Improving Information Management performance (part 1)
“We read your newsletter and we are interested in your Lean simulation CarWorks, can we have a talk?”. This is how a very interesting project started. In this blog I want to share with you the process from receiving this question to providing a solution to meet the customer’s real needs. This will be part of a series of blogs to lead you through the process aimed at teaching you how to effectively use simulations to solve organizational issues.
I will guide you through:
Part 1 : First meeting, proposal and design
Part 2 : Intake and making it fit
Part 3 : Executing the program and reflection
Part 4 : Transfer from knowledge into results
Part 5 : Closure and Lessons learned
Part 1 : First meeting, Proposal and design
After this first call we setup a 2 hour meeting. Both the IT Manager and the Business Information Manager (BIM) were sitting in front of me. “Thank’s for inviting me!, tell me why invited me?” was my first question. This was the start of an interesting conversation. After a few minutes we were exploring The Problem they saw and The Solution they had in mind. We did not talk about the specific simulation game CarWorks.
The main issues that became clear were:
- We must create more awareness about the processes and roles in our IT / BIM department
- We must develop more customer focus
- We must increase teamwork
We were exploring these items more in general and the outcome was clear.
There is a problem, but we don’t know exactly what the real problem is, but there is a problem!
Next exploration was the question: “What do you want to see in the coming months? what behavior do you want to see that shows that the problem has been solved?”. Well, this was a much easier question to answer. I don’t have much space in this blog, so I’ll summarize some of the key points:
- We want to see employees handing over their work and results to colleagues
- We want to see a more proactive approach, plan and organize work
- We want to see people exploring the customer needs before we give them an answer/solution
- We want to give an appropriate and realistic answer to the customer
- We want to see people who manage the agreement with the customer, even if the activities are taking place in different departments
- We want to see more focus on the customer. Now what we see is the further away from the customer the less customer focus
- We want to see faster time to market for new information systems
This was great. And still we did not talk about the original question about the simulation. On the flip-over on the wall we now had a first design of the ‘wish situation’, or wished for way of working. The customer was excited, the questions were making them think. They liked the way they were being challenged. But after the next question, they became quiet.
Who is responsible for creating this kind of department?
This was an unexpected question from the right!:… Well the answer was clear: “We and our team leads!”. My next question hit them from the left!: “And why aren’t you successful at this moment?”. Oeps…The answers were clear:
- We need to find out more clearly what the real problems are, we don’t know exactly
- We need to create a common awareness with the whole chain why we are doing this and what we need to do
- We need to learn how we can improve our performance as a team
This was the moment to come back to the original question which brought me here.
If we looked back the conclusion was:
- The knowledge is not the issue
- The issue is working together as a team
- Learn to improve the performance of the whole team
We finished this first session and I was asked to prepare a first design/proposal for the BookStore™ workshops.
In the next blog I will show you how we did the first intake.