Let’s begin this New Year with something fresh and clean and thoughtful and, maybe, kick-butt useful to our integrators and operations lovers.
Introducing our Process Triage Profile.
A Process Triage Profile paints a picture of what your immediate process improvement focus should be, according to your team that triaged the process.
Recall, a Process Point-of-Pain is any recurring event or behavior happening to or in a process that inhibits its performance capability — like quality or volume or speed. When we remove the pain point, the process performs closer to its capability goals. Process Triaging is all about issue-processing these Pain Points into a Solutions, sorted into one of four types of solutions:
- Analyze for a root cause if we don’t know the most likely cause enough,
- Design a best practice method or technology if we don’t have something off-the-shelf that prevents the pain (if we use it!),
- Train this best practice or technology is it needs reminding, and/or
- Enforce the best practice with our management operating system if we’ve eliminated the first three solutions. By enforce, we don’t mean some heavy-handed supervision. We’re just saying we know the cause, have a best practice, and don’t need to train it. We need to focus on execution and doing what we know to do. The execution tactics can involve any aspect of our operating practices in any area.
- After the solution is selected, we estimate its level of effort. We call it a Small Now for an action item / task-size deliverable or a Big Now if t’s a larger, project-size effort.
- After all the Points-of-Pain are triaged, the triage team ranks the proposals by their highest, most capability improving value.
- Your triage host writes post-triage Implementation Plan, and either schedules and assigns a proposals for immediate pursuit or declares it Not Yet until you free up some resources (which they estimate).
A Process Triage Session is an all-day (typically) facilitated workshop with your process’s experts — the go-to professionals who know and live and breath the process. They’ll generate, typically, 35 to 45 Points-of-Pain and triage them into 18 to 24 solutions — (Analyze “x” for a root cause or, Design, Train, and/or Enforce best practice “x”) .
A team’s triage solutions set that consists of mostly Analyze’s (for root causes) or Design’s (best practices or tools) asserts the process’s best practices or tools need definition. These improvements should be put in place before asking more of the process. (Otherwise, you’ll just create crap faster!). Here’s what that Process Triage Profile looks like:
If a team’s proposals are mostly Train or Enforce existing best practices or tools, then the organization’s operating practices need a closer look. Practices like hiring and performance accountability. Maybe its resource planning and logistics or process control reporting, and so on. That Process Triage Profile looks like this:
These different profiles give the leader an at-a-glance picture of what faces them as they undertake continuous improvements. They can better manage expectations, understand how fast things can improve. Triaging helps them recognize if their focus should be on better best practices (the first example) or tuning their operating system (the second example).
We’ll include a Process Improvement Profile with our flagship Process Triage Workshop going forward.
Consider your own core, driveshaft process. From Bid-to-Cash, or Lead-to-Cash — your customer-facing work. What do you suppose your Process Improvement Profile looks like?