Tool #6: Decide on the Destination before Mapping the Journey

You’ve been asked to lead a process improvement project and you’re not sure what’s expected. And that’s a risk. Just ask Lewis Carroll: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” asked Alice. “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cheshire Cat. What’s … [Read more…]

What Every Process Owner Needs to Know

As leaders accountable for process performance, PO’s operate without traditional forms of organizational power. They can’t fire anyone, don’t control budget, and don’t manage front-line performers. To be successful, Process Owners must operate through capability and influence. And that means that skill development is critical. First comes behavior – systems thinking, ambition, pragmatism, and other … [Read more…]

Enterprise Transformation Begins with Expertise in Process Design

You’ve been asked to streamline a process and you’ve reached a major stage gate. If you’re Six Sigma you know that Define, Measure, and Analyze are over, and Improve is about to begin. Or if you’re Hammer-trained in the Process Redesign course, you’re moving from Diagnosis to Redesign. After mobilizing a team, you trained them … [Read more…]

The Best Change Management Tool Ever

Everyone who has participated in organizational change projects knows that people problems are the source of most failures. Process projects always operate on two parallel tracks: precise logical design and organic social dynamics. And that’s where most projects get derailed. In the face of resistance to change, many process, IT, and even change management professionals … [Read more…]

3 Process Breakthroughs

Last month 20 process innovators, transformational leaders, and change agents joined us in Miami to share experiences and discuss research results at an FCB Community meeting. As part of the conversation, organizations shared experiences they have recently had in successfully implementing process breakthroughs. Here are three examples: 1. Order Fulfillment Streamlined – A telecommunications company … [Read more…]

10 Rules, 10 Tools

Many of us aspire to dramatically improve performance by transforming our organizations. The mission is ‘big change, fast’, also known as reengineering. As change agents we’re committed to success but often overwhelmed with the magnitude and complexity of the task. Here’s a set of guidelines based on years of experience – rules and tools you … [Read more…]

10 Innovative Business Experiments

Last month 20 process innovators, transformational leaders, and change agents got together in Miami to share experiences and discuss research results. A primary topic of discussion was successful innovation and the role of experimentation in creating that success. Participants discussed ideas for experiments they are running or considering and the hypotheses they are testing. Here … [Read more…]

Your Job Is to Improve Your Job

There have always been two camps in the world of process improvement, the Changers and the Changees. The Changers have typically been process redesigners, Belts of various colors, or consultants. The Changees were the performers who executed the process designs. In other words, we’ve professionalized process change. Some of this partitioning of roles was undoubtedly … [Read more…]

The Value of Process Sherpas

As I said in a recent blog, most process improvement projects fail. The complexities and distinct challenges of cross-functional change often prove to be insurmountable. But failure is not inevitable, especially if you use experienced external assistance. As Bob Buday, Partner in the Bloom Group notes: “Process improvement initiatives, especially those involving big change, are high-stakes endeavors … [Read more…]

Managing the Risk of Project Failure

Many process improvement projects fail. This means failure is easy while success is very hard. What constitutes failure? At the heart of every process improvement project is a promise, encoded into the business case. Implicit or explicit, highly quantified or back of the envelope, short-term or long-, every project has a contract. This contract says … [Read more…]