagram and on our blogs, and they'll see it. They'll know who you are and where you live. Thank you very much,

Khalid Said 37:47

Thank you, Dave, thanks for having me.

David Parry 37:49

So you've been listening to another episode from The SME Growth Podcast from Wellmeadow. As I say we come up with different topics each week. And this week, we've been learning all about the continuous improvement philosophies from IMIG from Khalid in particular. So thanks again to Khalid for for coming in today. Every week, I asked you to pass on the news about our podcast to your business contacts. Please follow us on Spotify, Apple or wherever else you get your podcasts. But anyway, good luck with your business.