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Building a Healthy and Thriving Organization

“If an organization is a system like the human body, then it too needs routine checkups, but what symptoms denote an unhealthy or toxic system?”

An organization is a system of moving parts like the human body, and like the human body, sometimes an organization becomes unhealthy, and is therefore, in desperate need of a checkup. Performance improvement strategies are synonymous with providing organizations with this required checkup. At pmNERDS, we enjoy a good checkup, there is a flow and pattern to the actions, after doing for a while we start to perceive the issue before we have the proof. Performance reviews of organizations provide clarity, and over time it is clear, communication is a common point of tension in unhealthy organizations. No matter the situation, people want to have a purpose and need to be appreciated.

In the human body, cells are constantly communicating, and when a cell does not respond, fails to send the message, or responds incorrectly, much bigger issues begin to appear as a result. Diabetes is a result of cells in the pancreas not releasing or unable to receive the necessary signal, known as insulin. Multiple Sclerosis is a nerve cell communication disease in which the affected nerve cells cannot transmit a signal correctly and a similar argument can be made for cancer, excitotoxicity, asthma, as well as others.

A system becomes toxic and unhealthy when there is a breakdown in communication, which enviably leads to a lack of sensitivity and common commitment. This is true even at the individual level, our interactions with others triggers instinctual responses. It can be a positive response, being open and transparent during a meeting encourages others to be the same. This produces higher levels of understanding, collaboration, and trust. On the other hand, not delegating decisions to anyone, creates a precedent for others to do the same. This produces breakdowns in communication, high levels of territoriality, and misunderstanding.

Just like our bodies, an organization needs to be monitored for communication breakdowns. It is everyone’s responsibility to create a healthy work environment, even if that sometimes means getting an annual checkup to preemptively scan for any ambiguous symptoms present in the system. Performance improvement activities are a way to get ahead of the illness or the infection before it even has a chance to take root in an organization. We are here to make you even better.

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Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap

If we establish a performance improvement roadmap, then all team members can anticipate upcoming changes and prepare for them, but establishing this roadmap requires team buy-in and specialized skills in performance constraint analysis and change adoption.

Process improvement efforts don’t always lead to overall performance improvement. You may improve how your team does a specific practice, but if it’s not the practice that is causing your performance constraint, you may not have any impact on performance, or possibly even make it worse. Without understanding your constraints, knowing where to focus performance improvement and in what order to tackle these initiatives is extremely difficult.

Leveraging our performance constraint analysis tool and the Performance Measure Framework, we can identify an appropriate starting point and build a milestone roadmap of the next set of performance constraints that need to be addressed to maximize the value or your process improvement efforts.

A milestone roadmap helps your team communicate the strategic intent of your performance improvement efforts to all stakeholders. This roadmap clearly indicates what process areas are going to be targeted for improvement, and in what order. A roadmap is made up of five characteristics:

Theme – The roadmap should have a theme associated with it. In this example the theme is Incremental Performance Improvement.

Milestones – The roadmap is made up of milestones related to the theme that will be worked on and delivered over time.

Milestone Owner – The milestone owner is the person who is responsible for ensuring that milestone is completed.

Sequence – The roadmap should list milestones in sequential order.

Time Periods – The roadmap should have time periods so people understand when the milestones will be worked on and which ones are bundled together. In this example, each phase represents a period.

The performance improvement milestone roadmap allows team members to anticipate changes and prepare to participate in these improvement efforts. The ability to anticipate changes and set expectations will increase new practice adoption and the effectiveness of performance improvement changes.

Cross-team collaboration is facilitated by communicating and sharing the performance improvement roadmap. Teams can work together to identify the necessary changes in each process area to address the performance constraint, and how those changes will impact the organization. Training needs and change adoption hurdles can be identified and addressed through cross-functional collaboration.

Through this communication, anticipation, and collaboration, the Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap aligns team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

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Role-Based Training Diagram

“If we modify our practices, then we can improve our project performance, but we’ll need focused training because we don’t have time to sit in irrelevant courses.”

During almost every performance improvement initiative that I’ve been involved in, someone brings up their concern over training. It goes something like this, “Is everyone going to have to go through yet another process training session? Too bad we can’t just email everyone the changes.” Role-based training requirements can easily be derived from the EFBD.

In the diagram above, an EFBD about a consensus practice was used to create this role-based training diagram. Each block in the EFBD was placed in the column of the role performing that function. An arrow indicating the sequence of the process block helps keep a holistic context of each function.

A training course can then be developed for each role, teaching only those functions that need to be supported by that role. Any changes between process steps can be highlighted with specific training focus being applied only to the changes in practice, while maintaining full context.

This process is simple, yet produces major differences in change adoption within an environment of continuous change. If you haven’t been using Training Diagrams, give them a try and let us know how they worked for you. If you’ve used these diagrams in the past, we’d love to hear about your experiences.

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Fast Communication Plan

“If we make changes to our practices, then we improve practice performance, but if we don’t communicate properly, we won’t gather the expected results.”

The Communication Plan needs to be a repeatable, maintainable, and defendable document which is used as a bases of change communications. The plan is intended for internal team members, stakeholders, and potential customers who might be impacted by the proposed changes.

A member of the steering committee may provide oversight to this objective. Various members of the performance improvement team will participate in updating messages. But a single person should be assigned as the owner.

It’s the owner’s responsibility to assure that each message is current, and that the correct personas are targeted. Before describing the specifics of the communication plan, I want to clarify confusion between the communication plan and the adoption plan. It is in the communication plan that targeted persona are identified, and specific messaging is defined to accomplish specific adoption hurdles. The adoption plan is used to take given messages, and define activities as communication channels to carry the message.

The first column of a communication plan must specify who the message is for. There are many methods for this but typically the persona is used. You want to keep this simple with 2-3 personas unless you have a large department doing this to last more than a year. Otherwise, it’s just too much work.

Now, there are eight adoption hurdles. Addressing them all gets the changes adopted, but its time consuming and expensive. Not addressing enough spell failure. There is an optimal balance depending on the importance of the change and persona.

Examples of persona might include Process Sponsor, Project Manager, Task Worker, and Client. Remember only to include the ones that will be directly impacted. And then, each will have different sets of adoption hurdles addressed.

The eight adoption hurdles are:

  • Access to new practice concepts
  • Safe place to experiment with new concepts
  • Ability to share stories about new concept experiences
  • Recognized proficiency in using new concepts
  • Finding new applications for new concepts
  • Finding a business purpose for this new concept application
  • Proto type and test new application of concept
  • Legitimize new application of concept

So, within the communication plan, we want to identify which personas will require which hurdles to be addressed.

For each hurdle selected, we will want to develop a message helping a persona overcome that hurdle. This message being created is not the finished message, but is more of an information framework that can be spun into many messages for different activities of communication channels.

The message framework provides information to the following fields:

Issue/Topic:

Differentiator:

Winning Theme:

First logical step from current situation toward second step in overcoming hurdle.:

Second logical step from first step toward third step in overcoming hurdle.:

Third and final step from second step and overcoming hurdle:

Benefit of overcoming hurdle:

Value in the benefit of overcoming the hurdle.

Solution vision of persona overcoming the hurdle.

With this information provided, messages are constructed in various forms to help the persona overcome the hurdles, and adopt the process change.

 

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Strategy Diagram

“If we make process changes, then we can gain performance improvements, but how will we help everyone catch the vision, get on board, and adopt the changes?”

How do you capture the attention of your organization? How do you create a common vision? How do you create a holistic vision that people can understand and get on board with? These are questions that must be addressed during any performance improvement initiative, and was certainly an issue for the volunteers working to provide aid to Hurricane Sandy Victims in 2012.

The Strategy Diagram helps communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative to all stakeholders and Team Members. They address questions such as:

  • Who will be responsible for accomplishing what objective?
  • What activities will address what objectives?
  • When will the activities take place and where?
  • What are the relationships and dependencies between the various roles mentioned?

These topics are then put together in a meaningful visual story that people can understand. You want to elicit as much emotion as possible, so images of real people are better than stick figures.

When hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the United States, this is a strategic diagram used to describe an initiative for a TV special designed to raise money and awareness for the hurricane victims who had lost their homes.

Strategic diagrams don’t have to be pieces of art, to be effective, but to get the most out of them they must answer at least some of the questions and hit an emotional cord.

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Performance Scorecard

If we establish a standard set of performance measures, then we can compare practice performance, but establishing this standard requires specialized skills, understanding, and executive buy-in. ”

When trying to manage and improve practices, the measures you focus on will have a significant impact on behavior.

If performance measurement is focused on speed, then the practice’s speed will increase. If that is the only measure or the most heavily focused upon area, the improvements may come at the expense of the overall practice. Typically, when practices speed up, quality of the deliverables goes down.

By uploading practices into the CPI Performance Measure Framework, we can ensure that the measures needed to identify constraints, potential bottlenecks, and areas for improvement are easily identified.

There are many performance measures that should be monitored and are part of the performance measure framework, but the performance scorecard looks at 5 key performance measures that when used appropriately can quickly and accurately diagnose performance issues and practical solutions.

Each of these measures can help to identify issues whether they occur upstream, downstream, or within the practice:

Adoption monitors the percent of the time that people are following this practice to achieve the process objective. Often additional training, awareness, and communication activities are required to get better adoption of the practice.

Input Quality issues typically indicate an issue with the upstream practice, whether it is inferior quality or misidentified requirements on its deliverable.

Latency helps to monitor how efficiently resources are able leverage templates and assets to quickly complete the practice.

Throughput and Latency issues could be caused by lack of training, or too many unnecessary steps or overhead.

Capability Index is used to measure the output of the practice and can help identify quality issues.

There are many different constraints that can be identified that are tied to a combination of one or more of these measures. The performance scorecard helps to monitor and visualize these constraints.

In the Fast-Service™, we use the CPI Performance Measure Framework to instrument the practices with performance measures that will drive the desired behavior. The Performance Scorecard is a tool that will help to establish a performance baseline for the newly implemented practice, and can also be used for continuous performance improvement in the future.

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A Fast Business Case

“If we create yet another way to complete this process, then we’ll improve performance, but people will ask why they have to change.”

Change is a hard thing, certainly not the most desired thing, when caused by someone else. If your performance improvement initiative is going to get any traction, you will need to state the business reason for the change. Normally, you don’t have time for a complete business case. Even so, don’t ignore the need. Here are some tips you might be able to use in these situations.

It turns out that all business value can be linked to three concerns or sources of business value, but they are too abstract, and fail to be specific enough to provide much insight. On the other hand, I’ve seen this explained with thirteen sources as well. This creates confusion and just plain concern overload. In our experience, the above six sources of business value are sufficient.

You can state your principle business purpose for change aligned to one of these six purposes. As an example, “We need to change which will improve the way we accomplish , which will <increase/decrease> .

Once you have the Principle Purpose stated, our next step is to identify one of three types of process benefits.

  1. Uniqueness- The process changes you are suggesting will create a unique capability that no one else can provide.
  2. Familiarity- By making the suggested changes, we can leverage our understanding and familiarity with the problem, to produce better results than anyone else.
  3. Economy of Scale- By changing the process, we can leverage an economy of scale, and deliver solutions faster and cheaper than anyone else.

Finally, we need to specify a specific proposition. That is selecting one of the valid propositions from the matrix below.

The completed first paragraph would be something like;

“We need to change our prospect interview process to improve the way we accomplish Win/Loss reporting, which will increase sales efficiency. By leveraging our understanding and familiarity with the sales process, we can produce better results than anyone else. The bottom-line is that this change will deliver more value in less time.”

This is a fast paragraph, and gives people a logical argument. You and I both know this doesn’t go very far, and the real problem is an emotional issue. But, people must have that logical argument satisfied before addressing the emotional argument. With the logical argument set aside, the fear of the unknow and resistance to change can be addressed with other methods.

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New Process Definition

“If we define a new process then it could improve project performance, but process engineering diagrams seem overly complex, any improvement can be nullified due to confusion and lack of adoption.”

Each practice can be viewed through the lens of a system. This system view identifies its boundaries, the inputs and outputs. It also is concerned with the resources consumed, and controls involved such as decision rules and approvals. Information flows are also an important part of the system description. At pmNERDS, we have found that the above diagram captures this required thinking, while being as intuitive as possible.

It is referred to as an EFBD, or Enhanced Function Block Diagram. When practices are diagramed this way, common patterns emerge that indicate strengths and weaknesses of the practice. Yet, it is simple enough to drive discussions between systems process engineers and untrained executives. It is like the back of a napkin discussion you might have with a colleague at a restaurant.

The EFBD is an example of the process documentation we use to develop new practices with our clients, and leave behind within our performance measure framework, the related policies, user feedback, guidelines, needed skills, constraints and deliverable requirements. Of course, along with performance measures.

Unlike other business process diagrams, this is a systems engineering diagram, developed for the use of analyzing the system and functional architectures. When used in conjunction with the performance measure framework, the performance, historic, and requirements architectures come together to support your knowledge management framework.

  1. To construct an EFBD, begin by defining what functions are in the practice/system. Normally, it’s easiest to list these as verb none phrases such as “Write Report”. After the functions have been listed out, more complete descriptions can be added.
  2. Once you have all the functions defined, your next objective is to connect the functions as either sequential, or concurrently connected. ‘And’ and ‘OR’ icons are used to branch concurrent logic. Also place the control logic on the connection lines.
  3. You next want to capture information flow, which is shown as green ellipses in this diagram.
  4. Your next step is to indicate what job roles are responsible for completing each function. In this case the blue and gold backgrounds around each function indicate the roles.

Try out EFBD diagraming, and let us know your experience with it.

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Placement in Performance Measure Framework

“If we use a Performance Measure Framework, then holistic project performance can be governed, but the creation of the framework takes time and specialized skills we don’t have.”

How can an organization know if the process improvement efforts are having the desired effect? Maybe the new practice being deployed is at fault, of maybe no one is using it. It could be a great practice, but current policies and procedures may be preventing success. A performance measure framework provides a holistic look at a single practice in context of current processes, policies, and procedures.

Let’s look at the framework diagram above. At pmNERDS, the Integrated PM domains are one of 16 categories you can see on our Services page. Let’s take Requirements Definition as an example - ‘A’ in the diagram above.

Now, in the framework every domain, including the Requirements Definition, is divided into six business strategies. Perhaps the practice you’re addressing is impacting the strategy ‘Leadership & Profitability’ or maybe ‘Management & Improvement’. No let’s say that ‘B’ in the diagram above is the ‘Operational Execution’ strategy. This strategy is supported by the five ‘Enabler Types’: Technology, Culture, Resource, Structure, and Knowledge.

Let’s further say that ‘C’ is the Business Unit enabler “Resource.” ‘D’ would be one of a set of enablers which supports the business objective of providing resources to the ‘Operational Execution’ business strategy. This might seem confusing described this way, but in fact, if placed within a hierarchical framework that can be collapsed and expanded, it is not so bad.

‘E’ is a specific practice, say the approach you are using to report resource utilization. To place this practice in the framework might be confusing to someone not familiar with using a performance framework or with the PMI’s OPM3, but at pmNERDS, we use this framework every day in our services. We’d be glad to discuss this in more detail.

Once in the framework, performance measures, process documentation, policies, and past issues can be attached. Measurement frameworks visually depict the interdependencies between measures. In any interdependent system, you can't change one measure without affecting the others. With an overall framework that shows the relationships between measures, it is easier to make the proper trade-off decisions, so more optimal decisions can be made.

The major trade-off in an organization is ultimately between performance (including quality and timeliness) and cost. The issue of performance versus cost trade-offs can be illustrated pretty compellingly with the statement, "Oh, you can make zero-defect products.” The question is, can you do it profitably?"

Remember, whenever a decision, (made to focus on a particular measure,) trade-offs must be considered. The optimal solution is always considering the whole, instead of an isolated measure. A Performance Measure Framework facilitates this optimized view. To gain benefits from a performance framework, a standard process definition is best. Even in our Fast-Services™ we gather multiple past project plans to form a current state definition, and use EFBDs to illustrate what’s being done. This facilitates the engineering of new practices that will break current constraints.

The EFBD is an Enhanced Function Block Diagram used in systems engineering. It illustrates control logic, information flows, resources, inputs and outputs in context of the system functions.

The framework captures practice information along with current and targeted performance measures after adoption has occurred. Now, Leadership question, not simply management trades can be answered such as:

  • "How much are we willing to pay for a certain level of quality?"
  • "How much are we willing to pay for faster delivery?"
  • "How much inventory should we hold in order to reduce the possibility of stock-outs?"
  • "How much emphasis should we put on profits versus customer satisfaction?"
  • "How much should we reduce cycle-time at the expense of flexibility?"

These are relatively simple two-factor trade-off questions; it gets even more difficult when considering three or more factors in making trade-off decisions. None of these questions are easy to answer, especially not in disintegrated, highly-political systems.

The existence and use of a performance measure framework is the difference between wishing and doing. You have a right to “Experience It.”

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Constraint Analysis

“If we used Constraint Analysis then we’d be able to isolate and address the key constraint effecting our practice performance, but this requires specialized skills and we just don’t have time to do it.”

The diagram above illustrates the concept of project constraints which all organizations experience all the time. Regardless of how well your project processes function, there is always a constraint. Projects should be producing either products and services designed to increase collected revenues, or reduce operational costs.

The degree of impact your projects are having depends on the size of your key constraint. In the above diagram, we see that breaking ideation constraints won’t increase overall project flow. In fact, it could further increase the problem by clogging up your project pipeline even more than it is.

Addressing diffusion constraints may help for a while, (just long enough for consultants to gather up their fees and leave), but when the projects on the downstream (right side) of the key constraint are all out of the pipeline, performance will drop down to the old rate determined by the key constraint.

Of course, each organization is different, and constraint analysis is required to identify the “key” constraint. At pmNERDS, we’ve been doing this for a while, we have developed some tools to expedite this analysis. In fact, our Fast-Service™ offering, includes a one-hour phone call we can identify your key constraint, as well as provide you with documentation, which is the backbone for future thinking processes. We want to give you a repeatable, maintainable, and defendable opportunity.

While identifying performance constraints, we consider physical, policy, and paradigm constraints. We consider upstream practices impacting the inputs of our focus. We look at resource availability and capability, we consider control functions, practice performance, and throughput.

Once the key constraint has been identified, we produce sufficient cause diagrams to document our thinking and verify our conclusions. This enables our clients to quickly correct analysis prior to progressing. In our Fast-Service™ offering this is typically less than 10 minutes.

Sufficient cause is the thought pattern of effect-cause-effect. When we assume that something, simply because it exists, causes something else to exist, we are using sufficient cause thinking. When you are speculating causes for effects, or effects of causes, you are actively using sufficient cause thinking. Diagrams illustrating this thinking makes the validation step very simple. Once validated, they are used to maintain future change impacts. Regardless of who you are, given the correct training, you should be able to go through the process and get the same results. Of course, they are also used to defend your decisions.

Legitimate Reservation diagrams are used to challenge our effect-cause-effect thinking. This helps us avoid the dangers of “group think.” Using this method, we unearth erroneous assumptions and make the appropriate corrections. This also facilitates gaining consensus prior to building and deploying new practice corrections.

By using constraint analysis, you can improve practice performance, and facilitate continuous performance change. Whether you practice this yourselves, or engage pmNERDS’ Services, you can focus your improvement efforts, and reduce change risk up front. Feel free to ask us questions in the comment area below. Yes, we use this practice in our service offerings, but we also what you to be successful in your Integrated PM efforts. We’d also like to hear about other’s experiences with these methods. Don’t be shy.

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Launch Definition Fast-Service™ Package

“If we select the pmNERDS' Fast-Service™ package, then we get rapid performance improvement, but we’ll need to answer questions and provide feedback.”

We all occasionally get major hankerings, it’s usually something that we can’t wait for and need within a very short period of time. For us it is usually food related, the Fast Food Industry utilizes the notion of standardization to produce food at minimal cost and preparation time while maximizing value within their business constraints. The question is can they make a compelling product while being profitable?

At pmNERDS, that’s our goal with these Fast-Service™ packages. Using product templates, standardized processes, and focused training we’re able to deliver consulting products faster than our clients and competitors, with sustainable margins.

Very few of us look forward to overly complex Launch Definition processes. We want it to be easier and faster, so process performance in this area looks rather attractive, but what area should be addressed first?

Using some rapid assessment techniques, the Performance Measure Framework, and our performance constraint analysis tool, we help you identify that practice that is holding you back. Then we will propose modifications or creation of a new practice that addresses your specific constraint. This is not about investing lots of time to do it yourself, or just going without, we are offering a third choice…

Our clients hire us do some of the data collection, constraint analysis, process documentation, and change management activities that are part of effective Launch Definition performance improvement practices. With only a total of 8 hrs. of your time, spread out in 8 sessions over 4 weeks, we complete the analysis and build the necessary deliverables to adopt a new practice, that will improve your Launch Definition performance. All of this is accomplished within 20 business days.

We’re experts in performance improvement and Launch Definition practices, you know your business and organization. By using our Fast-Service™ package, you can leave the specialized practices to us, and focus on running your business.

Below is a set of Fast-Service™ package deliverables used to improve your Launch Definition performance.

SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT- This is an Excel spreadsheet and chart that is used to identify the major problem areas and bottlenecks of the organizations’ innovation process. The Self-Assessment contains a series of questions related to current practices for gathering ideas, converting ideas into business opportunities, and finally diffusing ideas throughout organization and to market. Using the self-assessment, we can quickly identify the perceived system constraints, and dive deeper into specific process areas that could be causing bottlenecks.

CONSTRAINT ANALYSIS REPORT- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to identify key system constraints. We use Sufficient Cause diagrams to look at effects and potential causes from the perspective of Resources, Inputs, Controls, and Processes. These diagrams are used to verify effects, validate relationships between causes and effects, and look for additional effects to gain a clear understanding of the current system constraints.

PERFORMANCE MEASURE FRAMEWORK- This is a set of Excel spreadsheets and Power Point diagrams used to manage process improvement. Focusing on 1 of the 16 domains, we will load the selected practice into the Performance Measure Framework. By adding your standardized plans and information assets, such as process diagrams and performance thresholds, into the framework, you can do trade-offs and make process improvement decisions.

PROPOSED PRACTICE EFBD- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to establish a process definition. The EFBD (Enhanced Function Block Diagram) Illustrates control logic, information flow, and process steps. We build this by looking at past project plans and documenting the current state. Based on constraint analysis, we can make modifications to the EFBD of the practice. We do this with things such as review gates, control activities, additional input screening, and resources inputs. This EFBD standardizes the practice and makes the proposed practice easier to understand, adopt, as well as improve over time.

NEW PRACTICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES- This is a set of Word documents that are used to outline process policies and procedures that enable standardization and improvement. Policies and procedures establish a standard set of minimum expectations and guidelines that are expected to be followed by anyone performing the practice. We create a new baseline of process performance, based on the constraint analysis and EFBD process analysis, by adding policies, process steps or procedural guidelines. This information is used to train people on new process, and monitor process execution and performance.

BUSINESS CASE- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to analyze, establish and communicate the business case of implementing the proposed practice change. When change is desired, the value delivered through the change must outweigh the negative impacts, cost, and natural friction that change will cause. All business cases derive from the ability to impact one of the six business drivers: Revenue, Efficiency, Sustainability, Endorsement, Cost and Risk. We will then define the type of value proposition that the new practice will deliver: uniqueness, familiarity, or economy of scale. Lastly, we determine the Cost/Value combination. This process will achieve same value for less cost, or more value for less cost, etc. The business case is used to overcome change hurdles and help people to quickly adopted the proposed change. 

PERFORMANCE SCORECARD- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to measure practice performance and drive improvement. The performance scorecard is built from information captured in the Performance Measure Framework. Using the five key performance measures, you can diagnose causes of performance constraints and identify process adjustments to address them. The Performance Scorecard will keep people focused on the key measures that impact overall performance, making improvement efforts more effective.

STRATEGY DIAGRAM- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative.  The strategy diagram sets a common vision and outlines how different teams/roles work together to perform the key activities needed to deliver the value of the initiative. The strategy diagram helps team members to understand their role, adopt the proposed changes, and buy-in to the initiative solution vision.

COMMUNICATION PLAN- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to communicate to and engage all stakeholders and team members of a project. A Communication Plan will identify the target personas and actions that you want them to take, anticipate potential objections, and provide a message that addresses the objections and provokes action. We will develop a communication plan that identifies target stakeholders, develops compelling messages that engage them to act towards the achievement of project objectives.

ROLE BASED TRAINING DIAGRAM- This is a set of Power Point diagrams that are used to identify training needs of job roles. These roles based training diagrams provide standardized capabilities, job role expectations, and training demand analysis by process. These diagrams are used to create training and adoption activities for each role as part of the new practice deployment. Each Role can clearly understand their roles & responsibilities regarding the new practice. This means the activities will get done more efficiently with better performance results. 

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT MILESTONE ROADMAP- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the performance improvement efforts of the organization over time. Based on the performance constraints, this roadmap identifies the sequence of performance improvements as well as the target process areas. The Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap will align team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

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Launch Definition with ‘MEANS’ Process-Service™

“Launch Definition with MEANS is a process consulting offering of pmNERDS. This offering provides a process umbrella of MEANS, and then line-items of an S.O.W. that can be chosen a la carte.”

We use the acronym MEANS to illustrate and teach launch concepts, and increase the perceived value of project deliverables. We use this acronym because it’s our launch MEANS, that make the difference between success and failure.

Do you have the MEANS to carry a message to 1,000,000 contacts in LinkedIn? Do you have an existing customer base of thousands, or are you stretching to engage 20 users? Launch principles are the same regardless of the size of your expected customers.

During our process consultancy, we address:

Map– Will your daily activities and tasks accomplish your product/services objectives? Business strategies, and organizational goals.

Eliminate– Eliminate unnecessary activities, constraints, and requirements.

Acquire– Balance constraints while acquiring resources and stakeholder support.

Nurture– Focus on feeding the launch vision, build anticipation from before the start.

Secure– Lockdown requirements, control change, build the plan and execute.

The pmNERDS process consultancy provides a standard Launch Definition capability described by the acronym above. This is an umbrella capability needed regardless of any additional practices selected from our a la carte practice menu.

Launch Definition practices available for selection from the a la carte S.O.W. include Derive Launch Plan from Product Requirements, Derive Release Plan from Product Requirements, Product Releases Derived from Internal Sources, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Objective Accomplishment, Readiness, Cohesive Nature, Progressive Elaboration, Alpha-Test, Beta-Release to Focus Group, Market Survey, On-Line Opinion Polls, Test Markets, Probabilistic Modeling, Requirement Tracing, Internal Usage, and Client Endorsement.

Organizations that depend on projects to create value and increase process efficiencies, as seen in business units such as IT, Marketing, and NPD, should talk with us if they’re interested in increasing project performance.

After a quick discussion, we can direct you to the best process offering and a la carte practices based on your process improvement goals. By putting together a service package that addresses your key performance constraint, our sales team can help you get the quickest time-to-value while minimizing risk and cost.

Want to learn more? Contact us either by email or phone.

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Launch Definition Performance-Service™

“If we engage pmNERDS’ Consulting for Launch Definition, then we’ll increase the organization’s competitive advantage, realize higher value from projects, and complete projects more efficiently, but it will require change leadership.”

Our Performance-Service™ consulting practice for Launch Definition, begins with gathering information about your organization and engagement goals. We conduct a quick gap analysis to construct an engagement roadmap.

Once approved, we will build this roadmap out into a complete project plan and review it with our clients going over roles and responsibilities. We schedule weekly meetings to review the project and discuss relevant decisions. Depending on the length of engagement, steering committee meetings are also scheduled.

Daily scrums are scheduled to address issues and schedule any needed ad hoc meetings. Performance Improvement Consulting involves a great deal of planning and communicating. Underlying each practice is an element of process improvement and use of a standard performance measure framework.

It's just a dress until it walks down a runway! Give your products life, engage the market, and get quicker returns on project investments. Launch Definition is all about coordinating the various releases of work products into a single product launch.

The launch plan is a primary information asset in the innovation management architecture. Many make the mistake of discarding the other assets used to develop the launch. This is a serious mistake; the launch and all the supporting decisions are the intellectual property of the firm and need to be maintained in the context of each other.

By leveraging our experience, you can reach expected benefits quicker and with less false starts while being assured that you won’t paint yourself into a ‘process’ corner, and isolate information asset flow to downstream processes. Our performance improvement consulting practice requires a discussion to determine goals, the scope of effort, consultant alignment, and the development of a business proposal. We deliver an analysis of current launch definition process performance and constraints, a roadmap to performance improvement, process design, process exercise, process enablement, deployment, and measurement.

It’s critical that the information assets developed within these launch definition practices can flow between the other innovation processes. These practices can be divided into the three categories of Launch Conception, Launch Validation, Launch Execution. Wherever your key constraints are, our team will help you identify the process constraints, and find practices that will improve overall performance by breaking constraints.

A large part of this effort is process training, skills mentoring, and performance coaching. Depending on the engagement, technology configuration or deployment may or may not be part of this effort.

You can discover more about this service offering by clicking the icon (email or phone) in the top right corner of our website. We’d love to explain our services and answer any questions you might have.

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Requirements Definition Fast-Service™ Package

“If we select the pmNERDS' Fast-Service™ package, then we get rapid performance improvement, but we’ll need to answer questions and provide feedback.”

We all occasionally get major hankerings, it’s usually something that we can’t wait for and need within a very short period of time. For us it is usually food related, the Fast Food Industry utilizes the notion of standardization to produce food at minimal cost and preparation time while maximizing value within their business constraints. The question is can they make a compelling product while being profitable?

At pmNERDS, that’s our goal with these Fast-Service™ packages. Using product templates, standardized processes, and focused training we’re able to deliver consulting products faster than our clients and competitors, with sustainable margins.

Very few of us look forward to overly complex Requirements Definition processes. We want it to be easier and faster, so process performance in this area looks rather attractive, but what area should be addressed first?

Using some rapid assessment techniques, the Performance Measure Framework, and our performance constraint analysis tool, we help you identify that practice that is holding you back. Then we will propose modifications or creation of a new practice that addresses your specific constraint. This is not about investing lots of time to do it yourself, or just going without, we are offering a third choice…

Our clients hire us do some of the data collection, constraint analysis, process documentation, and change management activities that are part of effective Requirements Definition performance improvement practices. With only a total of 8 hrs. of your time, spread out in 8 sessions over 4 weeks, we complete the analysis and build the necessary deliverables to adopt a new practice, that will improve your Requirements Definition performance. All of this is accomplished within 20 business days.

We’re experts in performance improvement and Requirements Definition practices, you know your business and organization. By using our Fast-Service™ package, you can leave the specialized practices to us, and focus on running your business.

Below is a set of Fast-Service™ package deliverables used to improve your Requirements Definition performance.

SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT- This is an Excel spreadsheet and chart that is used to identify the major problem areas and bottlenecks of the organizations’ innovation process. The Self-Assessment contains a series of questions related to current practices for gathering ideas, converting ideas into business opportunities, and finally diffusing ideas throughout organization and to market. Using the self-assessment, we can quickly identify the perceived system constraints, and dive deeper into specific process areas that could be causing bottlenecks.

CONSTRAINT ANALYSIS REPORT- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to identify key system constraints. We use Sufficient Cause diagrams to look at effects and potential causes from the perspective of Resources, Inputs, Controls, and Processes. These diagrams are used to verify effects, validate relationships between causes and effects, and look for additional effects to gain a clear understanding of the current system constraints.

PERFORMANCE MEASURE FRAMEWORK- This is a set of Excel spreadsheets and Power Point diagrams used to manage process improvement. Focusing on 1 of the 16 domains, we will load the selected practice into the Performance Measure Framework. By adding your standardized plans and information assets, such as process diagrams and performance thresholds, into the framework, you can do trade-offs and make process improvement decisions.

PROPOSED PRACTICE EFBD- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to establish a process definition. The EFBD (Enhanced Function Block Diagram) Illustrates control logic, information flow, and process steps. We build this by looking at past project plans and documenting the current state. Based on constraint analysis, we can make modifications to the EFBD of the practice. We do this with things such as review gates, control activities, additional input screening, and resources inputs. This EFBD standardizes the practice and makes the proposed practice easier to understand, adopt, as well as improve over time.

NEW PRACTICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES- This is a set of Word documents that are used to outline process policies and procedures that enable standardization and improvement. Policies and procedures establish a standard set of minimum expectations and guidelines that are expected to be followed by anyone performing the practice. We create a new baseline of process performance, based on the constraint analysis and EFBD process analysis, by adding policies, process steps or procedural guidelines. This information is used to train people on new process, and monitor process execution and performance.

BUSINESS CASE- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to analyze, establish and communicate the business case of implementing the proposed practice change. When change is desired, the value delivered through the change must outweigh the negative impacts, cost, and natural friction that change will cause. All business cases derive from the ability to impact one of the six business drivers: Revenue, Efficiency, Sustainability, Endorsement, Cost and Risk. We will then define the type of value proposition that the new practice will deliver: uniqueness, familiarity, or economy of scale. Lastly, we determine the Cost/Value combination. This process will achieve same value for less cost, or more value for less cost, etc. The business case is used to overcome change hurdles and help people to quickly adopted the proposed change. 

PERFORMANCE SCORECARD- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to measure practice performance and drive improvement. The performance scorecard is built from information captured in the Performance Measure Framework. Using the five key performance measures, you can diagnose causes of performance constraints and identify process adjustments to address them. The Performance Scorecard will keep people focused on the key measures that impact overall performance, making improvement efforts more effective.

STRATEGY DIAGRAM- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative.  The strategy diagram sets a common vision and outlines how different teams/roles work together to perform the key activities needed to deliver the value of the initiative. The strategy diagram helps team members to understand their role, adopt the proposed changes, and buy-in to the initiative solution vision.

COMMUNICATION PLAN- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to communicate to and engage all stakeholders and team members of a project. A Communication Plan will identify the target personas and actions that you want them to take, anticipate potential objections, and provide a message that addresses the objections and provokes action. We will develop a communication plan that identifies target stakeholders, develops compelling messages that engage them to act towards the achievement of project objectives.

ROLE BASED TRAINING DIAGRAM- This is a set of Power Point diagrams that are used to identify training needs of job roles. These roles based training diagrams provide standardized capabilities, job role expectations, and training demand analysis by process. These diagrams are used to create training and adoption activities for each role as part of the new practice deployment. Each Role can clearly understand their roles & responsibilities regarding the new practice. This means the activities will get done more efficiently with better performance results. 

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT MILESTONE ROADMAP- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the performance improvement efforts of the organization over time. Based on the performance constraints, this roadmap identifies the sequence of performance improvements as well as the target process areas. The Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap will align team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

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Requirements Definition with ‘MODEL’ Process-Service™

“Requirements Definition with MODEL is a process consulting offering of pmNERDS. This offering provides a process umbrella of MODEL, and then line-items of an S.O.W. that can be chosen a la carte.”

We use the acronym MODEL to illustrate and teach the concepts necessary to define good market requirements that will deliver satisfied customers. We use this acronym because models give features and their requirements a physical representation. A good charade partner will make you a winner every time, you might even start believing your that good.

But when you get a bad partner, look out, and through your self-esteem out the window. Modeling is about making what seems intangible, tangible. When you have a feature or deliverable you must design, build, and deliver; you need a way of modeling it accurately and visualize it so clearly that it seems tangible within the context of the whole.

During our process consultancy, we address:

Milestones– Requirements should mark the incremental deliverables, and not just the final product or service.

Organized– Requirements should be Organized into BASIC, PERFORMANCE, and EXCITEMENT requirements. Partition your requirements portfolio to gain structural insights into your solution architecture.

Design– Your requirements should specify the design of your operational concept, drive the technical requirements while being constrained by business requirements.

Estimates– Get requirement estimates before  committing to new projects and launches. These estimates also create buy-in besides project scope clarity.

Legitimize– Be sure your requirement set contains all the necessary requirements, and also be sure they are sufficient. Only then can you say that you have a legitimate set of requirements.

The pmNERDS process consultancy provides a standard Requirements Definition capability described by the acronym above. This is an umbrella capability needed regardless of any additional practices selected from our a la carte practice menu.

Requirements Definition practices available for selection from the a la carte S.O.W. include Product Requirements Derived from Internal Sources, Derive Product Requirements from Product Features, KANO Levels to Customer Satisfaction, Requirement Diagramming, Simulation, Prototyping, Cohesive Nature, Lead User Group, Persona Representation, Weighted Sampling, Requirement Validation through Testing, Value Engineering, QFD, Peer Reviews, Cause-Effect Analysis, and Brand Analysis.

Organizations that depend on projects to create value and increase process efficiencies, as seen in business units such as IT, Marketing, and NPD, should talk with us if they’re interested in increasing project performance.

After a quick discussion, we can direct you to the best process offering and a la carte practices based on your process improvement goals. By putting together a service package that addresses your key performance constraint, our sales team can help you get the quickest time-to-value while minimizing risk and cost.

Want to learn more? Contact us either by email or phone.

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Requirements Definition Performance-Service™

“If we engage pmNERDS’ Consulting for Requirements Definition then we’ll increase the organization’s competitive advantage, realize higher value from projects, and complete projects more efficiently, but it will require change leadership.”

Our Performance-Improvement™ practice begins with gathering information about your organization and engagement goals. We conduct a quick gap analysis to construct an engagement roadmap.

Once approved, we will build this roadmap out into a complete project plan and review it with our clients going over roles and responsibilities. We schedule weekly meetings to review the project and discuss relevant decisions. Depending on the length of engagement, steering committee meetings are also scheduled.

Daily scrums are scheduled to address issues and schedule any needed ad hoc meetings. Performance Improvement Consulting involves a great deal of planning and communicating. Underlying each practice is an element of process improvement and use of a standard performance measure framework.

Requirements Definition is all about stating what it takes to satisfy the market. The market requirement is stated in an inward facing voice. The requirement is one of the primary information assets in the innovation management architecture. It states what is necessary to accomplish the goal stated for a product feature.

By leveraging our experience, you can reach expected benefits quicker and with less false starts while being assured that you won’t paint yourself into a ‘process’ corner, and isolate information asset flow to downstream processes.

Our performance improvement consulting practice requires a discussion to determine goals, the scope of effort, consultant alignment, and the development of a business proposal. We deliver an analysis of current requirements definition process performance and constraints, a roadmap to performance improvement, process design, process exercise, process enablement, deployment, and measurement.

It’s critical that the information assets developed within these requirements definition practices can flow between other innovation processes. These practices can be divided into the three categories of Requirements Conception, Requirements Validation, and Requirement Estimation. Wherever your key constraints are, our team will help you identify the process constraints, and find practices that will improve overall performance by breaking constraints.

A large part of this effort is process training, skills mentoring, and performance coaching. Depending on the engagement, technology configuration or deployment may or may not be part of this effort. You can discover more about this service offering by clicking the icon (email or phone) in the top right corner of our website.

We’d love to explain our services and answer any questions you might have.

Continue reading
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Roadmap Definition Fast-Service™ Package

“If we select the pmNERDS' Fast-Service™ package, then we get rapid performance improvement, but we’ll need to answer questions and provide feedback.”

We all occasionally get major hankerings, it’s usually something that we can’t wait for and need within a very short period of time. For us it is usually food related, the Fast Food Industry utilizes the notion of standardization to produce food at minimal cost and preparation time while maximizing value within their business constraints. The question is can they make a compelling product while being profitable?

At pmNERDS, that’s our goal with these Fast-Service™ packages. Using product templates, standardized processes, and focused training we’re able to deliver consulting products faster than our clients and competitors, with sustainable margins.

Very few of us look forward to overly complex Roadmap Definition processes. We want it to be easier and faster, so process performance in this area looks rather attractive, but what area should be addressed first?

Using some rapid assessment techniques, the Performance Measure Framework, and our performance constraint analysis tool, we help you identify that practice that is holding you back. Then we will propose modifications or creation of a new practice that addresses your specific constraint. This is not about investing lots of time to do it yourself, or just going without, we are offering a third choice…

Our clients hire us do some of the data collection, constraint analysis, process documentation, and change management activities that are part of effective Roadmap  Definition performance improvement practices. With only a total of 8 hrs. of your time, spread out in 8 sessions over 4 weeks, we complete the analysis and build the necessary deliverables to adopt a new practice, that will improve your Roadmap Definition performance. All of this is accomplished within 20 business days.

We’re experts in performance improvement and Roadmap Definition practices, you know your business and organization. By using our Fast-Service™ package, you can leave the specialized practices to us, and focus on running your business.

Below is a set of Fast-Service™ package deliverables used to improve your Roadmap Definition performance.

SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT- This is an Excel spreadsheet and chart that is used to identify the major problem areas and bottlenecks of the organizations’ innovation process. The Self-Assessment contains a series of questions related to current practices for gathering ideas, converting ideas into business opportunities, and finally diffusing ideas throughout organization and to market. Using the self-assessment, we can quickly identify the perceived system constraints, and dive deeper into specific process areas that could be causing bottlenecks.

CONSTRAINT ANALYSIS REPORT- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to identify key system constraints. We use Sufficient Cause diagrams to look at effects and potential causes from the perspective of Resources, Inputs, Controls, and Processes. These diagrams are used to verify effects, validate relationships between causes and effects, and look for additional effects to gain a clear understanding of the current system constraints.

PERFORMANCE MEASURE FRAMEWORK- This is a set of Excel spreadsheets and Power Point diagrams used to manage process improvement. Focusing on 1 of the 16 domains, we will load the selected practice into the Performance Measure Framework. By adding your standardized plans and information assets, such as process diagrams and performance thresholds, into the framework, you can do trade-offs and make process improvement decisions.

PROPOSED PRACTICE EFBD- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to establish a process definition. The EFBD (Enhanced Function Block Diagram) Illustrates control logic, information flow, and process steps. We build this by looking at past project plans and documenting the current state. Based on constraint analysis, we can make modifications to the EFBD of the practice. We do this with things such as review gates, control activities, additional input screening, and resources inputs. This EFBD standardizes the practice and makes the proposed practice easier to understand, adopt, as well as improve over time.

NEW PRACTICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES- This is a set of Word documents that are used to outline process policies and procedures that enable standardization and improvement. Policies and procedures establish a standard set of minimum expectations and guidelines that are expected to be followed by anyone performing the practice. We create a new baseline of process performance, based on the constraint analysis and EFBD process analysis, by adding policies, process steps or procedural guidelines. This information is used to train people on new process, and monitor process execution and performance.

BUSINESS CASE- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to analyze, establish and communicate the business case of implementing the proposed practice change. When change is desired, the value delivered through the change must outweigh the negative impacts, cost, and natural friction that change will cause. All business cases derive from the ability to impact one of the six business drivers: Revenue, Efficiency, Sustainability, Endorsement, Cost and Risk. We will then define the type of value proposition that the new practice will deliver: uniqueness, familiarity, or economy of scale. Lastly, we determine the Cost/Value combination. This process will achieve same value for less cost, or more value for less cost, etc. The business case is used to overcome change hurdles and help people to quickly adopted the proposed change. 

PERFORMANCE SCORECARD- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to measure practice performance and drive improvement. The performance scorecard is built from information captured in the Performance Measure Framework. Using the five key performance measures, you can diagnose causes of performance constraints and identify process adjustments to address them. The Performance Scorecard will keep people focused on the key measures that impact overall performance, making improvement efforts more effective.

STRATEGY DIAGRAM- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative.  The strategy diagram sets a common vision and outlines how different teams/roles work together to perform the key activities needed to deliver the value of the initiative. The strategy diagram helps team members to understand their role, adopt the proposed changes, and buy-in to the initiative solution vision.

COMMUNICATION PLAN- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to communicate to and engage all stakeholders and team members of a project. A Communication Plan will identify the target personas and actions that you want them to take, anticipate potential objections, and provide a message that addresses the objections and provokes action. We will develop a communication plan that identifies target stakeholders, develops compelling messages that engage them to act towards the achievement of project objectives.

ROLE BASED TRAINING DIAGRAM- This is a set of Power Point diagrams that are used to identify training needs of job roles. These roles based training diagrams provide standardized capabilities, job role expectations, and training demand analysis by process. These diagrams are used to create training and adoption activities for each role as part of the new practice deployment. Each Role can clearly understand their roles & responsibilities regarding the new practice. This means the activities will get done more efficiently with better performance results. 

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT MILESTONE ROADMAP- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the performance improvement efforts of the organization over time. Based on the performance constraints, this roadmap identifies the sequence of performance improvements as well as the target process areas. The Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap will align team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

Continue reading
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Roadmap Definition with ‘POWER’ Process-Service™

“Roadmap Definition with POWER is a process consulting offering of pmNERDS. This offering provides a process umbrella of POWER, and then line-items of an S.O.W. that can be chosen a la carte.”

We use the acronym POWER to illustrate and teach the concepts necessary to communicate the strategic path of your product or deliverable to both internal and external stakeholders concisely. The roadmap articulates the promised capability which customers’ will gain in a period of time.

The roadmap needs to have enough value to motivate customers to adopt the new capability and anticipate its launch with excitement. It provides a forum for collaboration, asset sharing, and removal of redundant activities. A roadmap like a sun, will turn the heads of your clients, and like the sunflower, provide something for your clients, customers, and stakeholders to focus one.

During our process consultancy, we address:

Possible Alternatives– Roadmaps are a map of how you expect to deliver customer satisfaction. Of course, there are trades based on business constraints. Roadmaps can be different based on the constraints being maximized and minimized. Build power with a choice.

Optimal Advantage– Build roadmaps that deliver the optimal competitive advantage, while maximizing customer satisfaction and balancing business constraints.

Waybill– Like the waybill of a package being shipped, the roadmap maintains accountability on the journey. This creates roadmap credibility and power.

Engage Stakeholders– The roadmap provides focus, and helps engage stakeholders constructively. The roadmap enables you to gain support from all those you impact.

Radio– Think of roadmaps as a radio station that broadcasts multiple radio channels and formats. With multiple roadmaps, you can send the right message to the right people at the right time.

The pmNERDS process consultancy provides a standard Roadmap Definition capability described by the acronym above. This is an umbrella capability needed regardless of any additional practices selected from our a la carte practice menu.

Roadmap Definition practices available for selection from the a la carte S.O.W. include External & Internal Sources, The Roadmap Charter, Boolean Logic & Thresholds, Resource Need Estimating, Capability Development, Buy-Build-Own, Multiple Roadmap Alignment, Perceived Value, Competitive Advantage Scoring, Bidding, Availability, Unified Roadmaps, Roadmap Scoring, Roadmap Threshold Balancing, Utilization Thresholds, Capability Estimation, Buyer-Constraint Elicitation, Historical Comparisons, Gate Management, Formal Consensus for Roadmap Selection, Monitoring, Buyer-Constraint Portfolio Balance, Constraint Management, Product Line Roadmap Balancing, Competitive Advantage computation, Sensitivity Analysis, Value Modeling, Targeted Thresholds, and Competitive Analysis.

Organizations that depend on projects to create value and increase process efficiencies, as seen in business units such as IT, Marketing, and NPD, should talk with us if they’re interested in increasing project performance.

After a quick discussion, we can direct you to the best process offering and a la carte practices based on your process improvement goals. By putting together a service package that addresses your key performance constraint, our sales team can help you get the quickest time-to-value while minimizing risk and cost.

Want to learn more? Contact us either by email or phone.

Continue reading
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Roadmap Definition Performance-Service™

“If we engage pmNERDS’ Consulting for Roadmap Definition then we’ll increase the organization’s competitive advantage, realize higher value from projects, and complete projects more efficiently, but it will require change leadership.”

Our Perfromance-Service™ consulting practice begins with gathering information about your organization and engagement goals. We conduct a quick gap analysis to construct an engagement roadmap.

Once approved, we will build this roadmap out into a complete project plan and review it with our clients going over roles and responsibilities. We schedule weekly meetings to review the project and discuss relevant decisions. Depending on the length of engagement, steering committee meetings are also scheduled.

Daily scrums are scheduled to address issues and schedule any needed ad hoc meetings. Performance Improvement Consulting involves a great deal of planning and communicating. Underlying each practice is an element of process improvement and use of a standard performance measure framework.

Its wide open, and waiting for you to define. Roadmap definition is all about creating an optimal roadmap with alternatives that strategically align with the innovation charter. Roadmaps act as a guideline for integrating other roadmaps used in the enterprise roadmap and for coordinating product launches.

The roadmap (one of the primary information assets) provides a forum for collaboration, alignment, and synchronization between cross-functional organizations. This increases buy-in, the ability to leverage enterprise assets, reduces redundant and cyclic initiatives and coordinates outward facing messaging across platforms.

By leveraging our experience, you can reach expected benefits quicker and with less false starts while being assured that you won’t paint yourself into a ‘process’ corner, and isolate information asset flow to downstream processes. Our performance improvement consulting practice requires a discussion to determine goals, the scope of effort, consultant alignment, and the development of a business proposal. We deliver an analysis of current roadmap definition process performance and constraints, a roadmap to performance improvement, process design, process exercise, process enablement, deployment, and measurement.

It’s critical that the information assets developed within these roadmap definition practices can flow between other innovation processes. These practices can be divided into the four categories Roadmap Conception, Buyer-Constraint Management, Resource Planning, and Roadmap Selection. Wherever your key constraints are, our team will help you identify the process constraints, and find practices that will improve overall performance by breaking constraints.

A large part of this effort is process training, skills mentoring, and performance coaching. Depending on the engagement, technology configuration or deployment may or may not be part of this effort. You can discover more about this service offering by clicking the icon (email or phone) in the top right corner of our website.

We’d love to explain our services and answer any questions you might have.

Continue reading
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Alden Ibbetson
Having worked with IT and IS for many years, I can say that the problems you are talking about are very troublesome. Great articl... Read More
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 11:51
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Feature Definition Fast-Service™ Package

“If we select the pmNERDS' Fast-Service™ package, then we get rapid performance improvement, but we’ll need to answer questions and provide feedback.”

We all occasionally get major hankerings, it’s usually something that we can’t wait for and need within a very short period of time. For us it is usually food related, the Fast Food Industry utilizes the notion of standardization to produce food at minimal cost and preparation time while maximizing value within their business constraints. The question is can they make a compelling product while being profitable?

At pmNERDS, that’s our goal with these Fast-Service™ packages. Using product templates, standardized processes, and focused training we’re able to deliver consulting products faster than our clients and competitors, with sustainable margins.

Very few of us look forward to overly complex Feature Definition processes. We want it to be easier and faster, so process performance in this area looks rather attractive, but what area should be addressed first?

Using some rapid assessment techniques, the Performance Measure Framework, and our performance constraint analysis tool, we help you identify that practice that is holding you back. Then we will propose modifications or creation of a new practice that addresses your specific constraint. This is not about investing lots of time to do it yourself, or just going without, we are offering a third choice…

Our clients hire us do some of the data collection, constraint analysis, process documentation, and change management activities that are part of effective Feature Definition performance improvement practices. With only a total of 8 hrs. of your time, spread out in 8 sessions over 4 weeks, we complete the analysis and build the necessary deliverables to adopt a new practice, that will improve your Feature Definition performance. All of this is accomplished within 20 business days.

We’re experts in performance improvement and Feature Definition practices, you know your business and organization. By using our Fast-Service™ package, you can leave the specialized practices to us, and focus on running your business.

Below is a set of Fast-Service™ package deliverables used to improve your Feature Definition performance.

SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT- This is an Excel spreadsheet and chart that is used to identify the major problem areas and bottlenecks of the organizations’ innovation process. The Self-Assessment contains a series of questions related to current practices for gathering ideas, converting ideas into business opportunities, and finally diffusing ideas throughout organization and to market. Using the self-assessment, we can quickly identify the perceived system constraints, and dive deeper into specific process areas that could be causing bottlenecks.

CONSTRAINT ANALYSIS REPORT- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to identify key system constraints. We use Sufficient Cause diagrams to look at effects and potential causes from the perspective of Resources, Inputs, Controls, and Processes. These diagrams are used to verify effects, validate relationships between causes and effects, and look for additional effects to gain a clear understanding of the current system constraints.

PERFORMANCE MEASURE FRAMEWORK- This is a set of Excel spreadsheets and Power Point diagrams used to manage process improvement. Focusing on 1 of the 16 domains, we will load the selected practice into the Performance Measure Framework. By adding your standardized plans and information assets, such as process diagrams and performance thresholds, into the framework, you can do trade-offs and make process improvement decisions.

PROPOSED PRACTICE EFBD- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to establish a process definition. The EFBD (Enhanced Function Block Diagram) Illustrates control logic, information flow, and process steps. We build this by looking at past project plans and documenting the current state. Based on constraint analysis, we can make modifications to the EFBD of the practice. We do this with things such as review gates, control activities, additional input screening, and resources inputs. This EFBD standardizes the practice and makes the proposed practice easier to understand, adopt, as well as improve over time.

NEW PRACTICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES- This is a set of Word documents that are used to outline process policies and procedures that enable standardization and improvement. Policies and procedures establish a standard set of minimum expectations and guidelines that are expected to be followed by anyone performing the practice. We create a new baseline of process performance, based on the constraint analysis and EFBD process analysis, by adding policies, process steps or procedural guidelines. This information is used to train people on new process, and monitor process execution and performance.

BUSINESS CASE- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to analyze, establish and communicate the business case of implementing the proposed practice change. When change is desired, the value delivered through the change must outweigh the negative impacts, cost, and natural friction that change will cause. All business cases derive from the ability to impact one of the six business drivers: Revenue, Efficiency, Sustainability, Endorsement, Cost and Risk. We will then define the type of value proposition that the new practice will deliver: uniqueness, familiarity, or economy of scale. Lastly, we determine the Cost/Value combination. This process will achieve same value for less cost, or more value for less cost, etc. The business case is used to overcome change hurdles and help people to quickly adopted the proposed change. 

PERFORMANCE SCORECARD- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to measure practice performance and drive improvement. The performance scorecard is built from information captured in the Performance Measure Framework. Using the five key performance measures, you can diagnose causes of performance constraints and identify process adjustments to address them. The Performance Scorecard will keep people focused on the key measures that impact overall performance, making improvement efforts more effective.

STRATEGY DIAGRAM- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative.  The strategy diagram sets a common vision and outlines how different teams/roles work together to perform the key activities needed to deliver the value of the initiative. The strategy diagram helps team members to understand their role, adopt the proposed changes, and buy-in to the initiative solution vision.

COMMUNICATION PLAN- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to communicate to and engage all stakeholders and team members of a project. A Communication Plan will identify the target personas and actions that you want them to take, anticipate potential objections, and provide a message that addresses the objections and provokes action. We will develop a communication plan that identifies target stakeholders, develops compelling messages that engage them to act towards the achievement of project objectives.

ROLE BASED TRAINING DIAGRAM- This is a set of Power Point diagrams that are used to identify training needs of job roles. These roles based training diagrams provide standardized capabilities, job role expectations, and training demand analysis by process. These diagrams are used to create training and adoption activities for each role as part of the new practice deployment. Each Role can clearly understand their roles & responsibilities regarding the new practice. This means the activities will get done more efficiently with better performance results. 

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT MILESTONE ROADMAP- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the performance improvement efforts of the organization over time. Based on the performance constraints, this roadmap identifies the sequence of performance improvements as well as the target process areas. The Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap will align team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

Continue reading
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