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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Eric P. Bloom: Outline specific process measurements

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  • Continuing on the LEAPFROG Teambuilding Process, this week’s column is “O - Outline specific process measurements.” Here is a quick recap, if you haven’t seen weeks one through six, they were:
    L - Lay out the organizational structure and staff roles and responsibilities.
    E - Establish relationships and trust among teammates.
    A - Assemble goals, objectives and values.
    P - Provide individual and team critical success factors (CSFs).
    F - Form a culture of teamwork and camaraderie.
    R - Render efficient internal department processes.
    With your people in place, goals defined, CSFs communicated, culture emerging, and internal processes defined, your next and final preparatory phase is to define how your newly created process will be measured, collected, analyzed, communicated, and used. To that end, consider the following steps:
    1. Include team in defining process measurement categories
    It’s important that you include your team in defining both the measurements to be used and the methodology employed to collect the needed statistics. The reason to include your team in this process is threefold. First, if they are involved in the definition process, they will be more likely to buy-in to the measurements being used. Second, discussions of this type will enhance your team’s understanding of the processes being measured. Third, as you go through the steps defined below, it provides career growth to your team members by illustrating how measurements are defined, collected, stored, analyzed, communicated, and used for the good of the organization.
    2. Create procedures to collect and store measurements
    With the needed measurements defined, the next step must be a process to store the collected measurement data in a way that it can be easily retrieved and analyzed. If the data is not easily retrievable, then as the data grows, it will become too cumbersome to use as part of your ongoing reporting.
    3. Create procedures to generate benchmarks based on measurements
    Over time, as more and more data is collected, with the proper analysis, standardized timings, costs, and/or level of effort will emerge. This statistical analysis, in turn, can then be used to create benchmarks. As an added usage, these statistics can also be used to illustrate performance trends within your processes.
    4. Design standardized measurement reports
    The rationale for defining your standardized reports up front, before the data is actually collected, is because it helps assure that the right data is being collected and it’s being stored in a way that facilitates the creation of the ongoing needed reports.
    5. Define and communicate the effect of measurements on team member performance reviews
    Explaining to your team how they will be measured has two advantages. First, their desire to receive high job performance ratings will cause them to do things that will maximize the value of the measurable statistics. Second, assuming the measures are properly aligned with organizational goals, individual efforts to maximize personal performance will, by definition, help the organization meet its objectives.
    Page 2 of 2 - 6. Use process measurements as a basis for ongoing process improvement and product quality
    One of the keys of ongoing improvement is the ability to measure process quality, efficiency, and other similar statistics. This information can be used in two ways. First, as a way to prioritize which processes should be improved based on the amount of time the team spends performing the task. Second, when improvements are put in place, collected statistics will be able to show if the expected process enhancements were actually realized.
    The primary advice and takeaways from today’s column is to know that:
    - The next and final preparatory phase is to define how your newly created process will be measured, collected, analyzed, communicated, and used.
    - Including your team in the steps described above, provides career growth by illustrating how measurements are defined, collected, stored, analyzed, communicated, and used for the good of the organization.
    Until next time, work hard, work smart, manage well and continue to build your professional brand.
    Eric P. Bloom is the president and founder of Manager Mechanics LLC, a management training company specializing in information technology leadership and is the governing organization of the ITMLP and ITMLE certifications. He is also a keynote speaker, nationally syndicated columnist, and author of the books “The CIO’s Guide to Staff Needs, Growth, and Productivity,” “Your IT Career: Get Noticed, Get Promoted, and Build Your Professional Brand” and “52 Great Management Tips.” Contact him at eric@ManagerMechanics.com, follow him on Twitter at @EricPBloom and @MgrMechanics or visit www.ManagerMechanics.com.

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