The Arizona Management System (AMS) is an intentional, results-driven approach where every state employee reflects daily on performance, reduces waste and commits to continuous improvement with sustainable progress.
Because AMS is a system, its interrelated, interacting parts work synergistically; it’s truly a case where the sum is greater than the parts! So, for example, while an agency scorecard is a fine visual performance management tool for showing progress, its value lies less in the “green” than in the “red” by exposing problems for teams to resolve.
In addition to performance management and problem solving, a third component of AMS - leader behaviors - may be thought of as the linchpin holding the entire management system together.
Leader behaviors include the leader’s documented standard work, one-on-one coaching and Gemba walks (i.e., intentional opportunities for leaders to “go and see” how the work is done). In future editions of AMS In Focus, we’ll examine these and other leader behaviors used by Lean practitioners.
Through transparency and consistent behavior, leaders convey how AMS supports and sustains progress and momentum in our ongoing journey as continuously improving organizations.
Leaders must understand basic AMS concepts and commit to using them in their agencies while also modeling the behaviors necessary to develop team members and build future leaders within the AMS structure.
Leader behaviors light the fuse for the “burning platform” that gives urgency, direction and purpose for desired organizational change. Such behaviors are not easily acquired, and no one should ever expect to achieve “level 5” proficiency on any kind of report card. Yet their absence may well challenge an agency’s deployment of AMS and ultimately leave it unsustainable.
With leader discipline comes an evolving mindset throughout the organization that there is always more to learn and master in the timeless quest of continuous improvement.
To date, the italicized elements shown here have been featured in AMS In Focus.