The key to any successful business case is a well-defined problem. Many projects fail to deliver the intended results in an organization because the business either (1) failed to define the problem adequately or (2) manage scope creep. It’s critical to involve the appropriate stakeholders from the beginning and ground your hypothesis with real-world examples. Using the ongoing shift towards BYOD as an example, we see organizations across the BYOD-adoption spectrum. Every organization is unique, and we’ll provide some of the more common issues we see with our customers in a bit. There’s a good chance you’ll see the same issues in your organization.
So you identified a problem… now what?
I’m willing to bet that you can think of several (if not many) presentations that failed to win you and others over. The ol’ death by PowerPoint in one of its many forms, a poorly structured business case can be excruciatingly painful to sit through. As a Lean/Six Sigma practitioner, I am constantly challenging a business unit’s assumptions. Now that you’ve identified a problem to explore, I’ll focus on some of the basic but absolutely fundamental tools to investigate an opportunity for improvement. To start, we’ll look at a SIPOC.
What is a SIPOC?
SIPOC is a simple graphical representation of a process that calls out the Supplier(s), Input(s), Process, Output(s) & Customer(s) I’ll use the diagram below which covers a joint-research collaboration to define the roles:
• Suppliers – people/applications responsible for the inputs
• Inputs – required people/data/applications to trigger the process
• Process – a simple representation of process in 4-6 steps
• Outputs – Resulting deliverables from the process
• Customers – the people/applications that receive the outputs
Why do I start with a SIPOC?
It’s critical to define a process that is going to be created or changed. However, not all libraries present business cases to audiences that are familiar with the intricacies of running a corporate library. By this point, you will have identified a problem you see in your organization. Many of our customers face the same challenges including:
• Need to increase/improve access to information resources
• Increase usage of information resources to drive informed decisions
• Providing access to resources on any device
With our baseline process established, we can begin to analyze opportunities for improvement in our process. In our next post, we’ll discuss Value Stream Mapping as an effective way to identify opportunities for improvement. We’ll continue this series of posts with driving change, i.e. working in a mobile environment vs. a desktop environment, as we dig deeper into this ripe opportunity for improvement.
Need help exploring this improvement opportunity at your organization? Shoot me an e-mail so we can discuss the unique needs and challenges of your organization.