Great work systems drive operational excellence.

Hi! I’m Kevin McManus. Welcome to the Great Systems best practice work systems website. Do you want better results? If so, you must change those work systems that produce your current results. My goal is to help you use great work systems to promote total team engagement, minimize costs and waste, and drive operational excellence. Please take the time to explore the proven best practices, and great work systems on my website.

Great Systems News for September 2022!

Best Practice Work Systems Design Helps You Drive Operational Excellence

First and foremost, work system design determines how we spend our time, each day, at work. Plus, the design of our work systems sets WHO we engage with and HOW we engage with them. Unfortunately, few leaders spend time to examine and improve work system performance. Instead, they simply continue to use vintage work system designs from the past century. They simply expect people to show up every day, learn to work together, and get the job done. Such an approach achieves average results at best, not sustained excellent results.

For example, organizations commonly use their work systems to:

Do Your Existing Work System Designs Promote Operational Excellence?

All too often, our current work system designs limit consistent collaboration, relationship growth, and process change. One result is a lot of wasted time and money each day. Worse yet, we create a workplace where few people want to spend time. In turn, motivation and focus drift. Little time exists to benchmark better options. Incremental process improvement, and a few pockets of excellence, seem to be the best we can achieve.

An effective operational excellence strategy includes three areas of focus. First, we want to build a team infrastructure that promotes total team engagement. At the same time, we want to our work team leaders to consistently drive down errors and waste via daily, proactive process improvement. Finally, senior leaders must optimize work system design through work process integration, digital transformation, and best practice design application.

Where Should You Start Your OPEX Journey?

You don’t have to take time to re-invent the wheel. Best practice work system designs exist. To improve, you just need to model, adapt, and utilize them. Here are some great places to start:

Our operational excellence journey should not be the challenge that we make it. Remember, work system design drives work team performance. Please take the time to explore how my Great Systems best practice work systems can help you drive operational excellence.

How Effective are Your Work Systems?

How much daily profit do you give away as process waste? Do you struggle to sustain your operational excellence performance improvement initiatives? How do you improve leadership effectiveness, or develop high performance work teams, in your company? If you have challenges in these areas, you need Great Systems best practice work systems.

Work system design determines how we spend our time at work. Work systems with best-in-class designs help you achieve, and sustain, higher levels of work team performance. Plus, great work systems help drive operational excellence. Popular examples include:

Proven, Best Practice Work Systems Do Exist!

Over 20 years ago, I started Great Systems with one goal. That goal was to make work a better place. We should spend our work time in a workplace that is fair, fun, and focused. Instead, our workplaces are autocratic, chaotic, and a drudge to be at each day. To create great workplaces, we must upgrade our vintage 20th century work systems. Too many of our core work systems need such upgrades to work effectively in the 21st century.

Years of work and volunteer experience taught me how to design great work systems and develop great work teams. For example, I have over 20 years of service as a National Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award Examiner. Also, I have worked more than 18 years as an international, and now virtual, TapRooT® root cause analysis course facilitator. More than 10,000 hours of teaching and speaking in the past ten years alone has helped me discover even more Great Systems best practice work systems. Finally, I commit to consistent, continual personal improvement.

Do you have a work system improvement question? If so, please email me at

Which Great Systems Best Practice Work Systems Portal Can Help You Drive Operational Excellence?

Ten great work systems drive operational excellence

My best practice work systems content on this site is organized into four categories. Ideally, you want to improve work system performance in all key performance areas. However, I recognize that one cannot do everything all at once.

For starters, pick the best practice work systems category you want to learn more about. Typically, people begin with their leadership work system, and they focus on front line leader skill development.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask them via email – Keep improving!

Root Cause Analysis Best Practices

Effective root cause analysis is a ‘must have’ tool that all work team members can use to reduce daily errors, failures, and waste. Unfortunately, most root cause analysis tools rely on opinion. For almost 20 years however, my teaching and investigative experiences have shown me how the research-driven TapRooT® root cause analysis process consistently produces different, and better, results.

Four pages on my site have a root cause analysis-specific focus. If their content does not answer all of your questions, just drop me a note!

Best Practices to Improve Workplace Safety and Risk Assessment

Effective safety and risk management work systems are one of the five key elements of sustained operational excellence. It is in this area where my saying ‘different systems produce different results’ is most evident. Many of my customers consistently produce best-in-class safety, health, and risk management results. If you want insight into their strategies, try these links that have a safety, health, and risk management reduction focus.

 Most Popular Posts – August 2022

Customer feedback is the best barometer of what is popular in the operational excellence arena. Here are my top five posts for the most recent month from a ‘visits per day’ perspective. How consistent is the population’s interest with yours?

Great Systems ‘Teach It Yourself’ Workbooks and Workshops

I created each of my workbooks and methods through experience, practice, and experimentation. The content worked for me. So, I want to share it with you. I design my learning events to be highly interactive. Primarily, I want to help you learn to effectively teach my content, plus anything else you as a value add.

CLICK HERE to Buy Great Systems Workbooks at!

Would a Great Systems Virtual Workshop Help You Drive Operational Excellence?

Great Systems is NOW virtual! You can now bring any of my performance improvement content to your organization, at no or low cost. My virtual workshop content can be available either live or on-demand. Plus, my costs are reasonable. My goal is to provide virtual courses, content, and coaching to help you maximize work team engagement and effectiveness, optimize work system results, and drive operational excellence.

My virtual workshop model dedicates 40% or more time to breakout group work and dialogue. Also, my use of individual assignments helps increase class engagement. Assignment review helps drive learner accountability. Plus, my virtual workshop classes follow this content delivery model to make your experience more than just time spent online.

Please keep me in mind for your work system improvement needs. I am happy to facilitate a virtual 2-day workshop that utilizes any of the workbooks I offer in the Great Systems Shop. There are no travel costs. Plus, my workshop cost per participant is very reasonable. Send me an email at, if you want to learn more about my ‘teach it yourself’ workbooks and workshops.

I offer both static (no live interaction) and dynamic webinars (full interaction) on a regular basis. Please let me know if there is a performance improvement topic I can help you with.

Stay Current With My Real Life Work Podcast

I know that my customers have little time to invest in work systems research. That’s why I do it for them! Each week, my ‘Real Life Work’ weekly podcast explores current operational excellence best practices and challenges with a ‘real life work’ and ‘how to make work better’ focus. My plan is for the podcast to go live by the end of 2022.

Connect with Kevin McManus to Learn How Great Best Practice Work Systems Drive Operational Excellence!

Fortunately, I have been able to learn about, use, and improve many great work systems during my work career. Connect with me on social media, or send me an email at, to learn more about how you can use great best practice work systems to drive operational excellence. I hope to see you in my virtual future!

Thanks for the visit and keep improving! Kevin McManus, Chief Excellence Officer, Great Systems LLC

Great Systems Best Practice Work Systems Drive Operational Excellence

Real Life Work Support. With Measurable, Sustained Results.