MDW Program Modules


Mini-Business Goal Alignment

  • Engaging front-line employees in the organization, through the mini-business concept.
  • Aligning goals top-down and bottom-up; creating business focus at the front line.
  • Implementing visual management of Quality, Speed, Cost-effectiveness, Safety and People.
  • Establishing a foundation for problem-solving, continuous improvement and innovation.

Building a World-Class Team

A challenging Vision, Mission, supported by unifying Values and visual alignment of goals, targets and action plans help produce successful teams that provide customers exceptional service. Successful teams view themselves as Mini-businesses whose reason for being is to serve their customers, add value and support their organization to achieve its vision, mission and goals.

Visual Management helps teams gel and perform

  • Sharing the organization’s Vision, Mission, Values and goals. Without an inspiring vision and mission there’s no purpose. Shared values provide a team with a set of rules to play by so that it can achieve its goals and perform at world class levels.
  • Giving a team identity through its mini-business concept and its principles and mission.
  • Goal setting. Worthwhile goals that are specific, value adding, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based.
  • Communication between team members is vital for its long-term success. This entails team-on-team, team-on-one and one-on-one reviews and problem solving.
  • Establishing win-win partnerships through Service Level Agreements between the mini-business team and its customers and suppliers.
  • Leading innovation so that the organization stays ahead of its competitors.
    Instilling the Kaizen philosophy of continuous improvement so that the team becomes a great team and the benchmark in industry.

If you want a world-class ‘dream team’ that helps its customers become productive and profitable, then you should consider the Mini-business Goal Alignment and Visual Management tools provided by CDI.
We’re arguably the world’s leader in visual representation and have offices in 6 countries.
Since 1997, CDI has helped more than 900 clients become more focused, productive, profitable and world-class.

Why Visual Representation?

It has been proven that individuals are more visually orientated than auditory. When pictures are used in tandem with writing and speaking, the impact it has on an individual and team is marked. Visual representation helps us:

  • Understand the message more easily
  • Retain the message for longer
  • It acts as a catalyst for change
  • It is a constant reminder of our vision, mission and values
  • It helps us keep focused on the goal

Call CDI now for an appointment to see how we can help you build a world class team make your organization more productive and profitable.


Visual Workplace – 5S

  • Making work easy through 5 S – Sort & Discard, Shine & Inspect, Signpost & Order, Simplify & Standardize and Sustain.
  • Enhancing ergonomic work design.
  • Creating a visual workplace that is pleasant, productive and free of waste.

Creating a visual workplace to increase productivity

It is human nature to hoard or save things because you think you might need these things in the future, but this hoarding creates unnecessary clutter and can lead to your employees being less productive. Find out how we help you create a visual workplace to increase productivity at your office. The steps to follow to create a visual workplace Our program follows these five steps to create a visual workplace:

S1. Sort and Discard

The key to S1 is to eliminate non-essential items from the workplace. BY applying S1, clutter is eliminated and a pleasant, efficient workplace is created.

S2. Shine and Inspect

Shine refers to the removal of dirt, grime and dust from the workplace and the thoroughly cleaning of machines, equipment, floors and walls.

S3. Signpost and Order

Once all unnecessary items have been removed and the workplace is cleaned to standard, remaining items should be well organized. There should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place. Everything should be signposted so it is visually clear where things belong, even to a new team member of visitor.

S4. Simplify and Standardize

We apply ergonomic principles to the workplace to eliminate wasteful activities and make work safer and easier. Standardizing helps by reducing the number of items we need to own and control.

S5. Sustain

This last step refers to the discipline required to ensure that S1, S2, S3 and S4 are properly sustained and improved.

While these abovementioned steps sound like an easy process to follow, it’s usually harder that you think. Human nature is to instinctively hoard or save things that we may find necessary sometime in the future – resulting in heaps of unnecessary things in and around the office.

The benefits of a visual workplace

  • Know exactly what your workplace needs and doesn’t need
  • Be more productive
  • Produce fewer defects
  • Meet deadlines with greater ease
  • Have a positive effect on morale

Contact us for more information on how to create a visual workplace!

Competitive Dynamics International’s Mission-Directed Work Teams® programme is designed to translate these key strategies and principles into meaningful practices that can be implemented throughout an organization.
Contact CDI to find out more about the Mission-Directed Work Teams.


Asset Care

  • Optimizing asset performance through operator care.
  • Implementing OEE as a driver of equipment performance, minimizing the six big losses.
  • Applying quick changeover technology.

Why Asset Care is important

If you’re part of an organization which involves the usage of equipment and machinery, you probably know that human error as well as defects in machinery is the root cause of some of the many losses that occur.
Every factory that uses heavy equipment is usually aware of this but rarely do they sit up and do anything. This could be because of lack of knowledge or the correct system is not in place. Hence, Asset Care becomes an important aspect in every factory or workplace. What is Asset Care? Asset Care occurs when equipment availability goes up, while producing good quality products quickly. Simply put, the three main factors here are a) Availability – lesser breakdown of equipment so it is available for production, b) Quality- production of quality products and c) Speed – Quick turnaround of good quality products.
How can you achieve Asset Care/Equipment Optimization at your workplace or factory? First of all, you need to understand the importance of the machine operator because these are the guys who control ASQ (Availability, Speed and Quality). So, if you want to ensure equipment optimization, here are the areas where the operators can be of help to you.

  • Equipment cleaning – ASQ gets a huge boost if equipment is cleaned regularly and maintained properly. Dirt and grime build up can cause problems which could lead to losses on a greater level, so by ensuring that your equipment is clean, ASQ becomes a greater possibility.
  • Lubrication – A simple step such as lubrication, when overlooked, could cause problems with the machine and lead to machine breakdown as well as rapid deterioration.
  • Daily check sheet – This is an important step but is often bypassed because of the tediousness of the job. Make sure that check sheets are completed daily because it action is taken faster with its help. Also, this is a procedure that is followed religiously in all world class companies.
  • Correct equipment operation – Sometimes because we don’t know any better or because of lack of skills, equipment is not treated correctly, thereby affecting ASQ. Make sure that all standard procedures are followed and operators are trained properly so that equipment is used correctly and consistently.
  • Quick changeover – Changeovers have to be quick, otherwise ASQ is negatively affected. How so? If a changeover takes long time, is disorganized and occurs often, it is but natural that things will not proceed as they should.

So far, so good. But the story doesn’t end here. At any workplace, there should be a compliance with operators and maintenance staff so that there are fewer breakdowns. More time should indeed be spent on Preventative Maintenance and not actual maintenance jobs. At any world class organization, such Preventative Maintenance measures are commonplace and regular inspections are conducted for important equipment.
The important factor here is that there should be co-ordination between maintenance teams and operators so that changeovers can occur in as less time as a single minute and problems are solved jointly.
Contact us now for Asset Care Training.

Asset care and equipment effectiveness

Optimizing equipment effectiveness is a high priority in all world class organizations. Teamwork between maintenance staff and operators is essential for the achievement of high levels of equipment effectiveness.
The goal of Equipment Optimization is to increase availability (in other words, eliminate breakdowns and reduce changeover times) and have equipment producing quality products at full speed.

How operators can help to improve equipment effectiveness

The operators of machines can best control a number of factors that impact on Availability, Speed and Quality (ASQ). Mission-directed team leaders need to fully understand these factors, so they can coach their team members and involve them in improvement.
The five main areas where operators can help to improve equipment effectiveness are:

  • Equipment cleaning. Cleaning equipment improves Availability, Speed and Quality effectiveness by eliminating dirt and grime build-up and by identifying potential problems which could affect ASQ.
  • Lubrication. If equipment is not adequately lubricated, breakdown and rapid deterioration will be the result.
  • Daily check sheets. The completion of daily check sheets to ensure that equipment is in good condition is a common practice in world class companies. When problems are identified, they are rectified timeously. A maintenance management system must be in place to ensure that timely action is taken.
  • Correct equipment operation. When equipment is misused, ASQ will be impacted. Standard operation procedures for start-up, shut-down and actual operation are essential for training operators and ensuring that equipment is used correctly in a consistent manner.
  • Quick changeover. If changeovers occur often, are disorganized and take a long time, ASQ will deteriorate. The solution lies in involving the team to develop methods that can reduce changeover times to less than 10 minutes and then adopt well-planned standard methods.

As a company progresses towards world-class status, maintenance staff spend less of their time reacting to breakdowns and more of their time focusing on Preventative Maintenance (PM) and maintenance planning (such as ensuring spares and exchange parts are available). When your maintenance staff is spending less time on breakdowns, they can start focusing on new key responsibilities, such as the following:

  • Developing PM systems and carrying out PM;
  • Conducting regular inspections for important equipment;
  • Participating in joint problem solving teams involving operators;
  • Training operators in the use and functioning of equipment;
  • Involving operators in coordinating improvement maintenance;
  • Helping teams to achieve single minute changeover.

One of the key focus areas of Competitive Dynamics International’s Mission-Directed Work Teams® program is to help your company become a world-class organization by improving overall equipment effectiveness (Availability, Performance and Quality) by identifying, prioritizing and eliminating losses.
Contact CDI to find out more about the Mission-Directed Work Teams.


Engaging Leadership

  • Developing the team through empowering leadership and participation.
  • Developing self-insight through feedback regarding personal leadership, conflict-handling and decision-making effectiveness.
  • Creating a culture of teamwork, participation and continuous learning.

Team leadership

Often organizations have similar machines and equipment; they may even have the same suppliers and customers. However, only some become world-class whilst others struggle – leadership makes the difference.

Leadership is the ability to create an environment where people feel committed and empowered to continuously seek opportunities to improve performance and be innovative. Leadership does not refer to the title or position of a person; leadership exists on every level in an organization. When team members communicate ideas or influence decisions they assume a leadership role – leadership is shared.

Traditional leaders vs. World-Class leaders

A leader’s attitude and behavior is critical to an organization’s success. The attitude and behavior of traditional and world-class leaders are very different.

Traditional leaders
  World-Class leaders
  • Plan and instruct;
    Control people, enforce rules;
  • Communicate one-on-one;
  • Apply top-down decision making;
  • Demand respect and compliance;
  • Employ people’s hands, not minds.
  • Inspire and empower;
  • Teach and support;
  • Involve and listen;
  • Engage the whole team;
  • Earn trust and cooperation;
  • Apply participative decision-making;
  • Seek win-win situations;
  • Win people’s minds and hearts.

The leader’s behavior has a direct impact on the motivation and commitment of team members. World-Class leaders paint a future that is compelling and attractive; they have an open mind, are creative and think big. These leaders have a “can-do” attitude. They motivate and inspire others to share in the vision.

When a leader lacks vision, reality, courage or ethics, it is unlikely that the organization will remain world competitive. People follow an inspiring leader whom they trust and respect. Only when a leader truly cares for the team, will the team care for their customers and go the extra mile.

No person is born a leader

So how do you get the leaders within your organization to motivate, inspire and lead? Do you have the wrong people in leadership positions? The truth is that no person is born a perfect leader. The leadership “tools” in CDI’s Mission-Directed Work Teams® program will assist your leaders in developing their leadership effectiveness in the following ways:

  • Developing the team through empowering leadership and participation;
  • Receiving feedback regarding personal leadership, conflict-handling and decision-making effectiveness;
  • Creating a culture of teamwork and continuous learning.

One of the key focus areas of Competitive Dynamics International’s Mission-Directed Work Teams® program is to help you develop your teams through empowering leadership and participation.

Contact CDI to find out more about the Mission-Directed Work Teams.


Lean Workflow

One of the most important tasks of a world class team is to ensure that the right products are available at the right time, at the right place, in the right quantities. Workflow management revolves around improving organizational responsiveness and speed by managing capacity constraints and reducing work-in-process.

The ability to meet customer needs in the shortest time possible should be one of the main goals of your organization. When the response time is longer than the customer’s expectation, dissatisfaction will be the result. We must therefore ensure that our responsiveness is well within the customer’s expectation and continuously improving.

  • Improving organizational responsiveness and speed by managing capacity constraints and reducing work-in-process.
  • Making value flow as pulled by the customer.
  • Simplifying scheduling by making use of visual management, Kanban and other pull systems.

Getting on top of the just-in-time challenge

Traditionally companies have made use of large quantities of inventory to enable them to meet the just-in-time (JIT) challenge. These companies drive the efficiencies of individual machines and not the flow of work through the organization.

One of the key focus areas of Competitive Dynamics International’s Mission-Directed Work Teams® program is to help you create a lean workflow to improve the value you are able to give to clients.
Competitive Dynamics International can help you improve workflow, on-time delivery and responsiveness by effective management of work-in-process capacity constraints and scheduling. Our tools and techniques will assist you and your team to:

  • Understand the importance of continuous workflow, work-in-process reduction, pull production and cycle time reduction;
  • Identify and eliminate the waste of overproduction;
  • Increase throughput by visually controlling and systematically reducing work-in-process;
  • Implement simple workflow triggering systems;
  • Identify and manage capacity constraints (e.g. bottle necks) to improve throughput;
  • Implement visual production scheduling.

Contact CDI to find out more about Mission-Directed Work Teams.


Coaching for Performance

Coaching is one of the most important responsibilities of a team leader. It is a continuous process, therefore the team leader who is in daily contact with team members is the best person to coach the team.

  • Identifying the essential skills and competencies required to attain team goals.
  • Building a multi-skilled and versatile team.
  • Enhancing individual and team-on-team feedback to review and enhance performance.

What is coaching?

Coaching is an ongoing interaction between the leader and team member during which there is joint commitment to identify, develop and reach performance goals. The ultimate goal is empowerment, efficiency and self-fulfillment.

A leader’s success depends on his/her team members’ competence, commitment and performance. When a leader fails to coach and develop his/her team members, competence is lacking, commitment fades, performance deteriorates and the company’s ability to compete diminishes.

Why is coaching so important?

World-class organizations recognize the importance of their members and spend up to eight times more time training their employees. One of the key strategies of world-class organizations is the creation of an environment of continuous learning and flexibility in the workplace.

World-class organizations realize that ongoing learning and coaching are essential because:

  • A company’s competitive edge lies in its people, coaching is the process through which people are developed;
  • The quality of a company’s products and services is dependent on the level of competence of its people;
  • Production and delivery performance is a consequence of the skill and commitment of the team;
  • A competent and committed team is innovative;
    Effective coaching frees the leader to lead and effectively embark on new challenges.

Building competent multi-skilled and versatile teams

Nobody can guarantee employment, satisfying customers is the only means of remaining in business. Customer demands for greater flexibility, shorter lead times and wider variety of products at more competitive prices require innovative, competent and flexible teams.
Multi-skilling and skill versatility usually commences within the current team to enable team members to rotate and stand in for one another. Thereafter team members learn skills in other departments or functions.
Some world-class organizations aim for full skill versatility within a team before embarking on training other functions. In some organizations skill versatility to the “level of three” is accepted as a first milestone. Skill versatility to the level of three means, every person is able to perform three jobs, and every job can be performed by three persons.
Changing customer requirements and changes in technology require continuous learning and innovation in the workplace. Innovative organizations who lead change and are flexible are in a better position to be competitive and grow.
One of the key focus areas of Competitive Dynamics International’s Mission-Directed Work Teams® program is to help you create a learning environment for skill enhancement and build a competent, multi-skilled and versatile team.

Contact CDI to find out more about the Mission-Directed Work Teams.


Quality Management

  • Implementing a quality-at-source and built-in quality philosophy.
  • Effectively applying the QC tools to eliminate root-causes of defects and reduce variation.
  • Designing learning and improvement cycles into quality systems.
  • Eliminating errors through mistake proofing (poka-yoke).
    Apply concepts relating to Six Sigma and calculate their DPMO performance.

Quality Assurance

In today’s competitive environment, quality has become an essential characteristic of a world class enterprise. The overall quality mindset has changed from a concept of quality being costly to one of quality being just one of the essential entrance requirements.
The thinking on quality has changed from inspect-in quality to built-in quality. The table summarizes the differences between these two approaches to quality.

Inspect-In Quality
  Built-In Quality
  • Accountability rests with inspectors;
  • Focus on preventing defects from reaching customers;
  • Costs usually increase with quality improvement (more inspection);
  • Poor communication with the shopfloor;
  • Quality function perceived as auditors and policemen.
  • Accountability rests with every person in the value adding chain;
  • Focus on eliminating the causes of defects;
  • Everyone inspects and designs countermeasures;
  • Costs decrease with improved quality (it’s cheaper to do it right the first time);
  • Shopfloor fully informed regarding quality;
  • Quality function takes on the role of coaches.

If teams aren’t empowered to manage and improve quality performance, a range of problems can arise. These are just a few:

  • Suppliers provide poor quality components or materials to teams and never get told that the standards are not acceptable. Operators just try to do the best they can.
  • Inspectors feel that no one cares about quality and become discouraged.
  • Team members just try to make as many products as possible. Team leaders and coaches keep pushing operators for more production without solving the problems that cause bad quality.
  • A lot of work done is not identified as defective for days or weeks, until it is needed by the next process.
    The final customer has to inspect products and return defects.
  • Defects produced have to be reworked or scrapped. This costs money and reduces the business’s financial strength.
  • Defects delay deliveries and cause unnecessary rush jobs.
  • Problems which cause defects remain unsolved and operators become discouraged.

In world-class teams the team is always aware of their quality performance and continuously strives to improve quality. In order to improve quality assurance in your business, partner with Competitive Dynamics International.

One of the key focus areas of our Mission-Directed Work Teams® program is to improve the situation by working closely with the quality assurance department and implementing improvements in the workplace.
Contact CDI to find out more about the Mission-Directed Work Teams.


Value-Driven Service

  • Identifying and defining the precise value requirement of the end-customer.
  • Developing a clear value proposition for your value stream.
  • Improving value stream efficiency through win-win partnerships, embedded in Service Level Agreements with suppliers and customers throughout the value chain.
  • Implementing continuous improvement initiatives involving customers and suppliers to enhance value delivery.

Service quality

Customer service and service excellence are clichés in many organizations, rather than a true priority. Without customers there is no business. Listening to one’s customers and providing excellent service are regarded as the key success factors by today’s world class organizations.
Customer service is defined as “satisfying or exceeding all of the customers’ requirements.” These requirements include not only quality, price/value and delivery but the total experience that comes with it, e.g. the ease of doing business, reliability, after sales service, etc.
Customer service that meets rather than exceeds customer expectations is not noteworthy. People are unlikely to tell others about a company that is no better than another. A name is made when customers receive service beyond expectations. 

Customer focused vs. customer drive

World class businesses recognize that it is the customer who decides customer service requirements, and the ultimate judge of total customer service is the customer.
As world class organizations, we need to do the following:

  • Manage our customer relationships and place them at the heart of our company;
  • Manage our customers’ experiences by being able to hear, see analyze and evaluate their experiences, at every point of contact with us, not simply their transactions. We need to create an experience that makes the customer say “Wow, that was amazing!” We need to become customer driven, i.e. see ourselves as our customers see us.

World-class service quality

World competitive organizations hold the view that the customer is the most important person and our employees who make the product or provide the service are just as important.
In world class organizations customer satisfaction is the main focus of all employees and is one of the main criteria during decision-making. Only when every person or team treats the next person or operation in the organization as a customer and everyone is focused on the customers’ requirements, can external customers’ requirements be met. 
One of the key focus areas of Competitive Dynamics International’s Mission-Directed Work Teams® program is to improve the service quality in the workplace – and ultimately improve the service quality your customers receive. We will help you by identifying total customer value requirements and develop a win-win relationship with suppliers and customers.
Contact CDI to find out more about the Mission-Directed Work Teams.


Process Improvement 7W

  • Designing processes for world-class Quality, Speed, Cost-effectiveness, Safety and People.
  • Identifying and eliminating the seven wastes.
    Applying process mapping techniques to improve processes and eliminate waste.

Waste Elimination

One of the key strategies of world-class companies is to eliminate waste and to make value flow. It is essential for all teams in a world-class organization to identify and eliminate waste. The result will be faster throughput, lower costs, improved quality and greater job security.
Once waste has been eliminated, the freed up capacity needs to be reinvested in value adding work. If this is not done, the waste will simply change form and there will be no improvement. 

The 7 types of waste

1. Overproduction. The waste of overproduction arises where we produce more than is required or before required. If people work ahead instead of waiting and this situation is repeated, inventory will begin to accumulate at the end of production lines or between lines. This inventory will have to be moved or neatly stacked. If these movements are regarded as work, we will soon be unable to tell waste from work. The waste of overproduction should be regarded as our worst enemy, since it hides the other wastes.
2. Inventory When work-in process builds up in front of a process, this work-in-process has to wait, the longer the queue, the longer the wait. The valueless time slows the ability of an organization to respond to changing customer needs.
It is often said that between 70 and 80% of a factory is not a factory at all but a warehouse used to house in-process inventory. This situation represents a massive opportunity to eliminate waste and free up space and resources.
3. Waiting – Waiting waste is generated when we have to wait for information, components, material or breakdowns.
4. Transport This waste is created by moving parts, material or finished goods in or out of storage or between processes. To eliminate this waste, it is often necessary to move processes closer together and create product-focused teams.
5. Motion This form of waste often arises due to the ergonomics of the workplace. This includes walking, bending and stretching for components.
6. Processing This type of waste is caused by process design factors such as double handling, unmatched cycle times, loading and unloading of work pieces and changeover.
7. Defects, Rejects and Recycle This type of waste results from errors and defects. When errors and defects are introduced into a process, the result is scrap or rework, which increases costs.
One of the key focus areas of Competitive Dynamics International’s Mission-Directed Work Teams® program is designing processes for world-class Quality, Speed and Cost-Effectiveness. We can help you identify and eliminate the seven wastes and we can teach you how to apply process mapping techniques to improve processes.
Contact CDI to find out more about the Mission-Directed Work Teams.



Every person is the owner and promoter of his or her own success. The results we achieve in life are a consequence of our actions, the decisions we take and the attitude we hold.
Effective people hold the attitude that results in life are a consequence of their own actions, they accept that their actions are a consequence of their thoughts. This attitude is called “Internal Locus of Control” (ILC). It is the belief that “control over my results in life lies within me” and “I choose how to react” to the realities of life.
As a result of the Internal Locus of Control attitude, individuals accept personal responsibility in life, they learn from failure rather than blaming others and therefore become successful. Some organizations require people with an Internal Locus of Control and “can-do” attitude. The leader has a major influence on the development of a positive attitude in the team.

  • Gaining insight into your motive profile and the impact thereof.
  • Developing an “internal locus of control” attitude.
  • Creating a high achievement culture.
  • Preparing a personal development plan.
  • Developing the Psychological Capital of your team.

Internal Locus of Control (ILC) vs. External Locus of Control (ELC)

People with an “External Locus of Control” (ELC) believe that results in life are mainly a consequence of circumstances beyond their control or “bad luck” and therefore they blame others for their mishaps and tend to be passive.
People with an External Locus of Control tend to display a “can’t do” attitude. They blame others for their failure, therefore do not learn and develop. Failure leads to more blaming and the situation becomes worse.
To achieve success in life you need to be proactive and take charge of your thoughts allowing only positive thoughts to enter your mind, you are in essence the person you believe and think you are.
One of the key focus areas of Competitive Dynamics International’s Mission-Directed Work Teams® program is helping your employees develop an Internal Locus of Control in taking personal responsibility. We can help you create a high achievement culture and help your employees gain self-insight to improve personal effectiveness and goal setting.
Contact CDI to find out more about the Mission-Directed Work Teams.


Problem Solving

  • Ensuring that problems which have been solved in the past do not recur.
  • Implementing tried and tested remedies immediately for known problem areas.
  • Capturing the learning’s of experienced specialized personnel.
  • Gathering relevant evidence to facilitate problem-solving.
  • Solving problems effectively using a simple structured approach.
  • Inculcating a culture of solving problems rather than either just reducing the impact or living with the consequences.
  • Using every identified problem as a potential lever towards long-term continuous improvement in Quality, Speed, Cost-effectiveness, Safety and People.
  • Applying structured DMAIC methodology.

Contact CDI to find out more about the Mission-Directed Work Teams.