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A New Method for Achieving Business Objectives

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This document describes a free and highly effective business improvement tool, currently known as the ‘New Method’ of positive risk modelling.

The Method uses a unique graphical approach to achieve project, business and strategic objectives.

It requires only 10 minutes to learn, yet within hours this technique will have transformed your organisation’s ability to analyse, communicate and achieve all of its key objectives.

Publié dans : Direction et management
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A New Method for Achieving Business Objectives

  1. 1. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 1 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. A New Method for Visualizing Success Using diagrams of ‘positive risk’ to achieve project, business and strategic objectives Introduction This document describes a method for constructing Moar Diagrams, a new management tool for visualizing success in any business or organisational context. In order to build these diagrams, we use the ‘New Method’ of positive risk modelling, which is explained step-by-step in the table below. The New Method was devised and created by PJ Moar between September 2013 and November 2014. It was produced with assistance and feedback from professional practitioners in risk management, business consulting and project management. The theoretical underpinnings and practical applications of the Method are explained graphically in the online presentation entitled Visualizing Success, accessible here: http://bit.ly/Viz-Success. Readers are encouraged to view this presentation before applying the New Method for the first time. What is a Moar Diagram? Moar Diagrams increase the probability of achieving a goal or target by enabling real-time management and communication of the following:  Objectives  Plans  Actions  Ownership  Anticipated benefits  Risks  Costs  Real-time progress RPQ phase 2 delivery Business Leader for T&E T&E product development and marketing Director of T&E Full view 300% zoomSatellite View
  2. 2. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 2 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. All of this is conveyed through a single diagram, which may be viewed and interpreted by staff at all levels of the organisation. A Moar Diagram captures the key logical and functional components of a so-called ‘positive risk’ environment. At the heart of every positive risk environment is a desired objective. This objective may be a project deliverable, a management target or some other form of organisational goal. It is assumed that the objective will produce one or more positive outcomes or benefits. However, risk is always present in goal-focused environments due to the uncertainty of achieving objectives and their anticipated benefits. Hence, the phrase ‘positive risk’ effectively describes this uncertainty of positive outcomes. Both the New Method and Moar Diagrams are in the public domain and free to use. They have been developed and published without any protection from patents, trade marks or design rights. It is assumed that the absence of such constraints will facilitate their growth and popularity in the management community. Creating a Diagram The development of a Moar Diagram typically involves a small group of stakeholders in a facilitated workshop environment. Approximately 1-2 hours are required per diagram. The time expended will depend upon familiarity with the method and the complexity of the risk environment. This document outlines the 18 steps needed for successful diagram production. To support this process a Diagram Exemplar is provided in Appendix 1 and a Diagram Key in Appendix 2. You are now ready to create your first model. Development and Version Control The New Method is subject to continuous review and improvement using feedback received from practitioners. Therefore, this document will occasionally be revised and re-issued. To see the latest version, visit this web page: http://bit.ly/Workshop-Method
  3. 3. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 3 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. A New Method for Visualizing Success Using Moar Diagrams This table describes the 18 steps necessary for creating an effective Moar Diagram. Allow between one and two hours to complete all steps satisfactorily. This document provides guidance only. More experienced users may choose to re-order steps without affecting the quality of the final product. Step Description Considerations Language Example(s) Symbol 1 Build team Select appropriate personnel for the workshop or modelling session. Ensure a cross-section of knowledge and experience from the whole ‘risk environment’. It is not necessary for the workshop facilitator to possess the same degree of familiarity with the risk domain as other participants. Not applicable To model the launch of a new product, include representatives from design, project management, production, sales, marketing, distribution and finance. Not applicable 2 Goal event: the objective Specify the desired objective or event (which may also be referred to as the goal or target). The goal event is expected to produce positive outcomes. The event itself is not a positive outcome. It is a necessary stage in the realisation of those outcomes. Use a clear and concise description of the goal event. Acquire company in biofuel sector. Upgrade finance system to latest software version. Deliver construction project on time and on budget. 3 Benefits Identify the anticipated positive outcomes from achieving the goal. Think of both short and long-term benefits. Also look at positive impacts upon areas of the organisation not directly involved in achieving the goal. An early look at the benefits will focus the minds of team members on the fundamental purpose of this activity. Use a clear, concise description of each benefit. Always begin with a verb. Appeals to strategic clients. Enables a dependent project to start. Increases productivity. Reduces operating costs due to economies of scale. 4 Disbenefits Identify potential negative outcomes which may arise as a by-product of achieving the goal. Think of both short and long-term disbenefits. Also look at negative impacts upon areas of the organisation not directly involved in achieving the goal. (It may be possible to mitigate or prevent each disbenefit, but list them here first.) Use a clear, concise description of each disbenefit. Always begin with a verb. Increases license cost per internal user. Stresses logistics infrastructure due to sudden increase in demand. Falling share price if stock market dislikes new strategy. Goal or target An expected benefit An expected disbenefit
  4. 4. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 4 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. Step Description Considerations Language Example(s) Symbol KEY STEP 5 Necessary conditions Identify the set of necessary sub-deliverables which, in combination, should be sufficient to achieve the goal event. Typically, between 2 and 8 conditions will be identified. IMPORTANT this step rewards careful thought before progressing. Each condition will be a necessary (though not a sufficient) condition for achieving the goal. The delivery of each condition will require one or more tasks to be performed. (These tasks will later be identified as drivers.) For consistency, use the past tense to describe a condition in its completed or finished state. Software installed. Customers notified. Designs approved. Funds secured. 6 Drivers (pre- objective: left side of diagram) Identify the managed resources, tasks, processes or actions necessary for delivering each condition. It is not necessary to list every individual action. You may group sets of related actions/tasks under one heading if they are the responsibility of a single owner. The chronology of drivers is not strictly important, although a left-to-right ‘time axis’ is implied by the diagram shape. Also, it is not necessary to distinguish between tasks running in parallel and those running in series. Use a clear, concise description of each driver. Ideally, start the description with an action verb. Build new course modules. Prepare documentation. Perform due diligence. Design new infrastructure. Train frontline staff. 7 Driver strength, current performance and cost (pre- objective) Focusing on each driver in turn, establish its inherent strength/significance (i.e. size of symbol). Establish its current status (i.e. colour of symbol). Estimate its cost relative to other drivers within the risk environment (i.e. by adding red bars). Using the diagram key in Appendix 2, use 3 symbol sizes to differentiate between strong or essential drivers and those with less impact upon achieving the goal. Using the same key, apply a status colour to each driver, e.g. green indicates good current performance; conversely, red indicates a dysfunctional or severely under-performing driver. There is no requirement to quantify costs, but relative costs are indicated using horizontal red bars. Not applicable See Appendix 1 See Appendix 2 A necessary condition Driver descriptor
  5. 5. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 5 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. Step Description Considerations Language Example(s) Symbol 8 Drivers (post- objective: right side of diagram) Identify the managed resources, tasks, processes or actions necessary for achieving the anticipated benefits. It is not necessary to list every individual action. You may group sets of related actions/tasks under one heading if they are the responsibility of a single owner. The chronology of drivers is not strictly important, although a left-to-right ‘time axis’ is implied by the diagram shape. Also, it is not necessary to distinguish between tasks running in parallel and those running in series. Use a clear, concise description of each driver. Ideally, start the description with an action verb. Advertise new product range. Integrate the combined workforce. Issue press release to media. Exploit economies of scale to re-negotiate supplier prices. 9 Driver strength, current performance and cost (post- objective) Focusing on each driver in turn, establish its inherent strength/ significance (i.e. size of symbol) Establish its current status (i.e. colour of symbol). Estimate its cost relative to other drivers within the risk environment (i.e. by adding red bars). Using the diagram key in Appendix 2, use 3 symbol sizes to differentiate between strong or essential drivers and those with less impact upon achieving the goal. Using the same key, apply a status colour to each driver, e.g. green indicates good current performance; conversely, red indicates a dysfunctional or severely under-performing driver. There is no requirement to quantify costs, but relative costs are indicated using horizontal red bars. Not applicable See Appendix 1 See Appendix 2 10 Disbenefit controls Identify the managed resources, tasks, processes or actions necessary for preventing, or at least mitigating, each disbenefit. In this context, the term ‘control’ may be interpreted relatively freely. It is the converse of a driver, but may be less formal than the type of controls recognised by auditors and risk assurance professionals. In an engineering context, controls are sometimes known as ‘barriers’. Use a clear, concise description of each control. Ideally, start the description with an action verb. Identify under-used licenses. Acquire evidence to counter expected criticism. Communicate acquisition strategy to shareholders. Test business continuity plans. Driver descriptor Control descriptor
  6. 6. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 6 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. Step Description Considerations Language Example(s) Symbol 11 Positive effectors and their drivers In some circumstances, a driver or control may perform better when affected by a secondary actor or external influence of some kind. These influences are known as positive effectors. Examine each driver and control, identifying any significant positive effectors. Now apply a driver to facilitate the positive effect. Only significant or substantial positive effectors should be included in the model. A weak positive effector, or one without an accompanying driver, will probably not add much value. Note: the English verbs ‘to effect’ and ‘to affect’ are often confused, but the terminology deployed here is deemed to be appropriate (i.e. an effector will have an effect upon a driver; it affects the driver, causing it to be more effective). Admittedly, this can be confusing, even to native English speakers! Use a clear, concise description of each positive effector. Ideally, start the driver description with an action verb. Listening to potential customers may inspire new product ideas. Synchronise with changing demographic trends. Increase options by using a mechanism for receiving staff inputs and ideas. Implementing an MIS tool will improve capability to analyse financial performance. Awareness of market pay rates improves recruitment process. 12 Risk environment Describe the business or operational environment reflected in the model. Risk is created by uncertainties of probabilities and outcomes. A Moar Diagram is concerned with positive outcomes, so this will be referred to as the ‘positive risk environment’. Examine the distribution of drivers and controls to ascertain the specific business environment reflected in the diagram. The risk environment descriptor will act as a convenient title or filing category for the diagram. (It may be tempting to perform this step at the commencement of the modelling process. However, it is possible that unforeseen drivers or outcomes will emerge during the analysis. Also, there is a danger of influencing/pre-empting the scope of the model. Hence, it is more appropriate to write this descriptor after creating all of the diagram components.) Create a short description corresponding to a recognisable business activity. Sales and marketing in Asia- Pacific Region. Business acquisition and integration. Group-wide financial management and reporting. Building new mobile phone application. A positive effector Risk environment descriptor
  7. 7. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 7 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. Step Description Considerations Language Example(s) Symbol 13 Owners Add an owner to all managed components (this excludes conditions, benefits and disbenefits). The owner is usually a responsible individual, but could also be a team with shared responsibilities. The highest level of ownership applies to the risk environment. This will be a senior manager or leader with authority over all component owners. If any component ownership is unknown or unassigned, an action must be taken to rectify this (see Actions below). Accurate job titles should be used, where possible. It must be clear to each owner where their personal responsibilities lie. Marketing Administrator Website Designer Finance Director Project Manager Head of Integration Not applicable 14 Interpretation Analyse the diagram and act upon your findings. Take a high level, strategic view of the modelled environment. What does it tell you? A Satellite View of the model (i.e. devoid of distracting data) may assist in this first examination of the diagram. Identify under-resourced and over-resourced areas of the risk environment. Use the colour distributions to provide a snapshot of the environment’s health. A preponderance of red should always be a concern, implying some combination of under- performing drivers/controls, relatively high costs and disbenefits. Use the risk evidence to establish tactical priorities. Some of these may become actions (see next step). Not applicable Are too many resources devoted to the achievement of less significant benefits? Is there too much dependence upon one person or team? Do newly identified benefits justify raising the priority of a project within the organisation? Should the goal, target or objective be re-assessed given the realisation of all potential disbenefits? Not applicable
  8. 8. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 8 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. Step Description Considerations Language Example(s) Symbol 15 Actions Agree actions and assign them to individuals (or teams). Diagrams may be labelled to indicate the location of each ‘incomplete’ action (e.g. a small sticky note symbol). It is likely that some actions will emerge as a consequence of this exercise. For example: Drivers and controls which do not have a ‘green’ status may require special attention. Additional drivers or controls may be needed to strengthen areas of concern within the environment. Ownership of some components may need to be re-assigned. Actions must be clear and unambiguous. Each action must have an owner plus a deadline or review date. Commence the overdue development of new modules. Training Manager DD/Mon/YY Confirm the relative costings for drivers D3, D5 and control C1. Finance Officer DD/Mon/YY Find new owner for drafting the prospectus document. Business Leader DD/Mon/YY 16 Review and communicate Perform a quality check on the diagram. Confirm its contents, especially individual ownership responsibilities. Finally, distribute the model to all interested parties. Who wants or needs to see the model? What is the most effective means of distribution, e.g. presentation; wall poster; email attachment? Is a Satellite View needed for senior management? Satellite Views are explained in the online presentation, Visualizing Success: http://bit.ly/Viz-Success The diagram should be self- explanatory, especially to those familiar with the New Method. The addition of a diagram key (similar to Appendix 2) will assist in the communication process. The output from a project initiation workshop could be included in the Project Charter document. At a manufacturing facility, diagrams could be printed as A2 posters for staff to discuss during ‘toolbox talks’. The ‘live’ diagram for a small project is updated weekly by the project manager and emailed to all stakeholders. Not applicable 17 Follow up Ensure that all assigned actions have been completed. Each action owner should have access to a diagram, or at least to the section of the diagram involving their personal responsibilities. All completed actions should immediately be reflected in the model. Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
  9. 9. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 9 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. Step Description Considerations Language Example(s) Symbol 18 Maintain Ensure that all model data and diagrams are regularly updated. This will increase user confidence in the accuracy of diagrams (if used as formal documentation). It also enables more effective and regular communication, including real- time availability of diagrams for reference purposes. To succeed as a management tool, each Moar Diagram should be an accurate reflection of the risk environment. The models may occasionally be used as formal documentation. If so, each diagram will need visible change control information, including a revision date and model owner. Not applicable Periodically host workshops to revise all business-critical models. Diagram owners, such as Project Managers, may be expected to update their models on a daily or weekly basis. When Moar Diagram modelling software becomes available, each component owner could add his/her status updates in real-time. Senior Leadership may wish to see a permanent display of ‘live’ Satellite Views for business-critical objectives. These may be displayed on TV screens in the offices or Boardroom. Not applicable
  10. 10. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 10 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. Appendix 1 Diagram Exemplar This diagram contains at least one example of each component characteristic: Risk environment descriptor Risk Environment Owner Goal or target descriptor Goal Owner
  11. 11. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 11 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. Appendix 2 Diagram Key The current performance/status of a driver or control (i.e. representing its uncertainty) is indicated by a colour. Weak Non-Essential A necessary condition An expected benefit An expected disbenefit A positive effector Goal or target Driver descriptor Control descriptor The relative cost of a driver or control is indicated by red bars. Low Moderate High Poor Moderate Good Future Start Completed Task Unknown Risk environment descriptor The theoretical or assumed effectiveness of a driver/control is indicated by its width. Moderate Desirable Strong Essential SYMBOLS SIZE AND COLOUR INDICATORS COSTS
  12. 12. ©2015 PJ Moar peter.moar@gmail.com Page 12 of 12 Version 3.4 This document may be freely shared or distributed. However, no part may be sold or published without the author’s express permission. About the Author PJ Moar Peter Moar is a management consultant specialising in business technologies, risk management, product innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2013-14 he created the ‘New Method’ of positive risk modelling, including the Moar Diagram which may be used to visualize success in any context. Peter has worked in many sectors including retail, higher education, financial services, information technology, engineering risk assurance, international development and vocational training. Among his previous employers are the Business & Technology Education Council (BTEC), General Electric Corporation (GE), Genworth Financial Corporation and Risktec Solutions. Since 1995 Peter’s work has had a strong international and technology bias, managing and supporting professional teams and technical systems across Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. Peter attended the Universities of Wales, London, Cambridge and MIT studying government, economics and technology management. He was awarded the Elizabeth Morris Prize from the University of Wales in 1991 and a Letter of Commendation from the University of Cambridge Business School in 2005. He is also professionally qualified in database management, project management, technology risk assurance, workplace safety and teaching. Peter welcomes your comments, feedback and criticisms of this new modelling technique. Please contact him at the following address: peter.moar@gmail.com To discuss professional engagements, Peter may be contacted here: p.moar@moar.com

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