Connects Cross Functional Teams Using a “Whole System” Approach

Whole System - Blog

Paul McNamara

Our Whole System Approach to managing performance in mission-critical, asset-intensive enterprise processes, e.g. test, is why we’ve been able to help our customers drive award-winning results, helping them win enterprise best practice awards.

Our results have been uncommon and superior:

  • 25% to 85% increases to speed and responsiveness
  • 40% to 75% reduction in equipment costs
  • 99%+ compliance rates
  • 200% to 2000% ROI

As a result of these outcomes and awards, we’ve been recognized by industry analysts for our overall solution.  Frost and Sullivan presented us with their Software Leadership award for our solution.

How is Sente’s Approach Different and Better?

The first indication are the results highlighted above.  The real question people want to be answered is why are we able to produce these results and others aren’t.  It isn’t obvious.

The short answer is that our solutions help companies cope with the complexity of their engineering or manufacturing operations in the context of a rapidly changing environment that requires responsiveness and speed for success.  It is able to do this because it is designed as a “Whole System”.

  • Whole (adj): all of; entire
  • System (noun): a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnected network

What is “Whole” about Sente’s Solutions?

Teams require the quick and agile availability of many different assets and resources to be successful.  What makes Sente solutions whole is they include management of the full array of resources required to be successful and enables management across functions and departments that end hoarding.

Equipment/Assets – optimized with workflows appropriate to the category of asset and use

  • Portable or fixed, small or large, sharable or non-sharable
  • Mechanical or Electrical
  • Company-owned, customer-owned, rented or leased

Technical Staff/People – connected with workflows appropriate to the role

  • Test professionals using equipment
  • Support functions maintaining equipment
  • Project managers establishing timelines and commitments

Knowledge – embedded in analytics and workflows for easy access

  • Equipment Capabilities, Capacity, and Availability
  • Program or Project Schedules
  • Test methods, maintenance methods, or management methods

Practices – appropriate to roles and enabled by software tools

  • Resource Planning, Acquisition, and Disposal
  • Maintenance and Readiness
  • Execution and Use

What Makes Sente’s solutions “Systemic”?

Systems are sets of interconnected components organized for a specific purpose.  The test organization has to be organized for speed and competitiveness supporting the more senior enterprise processes of engineering product development and manufacturing production.  Read more about this in Does Your Test Process Accelerate Engineering and Manufacturing Value Streams.

The complexity of today’s operations makes it impossible to anticipate resource constraints because of the equally complex cause and effect mechanisms or relationships between the various resource components.  Technical Staff/People have, acquire, or share Knowledge across teams often requiring the use of Equipment/Assets to produce intended outcomes. They often try to do all this using different systems and spreadsheets.

When teams produce unintended outcomes it is often the result of not understanding the cause and effect relationship of the components.

  • Changing schedules lead to equipment conflicts that were unanticipated and cause delays
  • Lack of equipment controls and hoarding leads to lost equipment and scheduling delays with cascading consequences to other projects and their resources
  • Poor knowledge of the root cause and cost of delays results in an inability to justify resource investments in people or equipment and problems continue

To solve these problems “Just-In-Case” capacity is acquired, but not enough to solve the problems completely, and the result is that scarce resources are lost solving a problem that could be solved in a much less costly manner rather than applied to new growth or improvement areas.

Why are New “Whole” and “Systemic” Approaches Required?

We are living in the largest, most technologically advanced, fast-moving, and competitive marketplace in human history.  Companies and their teams must be able to interpret and adapt to fast-changing situations to avoid threats to their existence and take advantage of opportunities.  Many executives tell me that don’t want to become the next Blockbuster Video or the next set of executives or managers let go because they weren’t moving fast enough. Their current systems are too complicated, disconnected, and costly.  They thwart speed at ever turn and frustrate users.

New approaches are required because the old approaches are being made obsolete as the companies leading the way today — Amazon, Google, Facebook, Uber, etc. — take business from long-established leaders and threaten their existence.  These new competitors aren’t limited by traditional ways of thinking and, as the stock market indicates, are taking power from their more-traditional counterparts.  These companies came into existence because there was an opening to compete differently made possible by technology.

Test teams and the other teams that support the larger enterprise processes — New Product Introduction and Manufacturing — shouldn’t think the same thing couldn’t happen to them.  This results in new obligations for teams to reinvent how they add value to their businesses.

How are Sente Solutions Different and Better

We are not the “one-off” solutions that became popular before the need for speed was so urgent. Those solutions managed assets, people and knowledge in different systems with disconnected workflows and data that reinforce organizational behaviors that are counterproductive, like hoarding.

These other stand-alone, one-off solutions also unwittingly reinforce old, stale and ineffective cultural mindsets.   To be competitive in the 4th Industrial revolution requires new mindsets and behaviors. Sente enables those mindsets with our software and approach

Get a Force Multiplier:  Couple Sente’s “Whole System Approach” with our “Culture Change Algorithm”

Sente helps produce the new behaviors and mindsets companies are after to become competitive in today’s marketplace by the execution of our Culture Change Algorithm in tandem with our software.  It is what enables Sente solutions to produce the groundbreaking results they do.

You can read more about our “Culture Change Algorithm” in the blog post, “Are Your Teams Designed for Speed, Quality, & Effectiveness?”

Read more about our approach to culture change in the following blog posts and throughout our blog:

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Notable Quotes

“Sente’s Scireo® solution sets a new benchmark in customer experience by increasing collaboration and communications among all participants of a test program. They drive cycle time and cost efficiencies, optimizing asset utilization and technical labor productivity, and applying best practices in knowledge management to increase speed and drive standardization of test resources.”

Frost & Sullivan Analyst