Monday, September 30, 2002

Documentation Can Help Process (when done well...)

Last Wednesday, I reported on Craig and I working to define a strategic initiative (also called a hoshin, a major strategic breakthrough for business results, asked for by the marketplace). Craig did a whale of a job in planning and grasped how we could link shorter blitzes (also called kaizens) to make the bigger task happen.

Today, he reviewed the plans with two senior managers and did a super job. What did we learn?

  • Having forms to work with got it going. Since the forms allowed Craig to focus on WHAT he was going to do and propose and not sweat the format, he wasted less time doing it.

  • Questions on each form helped. By asking the critical questions for each blitz, Craig listed clearly the deliverables for each component of the larger strategic initiative.

  • It made for a short meeting. The proposal was so clear, it only took one trip through the documents for the senior managers to see what he was doing. We were done 30 minutes sooner than expected... a rarity for us

  • Accountability was clear. There was not doubt for the senior managers who was doing what, and by when.

  • The proposal got better, due to the clarity. One critical matter of timing was vastly improved as a result of one observation of our CEO. I think a good reason he made that contribution was that the proposal was so uncluttered, he could see a missing link.

What’s the next improvement in the process?
>>>> Some questions on the forms are still unclear. We can do better.
>>>> We can evaluate how well the forms work to monitor this initiative. We have to be further open for learning more.

Stay tuned. I’ll report more.

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