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Workplace Playbook

The first universal model for how to think and accomplish any task in any workplace. The model applies to everyone and anyone in the workplace - senior executives, middle managers, or entry level employees.

The playbook delivers the first system for applying the scientific method to accomplishing anything and everything in any workplace anywhere.

Processes

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Processes

Copyright 2009, Ara Bouloutian. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be photocopied, reproduced, or translated into another language without the prior written consent of the author.

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Processes RULE #2: PROCESSES

A process is a procedure, routine, strategy, or system for accomplishing a goal. With respect to the playbook, these are generally interchangeable terms. Systems also frequently refers to equipment.

THINK 1. EXPECTATIONS Objectives Sub objectives Job description

2. PROCESSES 3. RESOURCES Equipment Tools People Space/Environment Budget

4. INCENTIVES Compensation Communications Recognition Objectives Control

5. SKILLS-TRAINING 6. FEEDBACK 7. MOTIVATION

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Processes

PROCESSES

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

1. Have the very best processes been designed for optimizing performance?

Y-N-?-N/A

2. Is there documentation of the best way to do the job?

Y-N-?-N/A

3. Is documentation of the process prepared in a step-by-step manner?

Y-N-?-N/A

4. Is all or part of the documentation in the form of easy to understand flow charts?

Y-N-?-N/A

5. Has each task in the model been analyzed?

Y-N-?-N/A

6. Does each task in the model note time to complete and necessary resources?

Y-N-?-N/A

7. Does everyone contribute to building a model designed to maximize R.O.I.?

Y-N-?-N/A

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Processes

Objectives may be well designed, but if PROCESSES are less than acceptable, chances are, there will be performance problems.

Have the very best processes been designed for optimizing performance? Is there documentation of the best way to do the job based on the best performers? The purpose of documenting a process(es) is to provide an easy means for everyone to perform a job in the most reliable and efficient manner along the way to attaining the objective. To do that, the first step is find the very best person or people who perform the job at the highest level. By doing that the resulting documentation will reflect the very best way to perform the job. And if that can be accomplished, then everyone who follows that process will perform as well as the very best or as close to that as possible.

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Processes

Has the process been documented in a step by step manner? High performance processes are step-by-step procedures guiding people through accomplishing their objectives. Each step in the process described as an action. Typically it might look like this: * * * * * * * * *

Press the start button After system starts up, click on the Word icon When the new blank document displays, set the margins Set the line spacing Type your memo When finished, click on spell checker Print the page Sign the memo Mail it

Each of the above tasks may be broken down into more detailed steps which give the person the very best guidance necessary for performing as perfectly as possible. Once documented, the process can be organized into a resource (a manual, a check list, or even an interactive tool), that will guide workers through performing their work in the most effective manner possible. By documenting and distributing the best known process, everyone should be able to do the job as close as possible to the very best.

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Processes EXAMPLE OF A SIMPLE PROCESS GETTING UP AND GOING TO WORK

1.

Wake up

2.

Do the toilet

3.

Shower, shave and brush teeth

4.

Time for breakfast? If yes, have breakfast. Of no, leave for work.

5.

Is the bus on time? If yes, take it. Go to step 6 If no, is there a taxi? If yes, take a taxi. Go to step 6 If no, go back and take your car.

6.

Arrive at work

7.

Get your coffee

8.

Turn on computer

9.

Do your days work

10.

End of day? If no, continue with step 9 If yes, go to 11.

11.

Drive home

12.

End of work day

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OTHER EXAMPLES OF PROCESSES * * *

* * * * * * *

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Orders – the process of routing an order through inventory, shipping and accounts receivable. Hiring – the process of interviewing, assessing and hiring potential employees Accounts Payable – the process of receiving vendor invoices, recording, setting disbursement schedules, disbursing, and filing (manually and/or digitally) the bills. Meat processing – the process of slaughtering, dismembering, sorting and keeping sanitary the meat products through shipping. Banking – the process of moving mortgage applications and related papers through the approval procedure. Production – the process of manufacturing an automobile. Baking recipe – the process for baking a strawberry shortcake. Upgrading home – the process of replacing an old roof. Religion – the process of baptizing a child Health – the process of purifying water.

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MORE EXAMPLES

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In a golf match there is a process for every one of the 18 holes. When a golfer walks a course before a tournament, s/he plans a process (strategy) for each of the 18 holes. The sum total of these notes for the 18 holes equal the total process for the match.

In chess there is an ideal opening procedure giving a player a distinct advantage. Pieces are positioned in a way that controls the center of the board. This position seldom occurs because the other player is also countering after each move. However, knowing the ideal helps you think in a way to optimize any advantage.

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HOLE – PAR FIVE

1.

Driver, stay right about 220 yards.

2.

Three Iron, short of green to left.

3.

Pitch to green, front side.

4.

Green slopes to right from front.

5.

“Put” ball short of hole to right.


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Processes

EXAMPLES OF PROCESSES X

X In football X’s and O’s display how a play is executed. If every player executes their task perfectly, chances are the objective will be achieved, which might be gaining a first down or a touchdown.

X

X

X

XX

X

X

X

Attempting to document the best performer(s) can be relatively easy or difficult depending on the number of people doing the job. The more people doing a job, the easier it is to find a top performer(s). When only one person performs a job ask the person to document the work and then review it to make it accurate. In time as more people are added and more information is collected, the process can be improved.

One who every morning plans and follows the plan, carries a thread that will guide one through a busy life. Where no plan is laid, where the use of time is surrendered to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign. Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

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X


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Processes FLOW CHARTING

Is flow charting used for documenting complex jobs? An effective tool for documenting how the best workers do their jobs is the flow chart. A simple flow chart is shown. It’s a visual description of a process. The X’s and O’s and other sketches represent the same thing in football, basketball, and other sports. Many think they know how to create a flow chart, but to create one that accurately reflects the way an person thinks through doing a job can be a delicate task, involving interviews of the best workers and reflecting how they think and make decisions while doing their jobs. There are several software resources that are ideal for documenting processes in detail. Find one that works best for you. Here is a simple get started chart of how a salesperson goes about making a sale. FIND A PROSPECT

COLLECT INFORMATION

WRITE PROPOSAL

MAKE PRESENTATION

NO

YES CLOSE?

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Processes Another Example Of Flow Charting.

The flow chart puts information in an orderly arrangement based on how someone thinks through what they are doing. It’s step by step and whenever a decIsion or choice needs to be made it is shown clearly with a diamond symbol and a choice of a YES or NO direction to take.

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Processes

LISTING STEPS IN FLOW CHART

Has each task in the flow chart been broken down into steps?

After documenting a job, review each task in the chart and break it down further into steps. This provides a clear understanding of how the tasks are performed. Here is a brief example of “Make A Presentation”, which is one task from a flow chart. A number of the items may require further breakdowns into even more detailed steps. Essentially it is a continuing breaking down of steps until the job is clearly defined.

ANALYSIS OF “MAKE PRESENTATION” TASK 1.

Make introduction citing information in presentation.

2.

Review information collected during the prior visit. a. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx b. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx c. xxxxxxxxxxx

3.

Introduce the solution matching the needs.

4.

Describe features and benefits of the solution offered.

5.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In addition to each task being broken down into its steps, time to complete and required resources can also be noted next to each step.

A goal makes winning possible; a clear process makes the possible probable. —Source Unknown—

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Processes

TEAMWORK

Does everyone contribute to building a process model designed to maximize R.O.I.? Though building a high performance job is constructed working with the best performers, once a draft is completed all team members should review and contribute their ideas so they become stakeholders which generates a greater desire to see the system succeed. Since the process is based on how the very best do the job, then if everyone follows the process, chances are everyone should be performing as close as possible to the best. As time passes, the people will periodically generate new ideas for improving the process(es), otherwise referred to as continuous improvement. The documentation provides the advantage of having a common document to periodically review. The documentation also becomes the source for training new employees. Creating processes generally deliver a heathy ROI because you get back increased productivity per person compared to the effort and cost invested in building the process.

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Processes

PLAYING THE GAME In major league baseball, a pitcher who played for 19 years and entered the hall of fame had an interesting philosophy. He had a very good fastball and most importantly, was probably among the most accurate pitchers of all time. Because of his accuracy his number of walks per season was as low as any pitcher. Though he pitched over 300 innings in six straight seasons, he never walked more than 77 batters. Further, he was not of a mind to throw at batters. He simply focused on getting the ball over the plate with a lot of movement. As a result he gave up home runs, but in his prime he rarely gave one up with men on base. He allowed 46 in 1956, then a major league record. Not throwing at batters, allowing the fewest walks, and allowing home runs was all part of his pitching strategy or process, based on logic. He knew that Babe Ruth was the most prolific home run hitter ever, based on a ratio of about one home run in about every ten times at bat. He reasoned, “If Ruth’s is the best and his ratio is one in ten, then the odds are in my favor regardless of who I face.� He used his process consistently and it worked, even though he allowed a number of home runs. So you see, even a baseball player is able to succeed using his own process. The pitcher was Robin Roberts of the Philadelphia Phillies, a member of the Hall of Fame, whose best years were during the fifties.

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Processes

PLAYING THE GAME 2 A top 500 manufacturer of heavy equipment had an extensive telephone based customer service operation. An issue was to find ways to help customer service people interact with customers in a methodical and consistent manner. They had an operations manual but it was very extensive and cumbersome. The answer was to develop a process based on how the best customer service people managed their function combined with efficient ways to find information. The best customer service employees were identified. A detailed flow model was created of how they did their jobs. When the model was completed the elements were broken down into more detailed steps (task analysis). When the analyses in the form of flow charts, were completed the flows were organized into an easy to use flip style book for guiding the people through the process. The diamonds and rectangles from the flows were used in the guidebook as a kind of “yellow brick road� guiding the employees on what to do and say. Eventually the process was converted into interactive software making it even quicker and easier to use. The system resulted in attaining the objective of developing a more cost effective and efficient system of handling customer service.

PLAYING THE GAME 3 For your job or another, document a process on the following SCRATCHPAD or one of your own making. If making a flow chart is difficult, make a list of the process steps. Sometimes consultants are hired to create new work processes.

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Processes

SCRATCHPAD (side 1)

PLAYER NAME: TEAM NAME: BARRIER

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SOLUTION

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COST TO FIX


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SCRATCHPAD (Side 2)

BARRIER

SOLUTION

KEEPING SCORE ESTIMATED POTENTIAL GAIN

ESTIMATED NET POTENTIAL GAIN

ACTUAL NET GAIN

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COST TO FIX


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Processes APPLYING PROCESSES TO JOBS

APPLYING PROCESSES TO ANY INDIVIDUAL WORKER Am I capable of using the process assigned as effectively as possible? APPLYING PROCESSES TO ANY INDIVIDUAL MANAGER Is my team capable of executing their assigned processes as effectively as possible? APPLYING PROCESSES TO A PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT Do the production people have a documented production process to follow that will guide them through doing their job perfectly as possible? APPLYING PROCESSES TO A FOOTBALL TEAM Does each player know how to execute the plays as close to perfect as possible? APPLYING PROCESSES TO A LOCAL SMALL GROCERY STORE Do the workers and the owner know the procedures for taking inventory, handling customers, and keeping the store clean? APPLYING PROCESSES TO AN OVERNIGHT DELIVERY TEAM Does everyone on the delivery team know their routing schedule as well as the procedures for handling the packages and customers? APPLYING PROCESSES TO A LOCAL INSURANCE AGENCY Does the owner and employees know the process for completing the paperwork, for covering their territory, and handling customers? APPLYING PROCESSES TO A LEMONADE STAND VENDOR Does the vendor know the proper amount of lemonade to dispense, keep the stand clean, procedure for ensuring the best quality at the lowest cost, and handle customers effectively? APPLYING PROCESSES TO A HOSPITAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT Are the nurses able to complete the paperwork process for handling medicines and patients with care?

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THE SCOREBOARD Pre Game Game Plan Expectations Processes Resources Incentives Skills-Training Feedback Motivation Keeping Score The End Game

When something goes wrong in the workplace it’s seldom if ever the fault of some worker. The fault lies someplace in the systems, and management is responsible for the systems. C. Edwards Deming

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