Change Initiative 2007- QuEST

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PROP – Process for Rolling out Processes

 

natarajan-iyer-questNatarajan Iyer, VP-HR, QuEST- Quality Engineering & Software Technologies

 

Leaders as change champions are constantly evolving and developing the DNA of their organizations in the form of process frameworks. Why, when and how to launch new processes that touch people, existing processes as well as technology is a constant challenge  that they face. It is not just about project management rigor, but also about how to get buy-in from people who may be at various levels of maturity when it comes to process orientation. This is a typical challenge faced by growing organizations reaching out from an entrepreneurial culture to a process-oriented culture.

The process roll-out has to be absolutely reliable as the new ideas and processes it seeks to introduce are precious. Also, there are huge time and opportunity cost implications. Roll out has to be "environment"-friendly and create the least amount of noise. The process must penetrate and get lodged in the daily acts - habits - thoughts and character of people and yield tangible results.

QuEST's PROP or Process for Rolling Out Processes emerged as a solution to these imperatives. The key aspect of PROP is a series of simple steps to launch processes in a phased manner with buy-in all-along. It also pays attention to justification for the change, articulation of the desired end-state and conquering both "heart" and "head".

 

Over the past couple of years since PROP was conceived and implemented, over seventy new processes have been launched and institutionalized. The popularity of the PROP culture is so high that, today, in case a process has cut corners and was introduced without PROP, employees highlight it in the monthly employee Open House. PROP in a nutshell covers the identification of process owners, costs, resources required, time commitment from teams, capital investment, and timelines to create, pilot, and implement.

 

Keep it as simple as you can to achieve the desired outcome, use data to influence decisions.

 

 

WHAT DOES PROP CONSISTS OF?

 

PROP consists of the following steps

 

1  Need Definition

 

2  Process Concept & Execution Plan

 

3  Process Generation & Implementation Plan

 

4  Execution of Pilot and Revision of Process as Required

 

5  Communication & Full-Scale Imple-mentation

 

6  Monitoring & Continuous Improvement

 

Summary of the Steps include:

 

1) Need Definition: Define and Document...

  • 1. What is it that needs improvement?
  • 2. What are the probable causes?
  • 3. Who are the stakeholders?
  • 4. What will success look like (desired future state), and how will we measure it
  • 5. Identify key drivers and those metrics will we use to measure improvement
  • 6. Deliverable of This Phase Is...
  • 7. Job Ticket - a document stating clearly and succinctly:
  • 8. Issue to be addressed
  • 9. Evidence that a need exists & is important to address (impact of the need)
  • 10. Desired outcome: Key drivers, success criteria, metrics to be used
  • 11. Stakeholders (who is impacted, who should be on team, who should review)

2)  Process Concept & Execution Plan

  • 1. Research the need or problem and identify root causes
  • 2. Identify process solutions to address the root causes (who, what, how)
  • 3. Create and document plan for generating the process or process improvement (who, what, when)
  • 4. Clearly identify resources needed to create process - people by skill set and by management level, capital (S/W, etc.)
  • 5. Deliverables of This Phase Are...
  • 6. Process Concept - 1-page description of the root causes and the process to address them
  • 7. Execution Plan - Clear, concise plan of action for creating the process, with owners, actions, actionees, reviewers, costs and timing

3. Process Generation & Implementation Plan

  • 1. Create the process that resolves problem (addresses root causes)
  • 2. Identify steps, timing, infrastructure, and costs as well as process owner for full implementation & process maintenance
  • 3. Identify "Pilot" group to test the process
  • 4. Deliverables of This Phase Are...
  • 5. Process Description - 1-page description of the process, the problem it addresses, its owner, its steps, and its stakeholders
  • 6. Implementation Plan - Clear, concise plan of action for implementing the process (including web-based tools), with owners, actions, actionees, reviewers, costs and timing

4. Execution of Pilot and Revising Process as Required

  • 1. Limited roll-out of the process to select group or groups
  • 2. Smallest group possible to effectively evaluate the process
  • 3. Selected by need and maturity to provide actionable feedback
  • 4. Measure success of Pilot
  • 5. Identify issues and revise process where necessary
  • 6. If revisions are significant enough, consider a follow-on pilot
  • 7. Deliverables of This Phase Are...
  • 8. Documentation of successes/failures of the pilot and revisions required to the process (reported to review team)
  • 9. Updated Process Description (if required)
  • 10. Updated Implementation Plan (if required)

5. Communication & Full-Scale Implementation

  • 1. Communicate to entire staff: the new process and the problems it resolves
  • 2. Communicate to effected staff: details of the process, how it will be measured/monitored, web-based tools, and staff's roles in its successful implementation
  • 3. Coordinated roll-out
  • 4. Address "Infant mortality" issues (significant problems uncovered at beginning of implementation need to be addressed quickly and decisively)
  • 5. Deliverables of This Phase Are...
  • 6. Roll-Out Communications - brief documents that should be shared via email, web, staff meeting flowdown, etc.
  • 7. Initial Metrics - measure what we said we would measure, report results to stakeholders; identify and report any infant mortality issues

6.  Monitoring and Continuous Improvement

  • 1. Track metrics
  • 2. Report results
  • 3. Identify issues
  • 4. Hold periodic, scheduled reviews; report findings to staff
  • 5. If revisions are required, roll them out as seldom as possible, and with clear communication
  • 6. Deliverables of This Phase Are...
  • 7. Metrics - reported to stakeholders
  • 8. Communication of results to staff

The BENEFITS of PROP are:

 

1  Top management can ensure that its investments on new processes are justified, effective and institutionalized across the company.

 

2  Perfect role-clarity and focus is achieved across all stake-holders and at all stages of the roll-out.

 

3  Participative framework for institution-alization is achieved so that perfect transparency and alignment is assured across the rank and file.

 
 

CONCLUSION: PROP process has been successfully implemented in QuEST and it is yielding rich dividends by securing returns on investment. This is crucial since the actual acceptance life-cycle on new processes needs to be short whereas the elapsed time for the process to yield results could be months or years. We believe PROP would be equally valuable to any organization for rolling out processes and bringing about sustainable change.

 

 

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