R.E.S.U.L.T.S Methodology: The Secret Sauce in Making Process Improvement Sticky

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Results Methodology

While it is never wise to slavishly follow someone’s formula, it is helpful to reflect on what worked and polymorph the ideas to work for you as you endeavor to get and keep the edge.

Forward-looking organizations are rethinking Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) and alignment of their IT strategies at a furious pace. They are grappling with how to move forward in modernizing IT infrastructure in incredibly competitive markets, maintain their connection to their people and re-invent processes at the same time. Even those organizations who have outperformed their competitors know that new approaches are now required to maintain and expand their edge. They acknowledge that even if they achieve their success through excellent people and brute force, it will be hard to sustain this process over time.

Great and soon-to-be-great organizations are looking for the answers to picking the right business drivers and metrics, embracing their customers as never before, building better processes to deliver what customers want, leveraging the best of technologies and emerging social media marketing and finally, aligning their people fully with making all these things happen. Winning trust and cooperation for change in traditional BPR initiatives has been rare—and that must be addressed going forward. A lack of buy-in is no longer an option for those who want to succeed.

R.E.S.U.L.T.S.™ is an acronym that describes a process or methodology that may serve your organization well as you look to the future and ensure your performance is improving and creating a sustainable organization. The phases are a never-ending wheel of action and follow the letters of “R.E.S.U.L.T.S.™‘’

R = Reflection and Vision
Driving improvements is decidedly a top-down, bottom-up affair. It is also very often a struggle to articulate what the organization should look like in the future in terms that are easily understood and embraced by the stakeholders. Top management must reflect and develop a meaningful vision of the future: where we are going, what we look like when we get there. This vision needs balance. For example, a philosophy of customers first, employees second and the company last is a valid way to address this. Along with the vision, there must be specific measures and metrics with great attention paid to the “people” part.

E = Expectations and Alignment
Eighty percent or more of the success of any organization ultimately comes down to our ability (or inability) to develop and empower people to support the organization’s vision. It is top management’s job to say where we are going and what it will look like when we get there in measured terms, and it’s the organization’s people who must figure out the “how” part of the equation. For this to have a remote chance of success, we must have made sure expectations are set and we have aligned all stakeholders to fully buy in to the vision. We must provide the tools and information for our people to figure out the how.

S = Selection of Opportunities
With the WIIFM questions answered, conduct your careful assessment of the organization, identify the specific current and future performance gaps with metrics, and the compilation of a portfolio of potential projects. Next, carefully choose a few balanced and measurable outcomes so that you can definitely say “we are successful in terms of measured results after completion of the initiative.”

U = Understand and Plan
The power of a plan comes from people understanding it, along with being empowered and held accountable for execution. People would rather put up with a problem they cannot solve than accept a solution they don’t understand. We must embrace this truth. One way to help people understand the plan is by defining and communicating specifically what will be improved after this new action is completed.

L = Leverage, Influence and Change
Once you have your plans and are ready to write the supporting project charters, it is recommended to conduct an assessment of the stakeholders affected at the project/project task level. Identify the stakeholder groups involved in the inputs and outputs of the process. Now it’s time to ask a few critical questions. First, to what degree does this group affect success? If it’s to a high degree, then ask if they will support this action and provide the resources willingly to make it happen. If the answer is “no,” why not?

T = Transform Continually
Too often the planning process is seen as a one-and-done task, when in reality it is an integrative and never ending step of the change process. The Shewart Cycle/Deming Wheel of “plan, do, check (or study), and act” suggests a never-ending loop of validation and reaction to results from our change initiative. This R.E.S.U.L.T.S.™ methodology provides a framework to conduct the PDCA cycle more effectively and methodically.

S = Sustain and Reinvent
Old habits die hard and if we are not insisting on making new ways permanent, things will backslide. Worse yet, we may be so successful we fall victim to complacency and think we don’t have to change continually. The biggest universal constant in business is change. Just because we’ve made huge advances and we’re doing great, that doesn’t guarantee future success.

Continual re-invention is required. There are some successful organizations out there that are sustainably doing that—both Disney and General Electric come to mind. Both of these organizations seem to have the formula for re-invention, while maintaining their core culture and core competencies as they go. While it is never wise to slavishly follow someone’s formula, it is helpful to reflect on what worked and polymorph the ideas to work for you as you endeavor to get and keep the edge.

Please join us for the MetaExperts Webinar Series. June 27th the topic is R.E.S.U.L.T.S. Methodology Secrets Revealed: How To Engage Your Team

 

Additional Reading

A Different Approach to Operational Excellence in IT

Combining Operations and IT – Mixing Oil and Water With Operational Excellence For Success

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