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Using process thinking to define project scope: how to start in the right place

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Process work can be one of the most difficult types of project to scope, because "process" itself can be anything and everything. But without a clear starting point, your process improvement projects will suffer and you may find yourself solving problems which don't actually move the needle or need to be solved. In this meetup, we discussed how you can apply the concept of process detail layers to your project scoping phase, to ensure that you establish clear boundaries for your work from the outset and are able to focus on the right things.

Publié dans : Business
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Using process thinking to define project scope: how to start in the right place

  1. 1. Using Process Thinking to Define Project Scope: How to Start in the Right Place Highlights and Q&A - NYBPP Meetup 10.16.2018 | CAVI CONSULTING
  2. 2. Samuel Chin Samuel is the co-founder and chief process scientist for Cavi Consulting, a process science consultancy helping businesses to remove obstacles to energy flow and more effectively automate, scale and grow. Experience Samuel has consulted for small-to-enterprise level companies across a wide range of sectors and verticals, including financial services, resources, legal services, media and digital services, in both the for profit and nonprofit domains. Education and Certifications Samuel holds an MBA from the University of Richmond, and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. Samuel is certified in Lean, Six Sigma, Change Management (PROSCI), Project Management (PMP and CSM), and is a CMMI associate.
  3. 3. Agenda ● Project ○ Defining project in process terms ● Problem Analysis ○ Where do we start? ● Process Scoping ● Process Capture ● Detail Levels ● Summary ● Q/A ○ Are audits considered project processes? ○ Is the “transition state” affected by how long a project is? ○ How do we know the right detail layer to document a process?
  4. 4. What is Project? ● A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. ○ Temporary means having a definite beginning and end. ● The end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved, or if the project is terminated for any reason. ● Each project creates a unique product, service or result. ○ NOTE that there may be some repetitive elements present in each project, but the output must be unique – like similar housing projects in the same area with the same design may be similar, but each will have unique challenges, different contractors, issues, etc. that will make them each unique.
  5. 5. ● Project energy flow is the “experimentation” mode of businesses, the changing process in nature and the thinking flow in humans. Since businesses operate in a dynamic environment that is constantly creating new contexts for success. To remain viable in a constantly evolving market environment, the business cannot simply maintain its operating (or “knowing/doing”) process as-is, it must also “think” in order to evolve its process by adding new process elements ○ Ex. To increase user adoption and retention, Uber reduced the number of steps the user takes in the app to order a car for pickup ● Operating energy flow is the “on” mode of businesses, the doing flow in nature, and the knowing flow in humans. This flow represents the beating heart of the business. It is what transforms most of the energy it receives (ex. money) into value (product or services clients want) ○ Ex. Uber receives money (energy) from it’s customers so that it can produce a service (value) of getting one from A to B Business Energy Flow The universe has two types of energy flow through business: Projects and Operations Businesses evolve, or improve their operations by conducting projects Businesses survive in the market by continuously producing value (product or service) that customers want (of who give the business energy in the form of money)
  6. 6. Separating for Success ● Projects create change ● Operations are constantly improving to create value ● Know what you’re trying to do and take care not to do both at the same time! ● The functions must be kept separate as there are different motivations and conflicting interests involved
  7. 7. Where Do We Start: Problem Analysis Where does project energy come from? from problems. ● Without problems, there is no constant energy, and the project will eventually die (unless you muscle it through with your own energy, which leads to burnout). ● A real problem will generate energy and you can then build a good objective around it. ● As the objective is closer to completion, the energy that drives the project should lessen, until the project is complete and there is no more energy (or problem!). .
  8. 8. Process Scoping - Establishing “The Forest” Basic Business Information Business name (DBA) Business focus/industry Primary Business Objective or Problem Area Business website (if applicable) Please estimate your expected total annual revenue this year - If unsure, please provide total annual revenue from previous year Please estimate your expected net profit % this year - If unsure, please provide net profit % from previous year Please estimate your current employee headcount. Include sum of part-time, temp, contractor, unpaid, etc (1 employee count = ~2000 man hours / year) How old is your business (in years)? What is your current ownership structure? (Single Owner, Partnership, Corporation, etc) Is your business a public or private company? Is your business a for-profit or non-profit company? On each line, name and briefly describe your core revenue streams (i.e. distinct products or services that collectively account for the majority (80%+) of revenue generation), as well as the estimated % that each contribute to total revenue generation 0% 0% 0% 0%
  9. 9. Process Scoping This conversation logic is focused on identifying and organizing the process activities of a person, not the activities that comprise a process from end-to-end in sequence. It is a person/role-centric conversation, not a process driven one. The flow of this conversation is meant to cast a wide net over all of the activities that comprise a person’s role, organize the activities into categories, and then assign a percentage of time in an average week or month that the activities demand of all the person’s working hours available in a week. The conversation usually flows in two phases: 1. High level role descriptions and activity identification 2. Assign % time to and group & categorize activities
  10. 10. Process Capture
  11. 11. ● Projects change the process in the operating layer and must be process centric to be successful ● Which part of the process is determined by properly identifying the root cause problem the project intends to address ● Process scoping established the entire process context from which you can more specifically understand which process will be impacted ● Process capture details which section of the process will be affected in detail enough to act on it ● Detail layers (Starting from high to granular) is how you iteratively capture the right level of information around the process section of interest and make sure your process is on track for success! Summary
  12. 12. Q&A Answering questions from the meetup
  13. 13. Question 1: Are audits considered project processes? ● It depends! If it is a one-off audit for a specific purpose, then it could be a project. If it is an audit that happens on a recurring basis, it could be an operation The difference between projects and operations is largely in how similar the process is and whether or not it repeats itself at a reliable frequency
  14. 14. Question 2: Is the “transition state” affected by how long a project is? ● Yes! Transition state energy is a requirement to get through the enablement part of a project. The longer the phase is, the more energy dispersal happens over the course of the transition phase. The shorter the project is, the more likely the energy is condensed enough to get through the transition.
  15. 15. Question 3: How do we know the right detail layer to document a process? ● Detail layer selection is arbitrary and should be selected to best capture the process elements that are hypothesized to be creating the problem which is the focus of the project.
  16. 16. Thanks for coming! ● NYBPP Meetup: ○ Please leave us a positive review! ● You can view all of our past slides over on Slideshare.net: ○ Slide Decks from Past Meetups ● Also, join our Facebook Group! ○ https://NYBPP Meetup Facebook Group ● Finally, check out more process insights at: ○ www.caviconsulting.com

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