Sunday, March 1, 2015

Process in a box - The ONE Box Process

One of my toughest challenges as the implementation Rabbi is that when I bring the SPIDER system to an organisation their first concern is how it will impact productivity, followed closely by if it will it break existing workflows.

My answer is always no! And here's my secret sauce to make sure that happens:

When I go into an organisation, specifically a professional services organisation, I use what I call my “one box process”. I first draw a box around the organisation and say this one box is a process and we don't care what goes on inside. We do, however,  care what comes into the box and what goes out of it. Research has shown that a lot of inefficiencies come from two main 
components- First, the information comes into the organisation, specifically, the task definition, their completeness, and their accuracy; and secondly, almost as a corollary to the first point, is that we work that is done when an organisation produces output was not expected.

My first step in any organisation is to help them solve these two related problems with one simple tool, the one box process and a checklist of every input and output to that box. Organisations are amazed at how quickly work levels stabilise, morale goes up, and quality of work increases  when you can stop garbage coming in and ensure that only your best work goes out.

If your organisation is feeling pressured, flushed, or just overwhelmed maybe you could try the one box process with some simple, yet sophisticated checklists at each of the input and output points.

If you do, or if you've already done this, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Until next month, this is Tony Sherman the implementation Rabbi at Impact Teams wishing you a stable and satisfying work life, where nothing is broken and nothing is missing.

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