Part 2 | The Visionary
The first step in any successful manufacturing system project is to assemble the right people around the table. As we discussed in “Assembling Your Production System Project Team”, it’s more important that you focus on talents than titles. Throughout March we will be focusing on the specific roles that will make up your team and ultimately propel your project to success.
This week we discuss the Visionary.
Each team needs a key player that can set the stage for what production looks like after rollout. This is as critical for the company as it is for the vendor. The Visionary understands the end-game, even if they don’t know what steps are required to achieve it, and leads the team across the finish line.
Finding the right team members with the ideal traits to take on the responsibilities of the Visionary is never easy, but it is critical to your success. It will be tempting to just assign this role to whoever makes the ultimate decision on the project (President, VP, Board Member) but it’s very likely that those individuals won’t be the best fit.
At the highest level, this team member needs to be focused, confident and passionate about the project. They are the captain that will steer the ship when scope creep threatens the success of implementation and they must be able to look at the project holistically when other team members quibble over minor functionality
By having a single person on the team whose sole focus is getting the rest of the team to the final destination, the other members can focus on the individual responsibilities that make it possible without fear. Your Visionary acts as the project lead, delegating tasks and ensuring every other team member sticks to their area of expertise without dissuading constructive debate. To accomplish this daunting task, you should look for an experienced team member who exemplifies the following criteria.
Your Visionary is someone who consistently illustrates the ability to keep on task until the job is done. They may seem obsessive at times, but their unwavering compulsion for seeing a project through to the end is exactly what qualifies them for this role.
Though communication will be important for every team member, the Visionary takes it to another level. He/she needs to maintain a clear vision of the end game of the project while ensuring the team is all working toward a common set of goals. This may mean translating the same abstract concepts to different people, in different departments, using different terminology.
At the core of the Visionary role is the ability to lock in on what the future of your shop looks like. What domino effects will take place once your system has installed, but priorities are absolutely essential and what constants need to remain part of the day-to-day of your plant.
All of this requires the ability to fabricate a future plan in action. This level of creative foresight can be found in a team member you may know as a story teller. They understand how to expound on ideas in a way that guarantees your project is well structured and consistently applied.
Lastly, every Visionary requires the ability to stand their ground when they need to and open the floor for debate when it’s necessary. Foresight and focus are rendered pointless if the Visionary is too meek to fight for the project to stay on track. However, this personality trait can be a double-edged sword.
Those with ultimate authority in a company are more likely to have confidence but lack humility where lower level employees will have aspiration and humility in spades but may fear creating a rift with a higher-ranking co-worker. This ability to balance action with strategy is the foundation of the role and critical to your team accomplishing their goals.
If you look hard enough at your own company, you will undoubtedly find your Visionary. But be aware, it may not be the person you expected going into your search. Keep an open mind and remember that this process the fundamental rule of team building: "talent over title".
Once you’ve established your team, your efforts will show immediate return, but don’t be tempted to rush into any major decision until the proper foundation has been set.
Check back next week to learn how to identify your team's Connector
Your Next Steps
Check back next week to continue your education on assembling your next manufacturing system project team. For more on selecting the right production control system for your industry, connect with a CIMx Expert today to map out your requirements, organize your priorities and get to work on increasing productivity throughout production with Quantum.