Insights & Downloads

The Journey of a Continuous Improvement (CI) Leader

Who Am I? I’m a seasoned Accelerate Automotive CI Leader with nearly three decades of experience. My journey began in 1997, and since then, I’ve embraced every challenge with enthusiasm. I thrive on the satisfaction of overcoming seemingly impossible tasks, and I believe in the power of hard work. For me, work isn’t just a […]

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Developing Leadership Agility

by Dr. Bryan Cutliff FACHE Leaders today engage in many diverse and complex activities and face a new set of challenges requiring agility. These could span from accepting new roles and responsibilities to taking organizations to new heights, to navigating tremendous internal and external pressures to adopt new ways of thinking around diversity, equity, and […]

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Factory of the Future or Factory for the Planet?

by John Quirke The “Factory for the Planet” concept represents a visionary approach to industrial operations that prioritizes environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and long-term business viability. As a business model it aligns with global efforts to address climate change, resource depletion, and evolving consumer expectations for ethical and eco-friendly products and services. I have seen, […]

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The Invaluable Power of Vulnerability In Leadership Teams

In the often stoic and authoritative realm of senior leadership, the notion of vulnerability might seem counterintuitive. However, a closer examination reveals that embracing vulnerability can be a powerful catalyst for positive change, fostering a culture of trust, collaboration, and innovation within senior leadership teams. As all leaders cast a shadow, this trait of vulnerability […]

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Digital Requirements

For those who have worked with me in the past, something that I’ve harped on about is the importance of ensuring that technology follows process, not the other way around.   I’ve said this from years of experience seeing organisations taking the approach of ‘our existing tools won’t change and we’re not going to get any […]

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Organic v. Planned Expansion

Process Management initiatives often start in a certain part of an organisation to solve a specific business problem. For example, we may find that our Customer Satisfaction Score is below target, so we prioritise our process management efforts to focus on our customer services processes. This may be the entire scope of our process management […]

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Are you struggling to automate? Try standardization instead.

Many of the clients with whom I work have identified that process Digitization and Automation are critical to their ability to survive, let alone grow. And as such they invest. They hire teams of automation experts. They train their teams to be citizen developers. They buy automation tools. And nothing happens.   The problem here is […]

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TPM as a system to support your long-term sustainability and cultural transformation goals

By John Quirke, Partner If you consider TPM (Total Productive Manufacturing) only as a tool in your continuous improvement toolbox you are missing a major opportunity.  TPM provides a core system and philosophy to transform the culture of your manufacturing operation and bring life to your aspirations of greater sustainable environmentally business performance. What is […]

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Bryan Cutliff earns top Healthcare Management Credential

Brighton, MI – 3 January 2024 Bryan Cutliff, PsyD, FACHE, Partner at S A Partners Inc. – strategy deployment consultants based in Michigan, recently became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the nation’s leading professional society for healthcare leaders. “The healthcare management field plays a vital role in providing high-quality care to […]

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Shingo & Lean Forum with Frank Devine Full Recording
The Shingo and Lean Forums exists to encourage the sharing of ideas on Best Practice, Continuous Improvement and lean through networking, visits and workshops. This edition we welcome Frank Devine as our guest speaker First Name* Last Name* Work Email Company:* CAPTCHA Save and Continue Later
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Shingo Executive Overview Webinar Recording
Embark on a transformative journey with our upcoming virtual workshop, where practical insights pave the way for your company’s success. Here’s what you can expect from the session: Cultural Insight: Delve into the profound impact of culture on transformation, gaining valuable insights for sustainable change. Strategic Vision: Compare your current state to the desired future, unlocking the [...]
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Unleashing Innovation: The Crucial Role of Creativity in Modern Business

By Conor Dawson, Head of Ireland Region In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving business landscape, the ability to innovate has become a cornerstone of success. As organisations strive to stay ahead of the competition, adapt to technological advancements, meet looming legal ESG imperatives, and meet the changing needs of consumers, creativity emerges as a driving force […]

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Unlocking Digital Transformation: The Importance Of Standardization Webinar Recording
Most, if not all organizations, have embarked on a Process Management initiative at some point or other. The outcome of these initiatives is mixed. For some organizations, process management becomes part of their DNA, and they successfully develop a process-driven culture where everyone understands the importance of standardization and continuous improvement. Other organizations, however, struggle [...]
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Lean Fundamentals

This paper sets out to describe where the Early Equipment Management(EEM) principle embedded within the TPM philosophy can bring substantial improvements to a company’s existing new product development and introduction processes involving capital physical assets. EEM is driven by a belief that behind the plant and equipment used in any production process there are three […]

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What makes a great Deployment Leader?

by Simon Grogan Great deployment leaders possess a unique set of skills and qualities that enable them to lead their teams toward Enterprise Excellence. Do you have what it takes? Ask yourself these three questions… I know who I am, what I’m good at, how I speak, listen, and think, I know what brings me […]

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Beyond The Buzz

Join Ishan Sellahewa as he talks through ‘Beyond The Buzz: Building your Future through Digital Transformation’ Contact Ishan with any questions: ishan.sellahewa@sapartners.com

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5 Great Reasons to Undertake an Assessment

We all need to grow, innovate and compete. To do this we need to have a deep understanding of our organization’s current state – hence the need to build a regular benchmarking assessment into your strategic plan. We’ve identified 5 compelling reasons to kick start an assessment: Identifying Gaps One of the primary reasons to […]

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The Power of Benchmarking

By Ailsa Carson, Partner Benchmarking is defined as the act or practice of measuring something against a standard, or of testing in order to develop such a standard[i]. Most organizations that are invested in best practice or continuous improvement will use benchmarking either formally or informally to support their journey. It can take place within […]

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The Role of Leadership in Digital Transformation

By Jack Worboys, Consultant  Technology is changing the world in which we live faster and more exponentially than ever. Our use of technology pervades every aspect of our lives and it is therefore imperative that every organisation has a digital transformation that is aligned to their strategic objectives. It is however all too easy to get […]

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Managing Process Variations

  Join Ishan Sellahewa as he talks through ‘Managing Process Variations’

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Achieving Excellence: How To Leverage process optimisation & automation Webinars 1 & 2
Sessions 1 & 2 of our partnered workshop with Synergi all around process optimisation and automation Achieving Excellence: How To Leverage process optimisation & automation session 1 & 2 First Name* Last Name* Work Email Company:* CAPTCHA Save and Continue Later
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Case Study: Blenders Transformation Year 1 to Year 3

In 1989, the Simpson family founded Blenders and have been perfecting sauces for over 30 years. Today, the second generation, Harry and James, lead a dedicated and experienced team.   S A Partners were brought in for an initial benchmarking assessment and established the next steps to continue their journey to excellence. From lean awareness […]

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Shingo Journey Guide
Check out our latest guide to your Shingo Journey – an approach to truly sustainable Enterprise Excellence.
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Delivering Process Improvement

We all want to improve the way that we work. Process improvement (digital or otherwise) doesn’t just happen though, someone has to drive these projects. Whose responsibility should this be? Should we ask our divisions to improve their own processes or do we create a transformation team to do it for them.     To start, […]

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Creating A Sense Of Belonging

In the realm of organizational practices, a diverse range of research from esteemed thought leaders is often employed. These insights span strategy development, operations management, financial acumen, risk assessment, process refinement, and adept problem-solving. These conventional management domains are pivotal in crafting robust workflows that steer organizations toward their missions. Yet, within this landscape, there exists […]

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How to align, engage and improve using effective Tiered meetings Webinar Recording
Join Sonja Allen and Megan James for this bite size webinar where they will share how to improve the effectiveness of your tiered or cross-organisational meetings using the tried and tested AEI (Align, Engage, Improve) System. Discover the principles, features and key benefits of deploying an AEI system​.​ Download the recording here. How to align, engage [...]
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Speak To Lead: How To Embrace Your Challenge Voice Webinar Recording
Are you ready to revolutionize the way you communicate and lead? Doctor of Psychology Bryan Cutliff leads this webinar centred around the transformative concept of the “challenge voice”. Discover how this unique and dynamic vocal technique can reshape your interactions, amplify your influence, and supercharge your team’s productivity. Speak To Lead: How To Embrace Your [...]
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Why Curiosity is Essential for Gemba

In the world of effective leadership, one invaluable skill often goes overlooked—Gemba. While Gemba is often associated with process improvement, its true power lies in its ability to transform leadership communication. In this blog, we’ll explore the critical role of communication in Gemba and provide you with two essential tips to enhance your Gemba skills […]

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Explore / Control / Position: What’s the Difference and Why Should you Care?​

Effective communication is the lifeblood of any successful organization. It’s not merely a tool for interaction; it’s the very essence of how we navigate challenges, share ideas, and collaborate. Yet, there are pitfalls to be aware of when it comes to communication. The Pitfalls of Communication: Unconscious Communication: Often, we communicate without conscious thought, assuming […]

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The SHINGO© Model that drives Enterprise Excellence & the focus on Culture & Behaviours that matter

By John Quirke, Author In 1988 as a recognition for his work across a broad range of industry sectors, Shigeo Shingo was awarded an honorary Doctor of Management from Utah State University.  Over the course of his life Dr. Shingo wrote eighteen books on the improvement of work and the processes that support the effectiveness […]

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Why do team members get offended by your challenges?

Why do people get offended by our challenge voice?  The challenge voice is one of the voices we most readily recognize; it’s the voice that stimulates our prehistoric brain most easily.  It triggers our most primitive reactions – flight, fight, or freeze.  Typically, when we are challenged, we know we have been so. When people […]

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Pocket Guide to Digital Transformation

Why Should you Digitally Transform?  Every organisation wants to do more with less while simultaneously increasing the level of service that they deliver to their customers. Given this, seemingly impossible task, winning and losing will almost certainly be determined by an organisation’s ability to leverage technology to improve the way that they work.  Digital Transformation […]

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Successful Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is at the top of everyone’s agenda however studies show that 70% of Digital Transformation efforts fail. The people who achieve success don’t do so by accident and, in this 15 minute webinar, Ishan Sellahewa explains what sets success apart from failure.  

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Start your Digital Transformation Journey today…

Listen in to find out how you can begin your digital transformation journey today. Ishan Sellahewa shares how to align both your digital transformation with your Enterprise Excellence journey. Contact ishan.sellahewa@sapartners.com with any questions

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Align, Engage, Improve – Tiered Management System

Discover how the Align, Engage, Improve (AEI) system can support your organisation to deploy an effective and engaging Tiered Management System Contact juliette.packham@sapartners.com or keivan.zokaei@sapartners.com with any questions

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Aligning Process Management with Enterprise Excellence

I’m guessing that, given you’ve taken the time out of your day to read a blog on process management, you understand the importance of having clear and current documented processes. What we all need to remember though is that while process documentation is a necessity, it will do nothing on its own. This is why […]

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Align, Engage, Improve with Effective Tiered Meetings

By Sonja Allen Have you ever considered… How many meetings you have a week? How many of these meetings could be an email? How many of these meetings have few or no results? How many rabbit holes do your meeting conversations go down? How regularly do you talk about what really matters, in a focused […]

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Lean Fundamentals: The Problem with Problem Solving
Across various industries, there has been a consistent demand to improveproblem-solving skills within businesses. Organizations often prioritize theuse of problem-solving tools and approaches, considering probleminvestigation and resolution as critical aspects of regulatory compliance.However, the prevailing culture associated with compliance-drivenproblem solving often leads to shallow investigations, rushed resolutions,and recurring issues. Download The Problem with Problem Solving
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Pocket Guide to: Changeover Optimisation
Manufacturing organisations are under pressure to increase productivity and improve flexibility & responsiveness to customer needs. Changeover optimisation is a means of improving performance to create a more flexible manufacturing environment. Equipment flexibility & responsiveness are core requirements of all modern manufacturing thinking and largely determined by process changeover capability. To download click the download [...]
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Managing Regional Process Variation

Many of the clients that I work with operate out of multiple national and global sites. This then naturally gives rise to the question ‘how do we deal with these geographic variations?’ I doubt I need to explain in too much detail why organisations want to get rid of their variations, there can’t be two […]

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Does Process Management Hinder Creativity?

Often, when I talk about process management and explain the benefits of having clear processes with detailed work instructions, I’ll get pushback like ‘we hire professionals to do a job, we don’t want to tell them exactly how to do it’.   In short, the push back is on how much detail the process needs. The […]

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Celebrating 30 years of S A Partners

We are 30 years old and we are celebrating just how far we have come.. from our early years as a spin-out from Cardiff University’s Lean Enterprise Research Centre (LERC) our founders Peter Hines & Paul Morris founded a company that now has a global team and offices in the UK, Ireland, Germany, the USA, […]

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How to Sell Process Management

Driving engagement with Process Management requires more than just telling your people that they must now be process driven. Lets consider the Prosci change management model. This clearly demonstrates the need to manage not just the technical side of change (documenting processes), but also the people side of change to enable a transition from the […]

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Digital Transformation in your organisations improvement journey – FREE webinar recording
Ishan Sellahewa and Conor Dawson presented at the recent Lean Business Ireland Conference. During the presentation, they discussed how organisations can use Digital Transformation to move from a state of chaos to consistency and truly achieve business excellence View the full webinar and transcript below Digital Transformation in your organisations improvement journey recording First Name* [...]
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Your IT department might be unknowingly undermining your culture

We all know humans are inherently lazy – we tend to take the path of least resistance. This makes sense; both mental and physical activity takes a lot of energy, something that was scarce at the time when we had to hunt and gather for our next meal. For a more recent example, if you […]

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Process Management and Risk

Speaking with Risk Managers, I find that risk management is often performed in Excel. There’ll be a ‘Risk Register’ file, where (generally) the Risk team document an exhaustive list of risks in one column, and in another column treatments/ controls for those risks. This Excel file typically lives in a SharePoint folder, is maintained by […]

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DEEP EXCELLENCE: A call to action for a new style of leadership

This book will challenge your thinking about how you lead; and how you can add value to those around you.  You will discover and explore ways in which you can bring meaning to your work and how you can engage the heads; hands and hearts to create a culture of Deep Excellence in your organization.   […]

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Process Management and Agile

Periodically when talking about process management, I’ll be told ’process management isn’t for us, we’re agile’.  Is agile a fair excuse to avoid process management? Short answer, in my opinion, absolutely not; in fact an agile environment makes process management more important if anything. Here’s why.   Agile and the Agile Trap First, let’s start […]

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Understanding Lean Leadership

By MEGAN JAMES, European Business Development Manager I previously shared the S A Partners implementation model for Enterprise Excellence and how to use this to build effective training programmes. In case you missed it, you can find it HERE. I received some great queries specifically about the design of the Leadership element so I wanted […]

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Resourcing For Successful Process Management

Process Management: The Ikea Approach    What does Ikea and Process Management have in common?     The decentralisation of the build phase. One way in which Ikea is able to offer furniture at a price point below its competition is that, unlike its competitors who pay labourers to assemble their furniture, Ikea makes use […]

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