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The Synergy Paradigm

The Synergy Paradigm

John Maceda

Synergy: {n} The working together of two things to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.

Most businesses operate on two distinct levels:

Human Systems 'Those systems that are concerned with or operated by people.
- Process Systems 'Those systems that are functional or mechanical in nature.

Each of these systems is independent of the other and each has its own characteristics and needs. Human systems and process systems do not generally have the same challenges or solutions although they must work in
total synergy in order to achieve the greatest success.

Take a simple task like driving your car. The operator (human system) must be alert and competent. The car (process system) must have all of its components running smoothly. The two systems (human and process) must work in total synergy and cooperation with one another in order to succeed.

We could diagram this process as synergy sits atop the pyramid of cooperation between human systems and process systems.

Most companies try to operate their two systems in a cooperative manner and most fail to ever reach true synergy.

True synergy is the almost effortless cooperation between the two systems. It produces very little waste and the outcome is highly efficient and productive.

So if true synergy is a goal how does one achieve it?

To achieve true synergy in business we must first know and understand what our customers want and expect. We must design our process systems around those customer needs. Process systems must be designed in such a way that they can be readily measured using a statistical approach and remain open enough to allow substantial change to occur. This, of course, requires the application of the human system to study, analyze and design solutions that are first and foremost targeted to the customer.

So our roadmap for synergy could begin with gathering our customer requirements, identifying waste and variation using tools such as DMAIC, eliminating defects and waste on one side and eliminating non value added or unnecessary items on the other and finally proceeding to the design phase.

This is an important first step to assure we meet our customer requirements and expectations while eliminating costly and unnecessary steps.

We can visualize this process as follows:

Customer needs and expectations define what the process will do.
- Upper and lower expectation limits are set.
- Analysis of each process within the system is completed.
- All defect causes and waste are eliminated.
- Design specifications are created.

Many companies who gross at least five million dollars in a fiscal year could save $250,000 or more and increase their customer satisfaction at the same time by eliminating wasteful variances from their processes alone.

Human systems are handled in an entirely different manner. Businesses should spend more time and effort in the selection of candidates to assure only high performing individuals make the grade, these individuals should be thoroughly trained in human relationships and leadership skills along with their respective technical skills. Individuals and teams should be autonomous and in charge of whole processes. They should present with all of the skills necessary to not only complete the work but to interact with their customers.

We can visualize a good human system as follows:

Careful selection of employees.
- Personal Development.
- Professional Development.
- Value the Individual.
- Empower the Individual.
- Attain Synergy.

Businesses should concentrate on both human and process systems in the following order:

Human Systems
- Process Systems

Processes can be designed but only by people who are capable of design and who understand the business and the customer.

It is hard work to achieve true synergy but once it is mastered businesses can expect hard working and customer centered employees working in total cooperation with other human systems and process systems, which together create a base for total customer quality and internal efficiency.

Mr. Maceda is the president of Applied Knowledge Systems Inc. a Washington D.C. metro area consulting firm specializing in high performance for human systems and process systems.

About the Author

Mr. Maceda is president of Applied Knowledge Systems Inc. a Washington D.C. metro area based consulting firm offering high performance tools and solutions for human systems and process systems.


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