Starting 2016 on a course to profitability

Eight "P" processes that produce progress.

By Shon Isenhour March 24, 2016

Once again, it is that time of the year when, according to Forbes, 40% of us set off on a journey to change our lives with New Year’s resolutions. Only 8% of us will be successful, according to the same article. Ouch! So many of the companies that we interact with need profitability growth as their New Year’s resolution. In today’s post, I have documented what we have seen from past successful growth companies. I refer to it as the “Profitability Cycle.” Take a quick look at each of the eight “P words” that drove their profitability process.

Starting with Probe, successful growth companies look into past results and practices and measure their gaps through metrics and process checks.

Once the probe phase is complete, they then Prioritize the principles and gaps using business case thinking. Next, they review the priority and sequence and link the task to create a Plan for execution. They consider available resources and the relationships between the prioritized items. In some cases, they identify key items that must be completed in a certain order for success of the larger project.

After the plan is ratified, they begin to Promote it and explain the value to the larger population. They are very careful to explain both how it affects the individual as well as the benefits that should be expected. The made-up word “Passionize” conveys how the plan is promoted. The leaders select a group of people who have demonstrated a passion for each of the improvement areas within the plan. These selected people with passion are then given power to execute the principles of the plan and implement the results.

As the passionate team members Progress with the plan, site leadership measures progress against the plan and works to remove barriers that could impede progress.

As barriers are identified by the leadership team or the passionate people, they go through a Problem-Solving process. Here, the passionate look for root causes while also looking at the business case for each of the solutions.

Once the processes are pressure-tested and problem solved, they are put into the full implementation phase known as Perform. Here, the balance of the plant or facility is implemented, and they[VS4] closely watch things like adoption and results.

These results lead to the data that may be used to probe and start another improvement cycle.

The process-based nature of the Profitability Cycle helps to combat the enemy of improvement, which is referred to in the graphic as Pressure. Pressure exists in many forms, all trying to keep the improvement from occurring. For example, it could have been pressure to stay with the status quo or pressure to give in to political or emotional forces.

This eternal spiraling process leads to increased profitability and performance and more passionate people progressing.

Does your improvement project have the points and processes presented?

—Shon Isenhour is a founding partner at Eruditio. This article originally appeared on ReliabilityNOW. Eruditio is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Erin Dunne, production coordinator, CFE Media,

Original content can be found at