The Role of Lean in Shaw: Our Technical and Operational Journey (2019)

By Noé Morales & Aston Fenby, Shaw Communications Inc.

Cable operators are facing unprecedented levels of competition and technology advancements. Majorshifts in technology such as FDX, Fibre Deep, IoT, and 5G/FTTH, competition will only accelerate. To adapt to this competitive and fast paced environment, operators must take effective steps to increase efficiency, identify waste, and empower teams to resolve challenges at all levels of the organization. This paper will present a methodology for identifying, prioritizing and resolving inefficiencies as well as an approach to foster a Lean culture at all levels of the organization.

Lean methodologies are an invaluable tool in identifying and remediating inefficient and wasteful processes in Cable operations. However, the deployment of Lean must be carefully planned and executed. The paper will outline how Lean was deployed at Shaw to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of network build processes and teams, and the outcomes that were achieved to date.

To make Lean truly sustainable and effective though, it must also be engrained in the culture of the organization. Benchmarks from various companies have shown the adoption of new methodologies such as Lean and Agile having varying degrees of success. To increase the effectiveness of adoption, we approached implementation using a three-pillar approach of: People, Purpose, and Process. The pillar approach was augmented with a tactical and strategic lens across the enterprise to maximize cultural adoption by leadership and increase operational improvements. Techniques such as Lean Accelerator, Adaptive Training, Cultural Pull Methodology, Servant Leadership; and avoidance of “One Size Fits All”using an Adaptive Standardization technique has improved exposure to Lean.

Our results demonstrate that a highly focused implementation of the three-pillar approach increases adoption of Lean at the enterprise level. Additionally, it brings a proactive method to identifying Lean process improvement opportunities with rapidly evolving technologies and operational practices.

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