Did you accept the latest upgrade for your operating system (OS) on your PC or Mac? Make sure you do if you haven’t. There are really smart people constantly monitoring the software that is deployed on your computer. They are looking for “bugs” that need fixing, tweaks that can make it work better and logging opportunities to potentially rollout some new, really cool upgrades.
When they find these bugs and opportunities, they write new code and then “push it out” into the software. They monitor and work constantly to make the OS a better and more safe experience. They must constantly “push out” new code.
So, what about you? What about your operating system? Your plant and equipment are the moral equivalent of the computer, or hardware. To get value out of the hardware you have to have really good software that enables the customer to utilize your hardware in ways that help them achieve whatever it is they are trying to achieve.
Your OS is made up of your people, policies, processes, business practices, programs, other members and everything else that is part of your daily operations. Even if we just look at the people part of software, we could break it down further into sourcing, hiring, training, developing and coaching, etc.
The way you monitor your OS is with the voice of customer. It is literally how you find the bugs and opportunities. You and your team should then “write” and “push out” new code. When you “write new code,” you are designing improvements to your operations. When you “push out” new code, you are ensuring it is made “operational.” This means it becomes part of your daily operations and doesn’t fade away like so many initiatives that don’t get fully adopted.
Getting your voice of customer program in place is the first step to monitoring your OS. Once deployed, your entire organization should learn to be “software engineers.” Everyone should be working to understand issues and be part of “engineering” new ways to improve.
When companies really understand this analogy, they become addicted to writing and pushing out new code. They become excited about opportunities and they know they have a secret weapon — an understanding of the core difference between their hardware and the incredible value of great software — their operating system.
Blair McHaney is the president and CEO of MXM, Medallia’s partner to the health, fitness and wellness industry. For more information, visit mxmetrics.com, and Blair can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.