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This section explains some of our tools and techniques:

Activity Based Costing is a technique developed by us and used extensively across many aspects of the Public Sector. It is a rapid-deployment diagnostic tool to understand the true costs of a process and its constituent activities. Using a range of economical data collection techniques, depending on circumstances, it allows a realistic view to be gained of the cost and location of the 'wasteful' activities in a process.

When combined with sound Customer Insight and detailed process analysis and quantification it acts as a focus and stimulus for radical business process redesign. Without it there is a risk of focusing on the wrong aspects of waste, those for example that might be highly irritating but actually merely symptoms of a deeper root cause.

All effective management involves some level of change just as all organisations are in a constant state of change. Change management is about enabling organisations to identify, plan and implement changes to ensure that changes deliver the intended outcomes, the organisation's ability to continue to perform it's day to day business is protected and that change is delivered with people not to or on people. If a change is going to be worthwhile it must, by definition, impact on how the business operates. The challenge is to ensure that, as far as possible, the full nature of the impacts have been appreciated and planned for, whilst accepting unforeseen consequences may arise that will need to be acknowledged and addressed.

A project or programme of change is most often undertaken to implement a key element of business strategy and must therefore be consistent with overall goals. The business case is initially used to create a compelling case for change, build commitment and obtain investment approval. It is refined and updated at important milestones throughout the project or programme lifecycle and is used to plan and manage the business change, realise the benefits, maintain stakeholder sponsorship and enable key management decisions to be taken.

Most organisations have either heard of or deployed the concepts known collectively as "Lean" and the word has embedded itself into common parlance over the last few years. The concept was well known and used in the manufacturing sector initially and there has been a relatively seamless transition into other commercial areas such as banking and now the Public Sector. Like most successful concepts the basic ideas are simple and easy to understand, the difficulty comes in the deployment and implementation. However some protagonists do not help by insisting on using Japanese terms to describe the various techniques and then adding their own flavour to what is essentially a highly pragmatic and readily understandable concept. Others seek to increase this confusion with an array of numbers; the 7 wastes, 6 sigma, 5S, the 4 lean laws and for some the use of an A3. In this article we explore the language of lean.

Our experience has taught us that the success of any implementation will depend upon the attitude of the staff and managers involved. Our approach to delivering benefits combines traditional project management skills with workshops and sophisticated techniques for ensuring real, measurable benefits are realised. We involve staff at every level during the project.

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