For those of you unfamiliar with process triaging (primer here), we spend a full day with a team of experts who do the work of an enterprise’s critical business process and nominate improvements. At HINT, a creative services and video production company in Kansas City, their drive shaft process is the Creative Services process. While every production is uniquely creative, the repeatable process of doing it is an ideal triage candidate.
One of the primary deliverables of the triage is the deck of process capability improvement proposals, typically two dozen. Each one of these proposals, if completed, will improve the process toward a capability goal that, in turn, enables the process to deliver its share of the firm’s strategic goals. These proposals are sorted by their level of effort, estimated by the team into Small Now action item-size tasks — simple enough for one or two people to accomplish without a lot of complexity, or a Big Now project-size effort, one that requires a plan, a budget, some sponsorship perhaps.
The typical triage proposal deck has a mix of Small Now’s and Big Now’s. The more Big Now’s, the larger the effort to achieve the capability goal — and we set the capability goals high. Sponsors and hosts expect a few project-size proposals and set aside some funds before they triage.
HINT’s five-person triage team, sponsored by CEO Teri Rogers and hosted by Tony Welch, generated 17 Small Now’s that could all be worked within 90 days, taking nothing off their plates. What that says is Teri and Tony are running a very tight ship that’s core process has no serious issues. It means HINT is entirely scalable, in terms of its drive shaft process. Their team’s first triage results looks like an extremely seasoned kaizen team. In fact, most of the proposals focused on enforcing best practices, not figuring things out. Simply outstanding.
You just don’t see this kind of excellence very often, first triage.
I’m impressed. Hat Tip, HINT!