So for the end of the year I thought it would be appropriate to come back to some of what I consider the key concepts, or ‘basics’, required for success in any endeavor.  These concepts are the ‘mom and apple buy’ points that I believe you should focus on delivering and maintaining until they become second nature to you.  These basics will pay dividends in all of your challenges and objectives. 


I guess that everyone has their own list of ‘basics’ so I encourage you to take my list and add to as you see fit, especially when taking on a new endeavor. 


-          Define and maintain the definition of your current state, or environment.  This is important to help you understand the level of effort and degree of change a new initiative will involve.


-          Clearly define your objective(s) in a way that can be measured.  The critical point is to define measurable objectives.  This will provide the basis, or starting point, for a continuous improvement program.  Clearly defined and measurable objectives also provide a means to determine when you are done.


-          Clearly define key stakeholders along with a champion for your initiative.  Without this point your chances for success will be dramatically lower.  You must have someone that is responsible for helping to guide your initiative through the organization along with someone that can address issues and challenges.


-          Define a strategic roadmap that provides a guide to delivering your objectives.  After the roadmap is defined you can then define, and prioritize a list of projects that will deliver the roadmap.  The roadmap, projects and plans should define the relationships and priorities of the individual projects as they relate to the roadmap.


As you can see from my list, these basics are not earth shattering in the concept, however, I hope you can also see that they require some hard work and careful analysis to provide the tools necessary to be successful.  Hard work, understanding your current situation, careful and thoughtful planning and clear definition of obtainable objectives are the founding principles for your success in determining how to move forward along with the effort required to deliver your initiatives.  Too many initiatives fail because of a lack of focus on the basics and what I refer to as ‘shiny object syndrome’!  Don’t let the allure of a shiny new system cause you to overlook the analysis and basics required for success.  Remember, a decision to outsource, or replace software is not necessarily the best decision for your situation.  You cannot identify the decision for your situation without going through the effort and time required to develop the basics on the list I provide above.  You must truly understand your challenge and your current environment in order to have the best chances for success and adding value to your organization.


I hope you find this discussion to come at a good time for you to recommit to developing your process mapping and commit to the basics for your success.  Don’t be afraid of a little hard work up front to ensure your success in the long run.


Happy New Year!  Let’s all commit, or recommit, to the basics to start the year right.


Now folks please take a moment to provide your feedback.  This will become even more valuable with robust participation!


Now for the audience participation portion of this program……


Have you developed business process documentation for your operation?  I have found that the business process model can provide the highest value to your organization for developing transformational improvements and also for benchmarking your operation with other organizations.


Do you have documented service levels along with key performance indicators to measure them?