The Shingo Model - Results

All leaders of organizations share one common responsibility: they are responsible for results. Great results are the outcome of following the principles that govern the results. Ideal results require ideal behaviour. This is what we call operational excellence.

Create Value for the Customer Every aspect of an organization should be focused on creating value for the customer. It is helpful to consider this true-north concept that should guide decision making and continuous improvement. An organization should drive all aspects of value, including quality, cost, delivery, safety and morale.

Measure what matters

Historically, measurement has been focused on management – what management needed to know to be able to plan, organize and control. Within a model where widespread involvement is essential for continuous improvement and consistent performance, it is important to define measures that matter to those who will be using them.

Therefore, line associates need different measures than leaders responsible for the overall enterprise. Many thought leaders on measurement have suggested the new measurements need to:

1. Be directly tied to strategic priorities – move the dial,
2. Be simple and easy to capture,
3. Give timely feedback that is tied to the cycle of work, and
4. Drive improvement.

Measures that matter can be created throughout the organization to assure that everyone is focused on the appropriate strategic activities and driving continuous improvement that moves the whole enterprise ahead.

Align Behaviors with Performance

Ideal behaviour drives long-term results. This happens when the systems are aligned with principles of operational excellence. Managers should help each person anchor their own personal values with these same principles. Personal values are what ultimately drive individual behaviours. Leaders are responsible for creating the environment and the process for people to evaluate the correctness of their own values relative to the performance results required of the organization.

One business set a goal to reduce customer complaints only to find that as they did, they began to lose valuable customers. The measure was driving behaviour that made complaining about such a painful experience that they just stopped calling. A better measure might have been to increase the number of complaints so that every single disappointment is given an opportunity to be resolved.

Identify Cause and Effect Relationships

When we want to make a car go faster, we simply press more on the gas pedal. So, the “dial” is the speedometer. What moves the dial? Pressing on the gas pedal. Why does this work? Because there is a physical linkage from the pedal to the engine to the axle. There is a clear cause-and-effect relationship. Organizations must follow the linkages to determine the cause-and-effect relationships and how goals can be achieved. This is the same concept as root-cause analysis but applied to create value.

Examples of Ideal Principle-based Behavior


  • Leaders make sure the company scorecard is balanced between results and behaviour.
  • Leaders ensure the voice of the customer is clearly heard throughout the entire organization.
  • Leaders systematically discuss all business results with employees, encouraging questions and discussion.


  • All managers implement systems that place value creation and waste elimination at the heart of management and improvement efforts.
  • Managers routinely discuss with associates the relationship between actual results and the systems and principles that are creating them.
  • Managers make sure that established metrics are aligned upward and side-to-side and are understood and committed to by the people who affect them, so people can see instantly where they are relative to the targets and they know how to move the dial.


  • All associates systematically review results and ask questions to understand cause-and-effect.
  • Associates use results metrics to prioritize and take personal initiative to make improvements that impact the areas where improvement is needed most.
  • Associates demonstrate a strong commitment to providing the greatest value for customers with the least amount of nonvalue-added resource.
  • All associates seek to understand issues from the customer point of view and strive to maximize the uninterrupted flow of value to them.

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