I am a resolute believer that organisations have idle capability within them; sometimes, those in leadership positions ‘talk at people’ rather than ‘with people’. By being talked at, people will revert to someone else’s expectations and their potential contribution will be unrealised. By ‘talking with’ people, a shared understanding is developed and choices can be made, which are highly likely to include some discretionary effort from people.
Many who work within the technology industry are introverts; thus, their thoughts are often not shared and are left unsaid in environments in which they are ‘talked at’. In many instances, the thoughts from the introverted community are generally well developed as they have been thoroughly thought through prior to being shared.
Talking with people about ‘processes’ is a way to create an environment of working shoulder to shoulder with everyone and inviting people to participate. There is a methodology that can be utilised to engage these groups. Six Sigma developed a structured approach known as DMAIC for analysing and refining processes:
Define - What is the problem? - What is the scope? - What key metric is important? - Who are the stakeholders?
Measure - What data is available? - Is the data accurate?
Analyse - What are the root causes of the problem? - Have the root causes been verified? - Where should the effort be focused?
Improve - What are the possible solutions? - How can the solutions be piloted? - What were the results of the pilot? - How can variances be reduced?
Control - What is the preferred solution? - What is the broader support for this solution? - How can this solution be implemented?
Next week’s blog will explain why processes are critical for many digital businesses and how to apply this thinking.