What are you looking for?

SGS Productivity Methodological Guide – Management of Communication in the Business Environment

Quality Insights20 Jan 2023

In a company, the most important and differentiating factor is its people. To avoid problems and inefficiencies of communication, we must create a system that facilitates the transmission of information with order and precision.

People power

People are not only valuable for their knowledge, but also for their organization, the relationships established between them and how they communicate.

This communication takes place in meetings for agreements, decision-making and exchange of impressions, and sometimes they are events with ample room for improvement, both in organization and method.

Have you ever carried out numerous never-ending meetings in your organization? Have you noticed that they have been lengthened more than necessary by improper structuring and not focusing on the topics for discussion?

To avoid these problems and inefficiencies of communication, we must create a system that facilitates the transmission of information with order and precision. 

What is communicating?

The key to a good organization lies in communication. But what is communication? It is about always transmitting the right amount of information and situations, so that people can understand the message correctly.

The sender that does not adapt the message to each specific situation always produces communication errors.

Communication is bidirectional and, therefore, the sender must adapt the information according to the recipient’s concerns and situation. For example, a construction worker cannot speak in a technical language to a person engaged in childcare, because they will not understand them and vice versa. You must use simpler language, so everyone can understand it. Conversely, people who have the same background will understand perfectly.

Finally, the sender must always follow a script rigorously to meet the communication goal.

What is communication?

It is about transmitting the right amount of information required at all times and situations, so that the receiver can understand the message correctly.

Keys to success in meetings

To properly implement the continuous improvement system, there must be discussion in meetings of results, objectives and action plans.

Similarly, like all planned events, team meetings require the same preparation. To do this, they should collect the necessary data and information on productivity, costs, benefits, etc. Pilot training must be carried out in advance by the promoter of the improvement, to obtain reliable, relevant and accurate data that can be processed correctly.

A debate controller, who is the hierarchical superior or pilot, will guide the meetings, and minutes should be taken to establish each agreement.

Discussion should aim to agree on actions to be implemented. The timing of such meetings must be confirmed in advance and not permitted to overrun on the day.

As the last important factor for a meeting to be productive and useful, each different hierarchical level must be represented to execute the agreed actions. With this, it is possible to reduce the number of participants necessary to take appropriate action.

Who is the pilot?

This is the person hierarchically superior to the rest of the team, who will control actions to be carried out to improve a process or certain area.

What is an action plan?

This is a guide that includes the objectives and goals to be achieved (from highest to lowest degree of importance), as well as the actions needed to reach them. It should also indicate the person who should perform each action, what the procedure for that will be, and the time they will have to do it. It may involve multiple departments or areas of the company.

Who is the promoter of improvement?

This is the person who has proposed an idea to improve a certain process. They can belong to any hierarchical level. Their training should be detailed and technical. They will aim to standardize good practices, train future pilots, extend their knowledge and be able to create their own continuous improvement system.

Visual management to support communication

Visual management is available to the person responsible for the GAP (an autonomous group of people) and the team members. The visual management design is specific to each business and must be standardized in the pilot GAP for subsequent establishment in future GAPs.

It is a support for verbal communication that facilitates the operations to be carried out. It reflects, in detail, the conditions that the GAP is using for the indicators. Each indicator has a specific purpose for team members.

Each indicator is assigned an owner and has its evolution and objective registered. It should be updated every day by the team with the coordinator’s help with relevant information. Visualizations should be considered as a tool and not as an end result. Therefore, they will only be necessary if they are useful to someone, or if they assist in reaching a certain objective. 

What is an indicator?

An indicator is an instrument used to capture the state of an activity and how it progresses. It has a certain objective and its status is easily visible: green if it goes well and red if it does not. Preferably, it should be completed assiduously by hand for adequate decision-making. Whoever is responsible for the indicator and its area of influence should update this status.

Management meetings

Hierarchical levels 

The first concept we must define for a better understanding is “management”. What does it mean to manage? It is about making the right decisions, supported by appropriate indicators, to program the actions needed to achieve objectives.

The next step is to know how we should understand the hierarchical levels of the company. Understanding Lean management of the company means structuring the objectives, functions and tools of each actor, from the direction to operators, to develop the global Lean management system.

  • Level 1 – GAP TOP 5
  • Level 2 – GAP routine
  • Level 3 – TOP 60
  • Level 4 – Plant control 

Action meetings

Action meetings: Improvement workshops 

The second type of meeting is the action meeting held in the improvement workshops.

But what is an improvement workshop? This facilitates fast and forceful actions, to enable good practice that, once validated and standardized by the group, is approved by the GAP and the coordinator.

We must be clear that the improvement workshop’s main objective is NOT to improve the indicator for which it was created. It should be to standardize a good practice, which enables the indicator to be continuously improved by its GAP.

We can divide the improvement workshop into three phases:

  • Launch of the workshop: This is carried out in the TOP 60 by the units of production (UAP) responsible for the pilot choice and insertion of the objective of the workshop within your dashboard
  • Execution of the workshop: This is a dynamic group, prolonged in time, chosen to study, validate and standardize all solutions found
  • Follow-up and closure: The aim is final approval of the standard. The workshop will remain open for a reduced time after its execution, until the GAP coordinator’s final signature. This follow-up is carried out by the pilot of the workshop

Remember, the workshop’s success is enabled by applying the Lean tools.

The meeting map

Once we have implemented the company’s communication system, each meeting held must be controlled to increase its productivity.

To achieve this, the meeting map tool is used. This includes all meetings that take place in the factory.

This map must be approved and communicated by management.

The map must be adapted according to the needs identified in the Lean improvement system, which may involve:

  • New workshops
  • New methodologies
  • Launch of new areas or departments, etc.

How we can help

The above is not an exhaustive description, but SGS Productivity lives and breathes Lean management.

We can support you through the process, including deep diving into the exact nature of the meetings and benefits.

For further information, click here or please contact:

Jason Hulbert
Associate Marketing Manager
t: +44 (0)7912 426878

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. Our 96,000 employees operate a network of 2,700 offices and laboratories, working together to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world.

Subscribe to Quality Insights

Knowledge Newsletter: Quality Insights

News & Insights