T&D/PI: Collaboration – For Performance Improvement Beyond Instruction

Start with the Process

That was a huge take-away from the time I spent working with Geary A. Rummler back in 1981 and 1982 when I worked at Motorola – and he was my consultant working on my assigned projects – meaning – I carried his pencils.

I worked on a half-dozen or so efforts with Geary, and son Rick Rummler and Carol Panza. Oh – those were the days my friend!

The huge take-away? Again…

Start with the Process

Then look at the Consequence System – but I’ll leave THAT for another post.

Lean Processes - Collaborative and Non-Collaborative

I recall seeing/hearing Alan Ramias, who was a peer of mine – a fellow Training Project Supervisor at MTEC – Motorola’s Training & Education Center – and who later went on to work with Geary at Rummler-Brache, and then became one of Geary’s business partners at The Performance Design Lab – speak about what lessons they learned from streamlining processes back-in-the-day at Motorola.

A Video Clip from the ISPI Rummler Tribute in April 2009…

This video is 13:34 minutes in length.

Check in at the 3:50 minute mark for Alan’s comments about streamlining processes and the resultant cycle time and cost reductions … “As Is/ To Be” and Geary’s contribution to Six Sigma from OPS – which I’ve written about before – which started as The Kit, and before that my MTEC White Paper in 1982.

Alan inherited all of my Rummler projects when I left in October of 1982.

Decades later, in 2012, over lunch in Phoenix while working on a project together for the Performance Design Lab (PDL), we discovered that we had both been graduates of DINFOS – The Department of Defense Information School – at Fort Benjamin Harrison in the NE suburbs of Indianapolis – and we both served in the military as Journalists. He in the Army and me in the Navy.

(Seductive detail, I know.)

Streamlining Became Re-Engineering Became Lean

Or something like that.

One of my takeaways way back in the 1980s was that when streamlining one would look for opportunities to eliminate Steps in a Process – or to fold a bunch of Steps into One Step.

As a Performance Analyst one might look for too many hand-offs to get to some Worthy Output. As a Designer – of Processes – one would look to fold a bunch of Steps into One Step – or a Lesser Number of Steps.

That often required empowering people to step up above their pay grade – as that old saying goes – and letting them do the work, the reviews and the approvals that all too often get drawn out via hand-offs after hand-offs – at an increase of both cycle time … and costs.

If empowering one person to step up seemed too problematic – then an alternative is to make the Steps more collaborative where Reviews and Approvals … or Reviews and Approvals/Rejections … or Reviews and Approvals/Rejections/Tweakings … or the Work itself combined collaboratively with Work-Review-Approval-Tweaking … to be done with it all … in One Fell Swoop … so to speak.

Collaborative Work-Review-Approval-Tweaking

Of course that option … Collaborative Work-Review-Approval-Tweaking … can be a double edge sword – when done when unnecessary.

A more careful approach would be to use a collaborative approach when necessary/advantageous – and to use a non-collaborative approach when necessary/advantageous.

In Performance-Based Instructional Analysis

One should look for situations – where it seems to the Analyst at least – where the use a collaborative approach  might be advantageous – and/or where a non-collaborative approach might be advantageous.

Lean Processes - Collaborative and Non-Collaborative 02

The Answer Is Usually a Blend.

As always – it depends.

Connect with Alan Ramias 

Alan is a Co-Founder of the Ramias-Lanese Group LLC – connect him via LinkedIn – here.

And like Alan, I miss Geary greatly. He changed my life as well.

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