TLS Continuum Part 10: The Ultimate Goal

It was our intent throughout the TLS Continuum Roadmap to lay out a clear path to reach where we are now. In addition as we proceed with this and the subsequent installments It is critical that we make sure we are on the same page at this juncture.

In the nine parts of the series we began by looking at the importance of values. I was concerned that to understand the roadmap it is was necessary to understand the role of organizational values in the process improvement efforts. Part 2 sought to define what we mean when we use the term excellence. Part 3 looked at the SIPC tool. It gave us the insight as to who the stakeholders are. Remember we are interested in more than those with a strictly financial interest in our organization. The stakeholders provided us the data points regarding what they bring to the table in the course of delivering our services or products. From the SIPOC, in Part 4, I asked you to develop a high-level process map of the recruiting process within your organization. There were many potential HR processes we could have chosen to work with, however the recruitment is the single one with the most universal applicability. When complete the process map demonstrates what steps the process requires to meet the needs of the organization. Next in Part 5, we turned to the Voice of the Customer Matrix. The voice of the customer is the critical basis for enabling the organization to move forward. It tells us what factors the customer needs in order to substantiate their organizational investment in ours. In Part 6 we looked at the value of language to ascertain what we understand to be true in the message we deliver during this process. If you have put enough thought into your process maps, the difference between your current state process and the client’s requirements creates a clear picture of where your roadblocks or obstacles are. It is these obstacles that characterize your problem. In part 7 I took you through the process of completing an Ishikawa Diagram to understand how our actions bring about other actions. In part 8 we looked at the vast array of non-value added activities within your organization. Finally in Part 9 we brought us to the factory floor and relooked at our process map. The intent was to identify all the steps and process parts that fall between the overview blocks in the process map.

The next step therefore is to layout the journey itinerary if you will. What steps are we going to take to try and get to that end destination as nebulous as it is? We can do this through the use of Dettmer’s Goal Tree[i].

The Goal Tree clearly lays out that roadmap. The Goal Tree requires you systematically review the problem. It begins with looking at the Goal or your anticipated solutions. It not only asks you what the intended solutions are but it asks you to take the search a step further. Once you have established the objective you must then take the next step and determine what has to be present in order for you achieve that goal. These represent the critical success factors, which without their presence you can’t reach that goal.

The critical success factors section of the Goal Tree asks you to determine the three factors, which you have to have in place in order to consider that you have the right solution. It poses the question that in order to reach the solution I must have the critical success factors in place. It is absolutely critical that you carry your identification of these three factors to the widest audience possible. Like the goal statement the first factors that may come to mind may not be the best possible concepts.

The Goal Tree then moves down the hierarchy to the next level. It is in this factor that you ask yourself further questions regarding the process. Follow me here a bit.

You began the completion of the Goal Tree by asking the question, what is the solution for the problem at hand? Then your next question is what is the critical success factors, which will indicate that we have reached that goal? These are the factors that must be there in order for us to reach that goal. This is not the end of the process however.

Think of it in this fashion. In order to have (goal) I must have (critical success factors. In order to create the critical success factors I must have (necessary conditions).

If you know what the goal is and you know what critical success factors equal success, what has to be present to reach that level. Consider once again the recruitment process. Our goal is to provide the organization with the human capital assets that will enhance the output of the organization in the form of products and services. If I am correct in this goal, then what are the necessary critical success factors? I would suggest that they are the location of the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

In order to achieve this state the necessary conditions become the establishment of a working system to source, identify and recruit these critical human capital assets that are needed by the organization to sustain it through the years to come.

In Chapter 1 during our discussion regarding the characteristics of a Center of Excellence we talked about one of the characteristics of the Center was the gaining of knowledge and resources. This process is not one that we can conduct in a fly by night fashion. We need to understand why the system requires us to do what we do. The final stage of the Goal Tree is to determine what knowledge resources are required to form the basis for the rest of the tree.

The content from this blog is based somewhat from the soon to be released book “Field Guide to Achieving HR Excellence through Six Sigma” by Productivity Press in January 2016.

[i] Dettmer, William. The Logical Thinking Process. ASQ Press, Milwaukee: 2007. Page 72-88

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