Robery L. Hussey wrote
>New upper management is looking at changing the org to a more 'linear'
>model, with three 'tracks' ... information flow: how will it
>change, how should it change, what are the dangers, how do we make sure
>information is flowing correctly, timely, etc. How can we use information
>technology to move information and learnings to the appropriate people at
>the appropriate times? . . . . . .
You raise three questions about which I would like to comment.
First I suggest you consider another important value stream*, the one that
that deliver's value to your suppliers. By negotiating to satisfy your
supplier's needs you should be able to reduce the cost of your whole
The question of how will information flow change is probably not
answerable by much more than that it will change. Moreover, as you change
your work practices you discover that information is needed somewhere else
in some other form. Your best strategy is to structure your information
base (database) such that it is flexible. There are several information
technologies that do this very well but often get forgotten in
re-engineering a process or value stream.
The narrow focus on the value stream's business processes is valuable and
valid. Re-engineer processes as fast as possible to get the benefits as
soon as possible. However, when it comes to the data and information
needed to support your new processes take a broader view - in what other
value streams does that data support business processes? What additional
data must you accommodate to accommodate the other processes? And, most
important, what is the most flexible structure of the data?
In our experience (I am a practitioner of this re-engineering discipline)
we process model the value stream and data model the larger business. To
speed up the initial value stream re-engineering we try to do these two
techniques in parallel.
Finally. The two questions above are the easy ones to deal with. Your
initial problem statement included the hard part of re-engineering - how
do you get the right information to the right people at the right time -
must include information about the re-engineering process, how it will
effect people's jobs, how can they influence the outcome, etc. .... The
right time to address this information is as soon as you commit to
re-engineer and every chance you have thereafter. The right information is
always the truth and all of it. In this case apply the information
technology of marketing, advertising and leadership. Some of this will be
printed or computer based material, but the most important will be
face-to-face diailog between the people sponsoring the project, the
re-engineering team members and the rest of the company.
One goal of the learning organization is to prepare people for constant
change on many levels and to provide stable anchors at other levels.
Changing ways of working, changing the basic product or service should be
"easy" in a learning organization. Ocean Spray may find that bottling
concentrated artificial fruit flavors for the European Market is a new
line of products with new processes. It should not be a traumatic event
for your people. Your shared values, sense of mission and open dialog
should remove the human fears and allow the workforce to solve the
problems in your new processes. Establishing this stable basis of trust
*value stream, all those business processes that add value to a defined
customer or customer base.
-- "William J. Hobler, Jr." <firstname.lastname@example.org>