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FAQ

Covid-19

What are PVA’s engagement activities with your Clients related to Covid-19?

PVA’s engagement activities during Covid-19 now have the capability to be done either remotely or on-site, or a combination of both, while always practicing the required safety protocols highlighted below

Example of remote activities can include the following elements of PVA’s Approach and Change Management Methodology

  • Utilization of platforms such as Zoom, Webex, Skype, etc. to conduct remote activities
  • Remote application of the above for
    • Client interviews
    • Client training workshops and communication sessions
    • Work Process Analysis sessions
      • Critiquing
      • Optimization
      • Standardization
    • Steering Committee meetings and updates
      • Problem Resolution Program (PRP)
      • Benefit Recovery & Quantification Task Teams
      • Corrective Action Teams
    • Weekly / monthly Client update sessions
    • Management Operating System (MOS) design sessions
    • MOS implementations
    • Behavioral Model design and roll-out of enhanced roles, responsibilities and accountabilities
    • PVA’s operational Audits
  • Utilization of Client’s Continuous Improvement Coordinators to do field work that PVA cannot do remotely
  • Utilization of additional Client resources (trained by PVA) to support implementation activities (when PVA cannot support on-site directly)

PVA resources spend on average 150 hours with our Client’s Front-Line Managers as it relates to their management training and one-on-one coaching and mentoring activities.

How does PVA ensure maximum protection for its employees and Clients while in an engagement conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic?

PVA’s is driving maximum Covid-19 protection to our employees and Clients by ensuring compliance to the following prevention activities:

  • Having our employees remain vigilant and taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home (or away from fellow employees and Clients) when you are sick
  • Covering your cough or sneezing into a tissue, elbow or shoulder
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as computer screens / keyboards, cell phones, etc.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoiding shaking hands
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Wearing face makes in all public sectors, both indoors and outside
How are PVA’s engagement activities changed with your Clients during Covid-19?

PVA’s engagements during Covid-19 are being done remotely wherever possible, and where not possible, then practicing the following:

  • Social distancing protocols recommended by WHO, the CDC, and any state/provincial and federal guidelines and mandates
  • Practicing self-quarantining activities (14 days minimum) if you have travelled to a Level 3 country identified by the CDC, have had exposure to someone with Covid-19 symptoms, or are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms
  • Utilization of face-masks (and gloves where appropriate) and hand sanitizers whenever in contact with people (whether indoors or outdoors)
  • Avoiding or limiting flying to airports (especially those deemed as “hot-spots”) when drives of less than 8 hours are possible

PVA's Process

What are PVA’s processes and methods for changing an organization’s behaviors and the culture?

PVA’s process, Approach and Change Management Methodology deliver tangible, measurable and sustainable performance improvements to our Client’s operational efficiencies, capacities, and capabilities through our expertise in:

  • Changing Behaviors at the Point of Execution ©
  • Business Process Improvement (BPI)
  • Management Operating Systems (MOS)
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)
  • Processes / Procedures / Methods
  • Communication structures and mechanisms
  • Training, coaching and mentoring

These are perpetuated through the implementation of a “Culture of Continuous Improvement”. Through PVA’s formal Problem Resolution Program (PRP), our Clients are ensured that an effective mechanism is installed in their organization to continuously identify and resolve operational problems, and that all employees and managers are trained to permanently eradicate repetitive operational problems through the full participation and engagement of our Client’s organization.

In addition, PVA’s process is designed to instill and ensure sustainability through the following three (3) specific activities: PVA’s Continuous Improvement Coordinator Program; PVA’s Sustainment Phase (SP); and PVA’s Audit Process.

What are the key steps in PVA’s Change Management process for results attainment and perpetuation?

PVA’s Change Management process, as driven through our Approach and Change Management Methodology, is focused on three fundamental tenets:

  1. Pre-area development activities and recovery strategies / timelines
  2. Core methods to link into and drive change management and communication
  3. Client satisfaction and the quality of our process

Our Approach and Change Management Methodology for managing the change process revolves around four key proprietary steps:

  1. Reviewing the current processes, procedures and methods
  2. Identifying and quantifying opportunities in the current business activities
  3. Developing, installing and measuring enhanced processes, procedures and methods
  4. Training, one-on-one coaching, and mentoring to drive organizational engagement during the change process

Our proprietary tools and techniques follow the best practices related to the works of Kotter, Deming, Drucker and Juran, as well as the concepts of Lean, Kaizen, and Six-Sigma.

As a result, we have successfully implemented hundreds of corporate wide business transformations in many industries and in their different functional areas using our proprietary techniques. Our Approach and Change Management Methodology is an all-encompassing process designed to drive the identification, development, and implementation of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and metrics, Management Operating Systems (MOS), proactive behaviors, and improved operational processes, procedures and methods.

What makes the PVA process different from other consulting companies? What makes your changes sustain?

We deliver sustainable results to your organization as a result of the following unique aspects of our Approach and Change Management Methodology:

  1. We provide upwards to 150 hours of individual coaching for each First-Line Manager
  2. We install changes with your people
  3. We implement an Employee Involvement Program to further entrench accountability and ownership
  4. We implement a Continuous Improvement Coordinator Program and train your own people to sustain the results
  5. We offer a continuous improvement Sustainment Phase after the project completion (3 month follow-up period)
  6. We conduct 4 Operational Audits over an 18 month period to identify and develop action plans for any installed areas requiring improvement (i.e. behaviors, Management Operating System, processes, method changes, etc.)
How do we determine whether or not your approach is right for our business?

PVA does this through our Assessment Process. This process is designed to help us better understand your business processes, the organizational environment, and the existing culture while identifying what level of opportunity exists in the various departments. A business case is then developed that provides all of the elements necessary to make this determination.

Is your approach similar to other improvement-based programs such as Lean Manufacturing, the Kanban method, Six Sigma, TQM, etc.?

In fact there are many differences. One major difference between PVA and all of these programs is that PVA is recognized for our proven Approach and Change Management Methodology, and for our ability to change the behaviors of Front-Line management. Our training, one-on-one coaching and mentoring has consistently delivered tangible, measurable and sustainable results to our satisfied Clients.

In addition, programs such as Lean, Kanban, Six Sigma, TQM, etc. focus on specific methods and techniques but do not address the behavioral changes required from Front-Line management as they relate to recovering and sustaining improvement opportunities. These other programs do not all include the development of the proper Management Operating System elements that are required to manage these approaches, and they do not all look at every aspect of the process such as line balancing and bottleneck reduction.

What is the difference between what PVA does and Lean initiatives?

Generally a Lean approach focuses on process alone but does not address Front-Line management and supervisory skills nor the Management Operating System tools and techniques an organization requires to identify and resolve variance to plan and operating problems.

We have made changes in the past and they did not stick. Why would working with PVA be any different?

PVA’s Approach and Change Management Methodology provides an all-encompassing structure and sustainable approach with a focus on employee engagement; training, one-on-one coaching and mentoring of Managers and Supervisors; implementation of effective Management Operating Systems; and ensuring that the results are perpetuated by a fully engaged organization driven by accountability.

How does PVA define “implementation” and what is involved during an “installation”?

PVA defines “implementation” as “The full utilization of the installed disciplines related to behavioral models, Management Operating Systems, Key Performance Indicators, and processes, procedures and methods, that will result in driving significant costs out of the business in measurable and sustainable ways, while continually focusing on attaining and improving upon cultural norms, and safety, quality and service level requirements.”

During an “installation”, PVA optimizes our Client’s operational efficiencies, capacities, and capabilities through measurable and sustainable improvements in:

  • Organizational behaviors
  • Quality assurance and control
  • Customer service and service delivery
  • Operational processes / procedures / methods
  • Resource utilization (labor, equipment, material, overheads)
  • Skill set flexibility management
  • Management Operating Systems (MOS)
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)
  • Safety and employee engagement initiatives
  • Continuous Improvement

PVA’s core strength lies in our organization’s capabilities in implementing changes related to enhanced behaviors, Management Operating Systems, Key Performance Indicators, and processes / procedures / methods through our Client’s personnel. This is done through a very hands-on and interactive approach to create awareness, ownership, buy-in and accountability throughout our Client’s organization to the change initiative and activities.

How we work

What does on-the-floor and one-on-one coaching of the Front Line Managers / Supervisors involve?
Could you provide examples of PVA’s training and coaching activities?

PVA’s exclusive on-the-floor, one-on-one coaching and mentoring in the workplace is situational in nature, and ensures that the acquired classroom training knowledge is applied immediately in the Front Line Managers’ and Supervisors’ work environments, that the levels of active supervision are increased, and that the new behaviors deliver tangible, measurable and sustainable results. PVA’s one-on-one coaching and mentoring is augmented by our proprietary situational coaching techniques as found in our “38 Point Supervisory Coaching Follow-Up Checklist” and “30 Point Manager Coaching Follow-Up Checklist” tools.

PVA resources spend on average 150 hours with our Client’s Front-Line Managers as it relates to their management training and one-on-one coaching and mentoring activities.

Do you work in highly technical environments?

YES. We have completed hundreds of projects in all types of Industries across North America and Europe. We may have worked in similar environments to yours. We work through your Front-Line Managers to organize your highly technical people. Our skill set complements yet does not compete with your team.

When is the ‘right’ time to embark on an improvement project?

There never is a perfect time, but keep in mind these 3 things:

  1. You are probably not servicing your Clients at their expectations right now and you are probably at a too high of a cost.
  2. PVA’s product is not a ‘flavor of the month’, but rather a culture change and an overall upgrade of your organization
  3. PVA can help your organization as it is moving through other changes and challenges since we work directly in the workplace coaching your people
If we are already ISO certified, all of our procedures are defined and in place. Why do we need PVA?

We are experts at optimizing processes by changing behaviors at the point of execution. ISO programs only standardize and document your current processes. It does not challenge and optimize your processes. Keep in mind that we will also train, coach and mentor your management team, implement an employee involvement program, work with you to optimize your methods and procedures, and implement a Management Operating System (MOS) resulting in significant productivity gains. A significant part of PVA’s MOS is a structured Problem Resolution Program (PRP) which drives timely and continuous opportunity resolution, thus ensuring that our Client’s organizations sustain the operational and financial benefits.

Can this be done in non-manufacturing environments?

YES. PVA’s Approach and Change Management Methodology can be used in any environment where there are systems, processes, people, and Front-Line Managers responsible for their management. Some non-manufacturing examples where PVA has successfully implemented our Approach and Change Management Methodology include:

  1. Utilities (Gas/Electric Transmission & Distribution)
  2. Call Centers
  3. Automotive
  4. Mining
  5. Transportation & Logistics
  6. Manufacturing
  7. Engineering
  8. Power Generation Plants
  9. Telecommunications
  10. Consumer Goods &Services
  11. Forestry & Forest Products

We work extensively in non-manufacturing environments and are well recognized for our ability to deliver tangible and sustainable results in these environments

Does your approach apply to self-directed work teams?

The short answer is YES, however we rarely see self-directed work teams anymore. Companies have found that even within the team, a leader emerges (a Supervisor of sorts) that makes decisions and solves problems, which in of itself tends to negate the whole purpose of the team concept. If there were self-directed work teams that functioned properly we would work with the Manager to which the teams reported (much the same as a Supervisor), ensuring training and coaching on problem identification and resolution occurs with all members of the self-directed team.

We have already embarked on a training program, how will you be able to blend your Program with that one?

Our expertise complements many other training initiatives. The strength of PVA’s Approach and Change Management Methodology lies in our proven ability to “change behaviors at the point of execution” ©. We accomplish this through our on-site training, one-on-one coaching and mentoring that optimizes retention by creating new behaviors throughout our Clients’ organization.

During our analysis and assessment process we would identify the current needs of your management team as those needs apply to your current training programs and what PVA would provide in terms of additional training, one-on-one coaching and mentoring, as we do not have off-the-shelf programs. We would look to meld the two programs together to cover all of your organization’s needs while providing the all-important one-on-one coaching and mentoring in the workplace.

How often does PVA work in a unionized environment?

Of the total projects completed, approximately 80% of them have been conducted in unionized environments.

In fact, the PVA’s Change Management Methodology is transparent with the Union and improves the effectiveness of the communication between the Management Group and the Union.

How does a project impact employee morale?

At PVA, our projects are highly participative and prioritize employee input and involvement. Our Project Teams work through our Client’s resources to engage their employees in the change process. In addition, our proven PVA Approach and Change Management Methodology prioritizes open and honest communication throughout the project and at all levels of the organization. The result is an improvement in employee morale, engagement, and enthusiasm throughout the workplace.

What would be the typical time requirements placed upon my people?

In general terms, your Management Team (Front-Line Management through to Executives) can expect bi-weekly training Workshops and daily exposure to their Coach (i.e. PVA Team Member) to which they have been assigned.

We apply our PVA Approach and Change Management Methodology 100% “on-the-job” and within our Client’s work environment. The project schedule is adapted to our Clients’ unique business environment and work schedules.

How long is a typical PVA project?

Our projects vary by the size, areas in-scope and complexity of each organization, however a typical project timeline ranges from 25 weeks to 40 weeks in calendar time.

Why does it take so long?

Changing an organization’s culture, and ensuring that the improvements are embraced and that measurable results are achieved, takes time in terms of engaging the workforce, completing the work with and through your people, and ensuring long term sustainability of the improvements.

Do you work with small companies or only large corporations?

Yes, our process, Approach and Change Management Methodology works with companies both large and small.

During your project and with respect to the training and coaching, how much time will my people be taken out of their normal activities?

Training, coaching and mentoring is done during the regular work hours. PVA’s team will integrate our activities within the course of your organization’s daily activities. With the individual coaching and mentoring, Supervisors and Managers will change their behaviors progressively to become more proactive. One of the main reasons for the improvements found in their respective areas is due to the Supervisors and Managers changing their behavior and not working harder nor longer.

How much time will you require from my people while you are making your assessment?

Very little of your Supervisors and Managers time will be required out of their work environment, other than during our initial communication meetings. Our time conducting observations will be in the workplace with them and their direct reports, and they will continue to manage their respective areas as they would normally.

What are the typical backgrounds, qualifications, and experience levels of PVA’s team that will be assigned to a Project with my organization?

For each engagement undertaken by PVA, a Project Team is identified based on their industry experience and skill sets to maximize the overall productivity and process improvement requirements for the project with our Client. PVA’s operational teams assigned to Project’s with our Client’s organizations are made up of a diverse and experienced group of professionals from various educational and professional backgrounds. PVA’s team includes individuals from all business sectors, with educational backgrounds ranging from Bachelors in Commerce, to Engineers and to MBA’s, to name a few.

All PVA employees go through a continuous and rigorous training program designed to ensure consistency of application of PVA’s processes, policies, procedures, and ethical governance standards with our Clients. In order to ensure this, an integral component of PVA’s process is regular internal reviews related to the performance of our people, and the attainment of our commitments to our Clients. In order to maintain the application of our internal standards of excellence, PVA does not use third party Sub-Contractors on any of our Client engagements.

Among PVA’s group of knowledgeable management consultants we also have a number of Subject Matter Experts that support the project teams. These individuals each average over 28 years of operational consulting experience in a wide variety of industries and project scenarios.

How are my employees involved in the project?

We have your employees participate in the project by having them help us, and their management team, map out and critique your processes in detail. They will also assess each process by highlighting “what prevents them from having the perfect day”. Once all of the opportunities have been documented and quantified, employees will be asked to participate in problem solving teams to help resolve those problems through PVA’s Problem Resolution Program (PRP).

What is the likelihood that some of my people may not make it through the project?

We are recognized for implementing successful training, coaching and mentoring programs through our Client’s management teams. These Programs result in their Supervisors and Managers being the best that they can be. Their success is our success.

However, in those situations where progress is not at the expected level, individual coaching and mentoring plans are developed and “owned” by all required parties, thereby improving the likelihood of their success.

Now is not the right time. We have our own internal team working on all of those issues. Why should we engage PVA to work with us?

Most companies are working on improving. We are and have worked with ‎a number of Clients in this situation, and we were able to help them achieve and exceed their goals much faster through our training, one-on-one coaching and mentoring of their management team, and involving their employees in the process, while building the accountability and ownership to ensure perpetuation of the results.

We have had bad experiences in the past with consultants. Why should we use PVA?

Some of our Clients have had less than successful experiences in the past, but by talking with some of our references, and by going through our analysis process, it became clear to them that our proposal made sense. They subsequently engaged PVA and their projects were extremely successful, and now they are references for PVA and speak highly of us.

We have a no consultant policy, therefore how can we use PVA?

Times have changed, and for some of our Clients ‎it was a first and very beneficial experience when they partnered with PVA. We would discuss the challenges your organization is facing so that we could understand how we would best approach the organization to see if it makes sense to you to undertake a project with PVA.

There is no money for this type of initiative. How would we fund a project with PVA?

The good news is that you do not need to budget an initiative like ours as we will generate savings and positive cash flow as we progress. Normally a project pays for itself by the end of the project’s Sustainment Phase.

Project Results & Metrics

How does PVA evaluate the project results?

We work with our Client’s operational and financial Management Teams to develop a mutually agreed upon measurement and evaluation methodology. This methodology leads to the development of Management Operating System elements that represent and quantify the financial impact of operational decisions and trends.

How does PVA ensure activities like safety, housekeeping, and customer service are not lost during the delivery of cost reductions?

All PVA projects ensure that the specific organizational requirements related to activities such as safety, housekeeping, customer service, etc. are part of the Management Operating Systems and Key Performance Indicators that we develop as part of our Change Management process.

Our installation activities typically result in improvements to safety, productivity, quality, and customer service requirements as our Approach and Change Management Methodology is designed to increase organizational awareness, ownership, buy-in, and accountability to these operational criteria. We also ensure that these criteria are paramount in discussions between management and employees, and that discussions occur on a frequent and timely basis.

As a result, we typically see improvements in items such as safety incidents per thousand ratios, housekeeping scores, and customer service grades during our projects, while our Client’s achieve significant improvements in their cost structures.

What are some common examples of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that PVA would use in an organization (understanding there would be “custom” indicators that are organization specific)?

While each Client requires the development and implementation of specific and customized KPI’s related to their business model and improvement requirements, the following are a sampling of typical KPI’s that PVA could utilize:

  • Improvements in processing lead-times, cycle times, and turnaround times.
  • Improvements in purchasing costs, inventory levels, and carrying costs.
  • Improvements in Direct/Indirect labor costs and productivity and performance levels.
  • Improvements in overtime, contractor, and temporary/part-time labor costs.
  • Improvements in equipment utilization, availability, and reliability levels.
  • Improvements in schedule attainment levels.
  • Improvements in scrap, reject and rework levels.
  • Improvements in response times to end-use customer queries.
  • Improvements in union grievances and lost-time safety incidents levels.
  • Improvements in customer and employee satisfaction levels.
  • Improvements in compliance to policies and standard operating procedures.
Do you always achieve the objectives?

PVA has a proven track record for delivering tangible, measurable and sustainable results. The operational and financial targets set at the beginning of our projects are consistently attained by our Clients.

There are some other results that we will deliver to your organization. The combined changes will translate into a cultural shift that positions your organization to be more competitive and responsive to changing business trends. In addition, we will develop and train the future leaders of your organization.

What are PVA’s expectations for a typical organization’s roles, responsibilities and accountabilities (at all organizational levels) during and post the installation process?

In order for our Client’s to achieve all of the operational improvements and financial benefits available to them it is imperative that the whole organization embraces and is actively engaged in the PVA project and the various changes resulting from our Approach and Change Management Methodology. While the specific roles, responsibilities and accountabilities will vary at the different levels within the organizational hierarchy, the following are the key expectations that PVA would have:

  • Streamlined decision making processes related to the recovery of opportunities.
  • Improved resource availability and utilization for Corrective Action Teams, etc.
  • Increased management visibility related to improving cost structures.
  • Improved clarity and follow-up on performance expectations.
  • Increased time in the work environment and interaction with employees.
  • Reduced “fire-fighting” and improved timeliness of decisions.
  • Continuously challenging performance attainment variances.
  • Establishing and following-up on opportunity recovery action plans and timelines.
  • Identifying and eradicating root causes that are driving performance variances.
  • Holding everyone accountable for the attainment and sustainment of the results.
  • Instilling a culture of proactive communication and continuous improvement.
How often do you repeat your projects?

At PVA, 60% of the work that we do is the direct result of previous success with the same Client. The vast majority of our Clients act as References and Referrals while sharing with potential Clients their success with PVA.

How complicated are the measures and metrics that PVA puts in place?

The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that we install with our Clients are classic operating indicators that follow industry norms. We then provide the necessary training, one-on-one coaching and mentoring at all organizational levels to ensure that the measures and metrics are being effectively applied within the work environment. Emphasis is always placed on the effective and clear communication of these measures and metrics throughout the entire organization.

Training and Coaching

What kind of topics are covered in a PVA Consulting Group Coaching Session?

Topics covered in One-On-One Coaching Sessions usually mirror the ones that were reviewed in the training sessions. The one-on-one coaching happens typically also on a tactical level on the application of the concepts covered during the training session.

Does PVA provide training and one-on-one coaching of Supervisors and Managers separately and by department?

There are great benefits to mixing Supervisors and Managers from different departments as it helps with Organizational Alignment and it breaks down the possibility of any communication barriers.

What happens if I cannot have all of my Managers/Supervisors in one session due to floor coverage?

We will hold multiple workshops to accommodate different departments in separate sessions.

Does the training need to happen face-to-face?

Face-to-face is definitely the highly preferred method of training delivery, however it is possible to attend some of the sessions remotely via video conference. This is especially true during the Covid-19 pandemics requirements of social distancing.

What happens if I miss a Training Session?

A make-up session will be provided to make sure Supervisors and Managers are all on the same page.

How many sessions will typically be given to my Supervisors and Managers during a Client Engagement?

Usually 6 to 8.