Recently I was watching the movie “The Dirty
Dozen” on TV. There is a scene where the Major, played by Lee Marvin, reviews
the plan of attack with the team as a rhyme to ensure that everyone knows what
to do no matter the circumstances. In this particular military exercise
precision is priority one to achieve the outcome of survival of the soldiers.
This level of understanding also applies to
teams in our organizations with regards to following process. Our goal is to
ensure we achieve business outcomes. Far too often we have a belief, whether
intentional or otherwise, that all we need to do is implement a new tool to fix
all of our issues. That the tool will enable us to achieve our business
objectives above all else.
Nothing further from the truth could be true.
Many of these “tool” implementation partners will tell you first hand that
until you have some documented process they will be unable to have their application
work effectively. It really boils it down to process and people.
To give you a real world experience, I went to
the doctors for my annual physical. The nurse went through and ran some of the
usual metrics such as height, weight, blood pressure and so on. She entered it
into the computer, clicked save and then print. She produced a lab requisition
form for me to take to a lab for blood work. I was a bit surprised as this is
something that the doctor typically did previously. When I asked the nurse
about this new system she said that this was a newly automated component to
streamline doctor’s visits.
After she left the room I waited for the doctor
to arrive. After a few moments of waiting the doctor came into the office,
exchanged the usual pleasantries and then held out his hand and asked if I had
a lab sheet for blood work. Surprised, I said that I did and he shook his head,
took the sheet and put it in the trash bin.
Seeing the confusion on my face he went on to
explain that this new automated lab form was actually the same for all people.
That in fact if I was to get these test done it would not only be unnecessary
from the diagnostics end but would also require the need to twice the blood
extracted at effectively twice the cost to the health care system. He added
that if I was interested in giving blood that there would be more value in
The report that was generated was not done
through a set of doctor requirements; rather it was a “catch all” that would
account for any assortment of tests so that less work would need to be done.
Basically all people fitting into a set of values would generate the lab
request which I got, whether there was value in those test or not. The
challenge, as the doctor clearly pointed out, was that without the
understanding for the diagnostic process [process] and the interview component between
the doctor and patient [people] that the tool generating the lab tests was not
doing as effectively as it could be.
The learning point from this is that to get the
most out of our tools we need to ensure that all components of process,
products, partners and people are taken into account. To do this: Make sure that
your processes are documented and regularly reviewed with all partners and
stakeholders to ensure that your experience from a tool perspective can be
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Labels: BRM, Continual Service Improvement, CSI, ITIL, ITSM