Planning and running a successful target setting workshop
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Planning and running a successful target setting workshop



How To Plan and Run a successfull Workshop for Target Setting

How To Plan and Run a successfull Workshop for Target Setting



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Planning and running a successful target setting workshop Planning and running a successful target setting workshop Presentation Transcript

  • 2 Why this presentation? • Recently, I challenged myself by taking the responsibility to manage a Targets Setting workshop for 40 attendees in a very short time. • As any project managers I want to deliver my projects with the best results that are according to my key stakeholders’ expectations and requirements and I also want to share my experiences and competence in order to be reused and forward developed. • I hope that project managers and workshop facilitators and others can find some inspiration and can use some parts of this presentation.
  • 3 The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. Hans Hofmann Why this presentation? (cont’d) • I presented some methods, tools and techniques in this document and I hope that these methods, tools and techniques will be as useful for you as they were for me. • As many other assignments, conducting a workshop is matter of: • Agreement with your key stakeholders about the purpose, scope, ambition level and the outcomes of the workshop. • And of course: Preparation, preparation and again preparation • Even if I tried to make this presentation as simple as possible with a step by step approach, but I think you will still find unnecessary parts for you. Please forgive me.
  • 4 Why a workshop? Why should we conduct a workshop instead of using other ways to interact and work with attendees/experts? • We know that there are many other alternatives for a face to face communication and interacting with a group of people. Some examples: You can invite people for a training, seminar, conference etc. • We think that a workshop has many advantages but the most important one is the possibility to create dialog/the two way communication with the participants. • Better possibility for users/attendees to be involved and share their ideas before, during and after the workshop.
  • 5 Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. Vince Lombardi Why a workshop? Why should we conduct a workshop instead of using other ways to interact and work with attendees/experts? (cont’d) • A well prepared and organized workshop should motivate the participants and create an excellent environment for creativity and brainstorming new ideas. • A workshop environment has the possibility to allow the attendees to know each other better and pave the way for cooperation and good networking. • Regardless if we starting a new project (e.g. new organization is established, new change is initiated) we need to gain commitment and signoff from all involved parts. In a workshop you have the possibility for allowing the attendees to express their opinions and getting agreements.
  • 6 "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." Antoine de Saint-Exupéry When to conduct a workshop? • In our case we wanted to obtain commitment on implementing 100 days targets for our group. • Workshop can be conducted when you have establish a new organization, new project, new changes, new targets etc. • As a line or project manager you need to do something for your new group in order to ensure the group work together as a team. You may need a kick-off event. The first step for a good cooperation is to know each other and build trust between different members of the group. • As a manager you need to form, inspire and maybe direct the team to perform in order to achieve the agreed targets. We all know the famous model; Tuckman's stages of group development: Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing. The main outcome from this model is: it takes time to create a performing team. • We can list many other activities in which a workshop is useful: • Training and Education of people [3]. • Information sharing and solving problems.
  • 7 Why a workshop method? • We need first to explain what we mean by a workshop method. A workshop method is the overall method that a project manager/facilitator/workshop organization Team will use in order to conduct a workshop. • The workshop organization team need to decide what is the best method for planning and running the workshop. Often the decision is made by the project manager/the facilitator. In some cases you may not need to declare what method you will use. As a project manager of a workshop you may use the selected method for yourself to check where you are in the path of the workshop. • The basic principle for selecting a method is: Do not complicate this issue, select a method that you as a project manager and a team are comfortable with (PDCA, any project management method, etc.). • The method should be flexible regarding changes in every phase.
  • A workshop method • To deliver our workshop we will use the following well known method: • Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). According to Wikipedia [4]: • PLAN: Establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the expected output (the target or goals). • DO: Implement the plan, execute the process and make the product. • CHECK: Study the actual results (measured and collected in "DO" above) and compare against the expected results (targets or goals from the "PLAN") to ascertain any differences. • ACT: Request corrective actions on significant differences between actual and planned results. 8
  • The workshop method 1. I added the stakeholder and stakeholders’ needs as new component in the center of the PDCA method. Stakeholders are the start point and the end point of every assignment. As a project manager, our job is to: • Ensure the satisfaction of our stakeholders. • Translation of the stakeholders’ needs to understandable requirements in order to ensure a correct delivery 2. Plans will start with scoping the goal, objectives and requirements on the workshop. 3. Do according to the plan. 4. Check if there are some gaps between the required outcomes and the actual outcomes. 5. We may need to take more actions to correct the result. We will describe the workshop method by applying that in our case study: Target Setting Workshop. 9
  • 10 Our Case: Target Setting “The Story” • In this part of the presentation we will apply the presented workshop method in a real case with a more detailed description of how we conducted the workshop. Here is a short description of the story of the workshop. • Assume that a new group with 3 different teams was established in a new organization. • The manager of the group decided to arrange a kick-off event for the group. • The manger wants to use this event to not just a “know each other” opportunity, but to give the possibility for the group to work together in setting and achieving agreed targets. • Target should be aligned and connected to the overall strategy of the enterprise and the mission of the group. What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. Henry David Thoreau
  • 11 Our Case: Target Setting “The Story” (cont’d) • Targets (to some details) should be accepted by all the 3 teams in the new organization • The manager wants some volunteers for establishing a workshop organization team. • You as an experienced project manager a fearless Business Architect raise your hand and volunteer yourself. • In a first meeting the manager and the volunteers decide on who will do what. • You will be the project manager and the responsible for the planning, design and the outcome of the workshop. • You may not know all the details at the beginning, but you need to start with what you know at that moment and what you and others can do from the first day.
  • 12 Our Case: Targets Setting Workshop The First Decisions • The first thing you (as a project manager) will do is to plan for a first meeting with your team. • Decide the agenda and check what is the purpose, scope, objectives, deliverables, constraints like financial issues, time to deliver and when your job (the workshop) will be decided as finished/handed over. I mean the success criteria. • You can always start with defining the problems that the workshop will solve (e.g. making a direction to a new group). Put the first things first. Habit 3. “The 7 habits of highly effective people”. Stephen Covey
  • 13 Our Case: Targets Setting Workshop The First Decisions (cont’d) • Some activities can take time. You have to find these activities (if any). Seek answers for the main questions. In our case, some of these questions were: Who will decide on the targets? • How and to which level the attendees will be involved in setting the targets? • You may need to discuss and agree about how to solve these activities in the very beginning. • Decide who are the attendees of the Target Setting workshop? • In our case they were the members of the new organization. Ask who else will be/should be involved? You need to book all your attendees in good time.
  • 14 Our Case: Targets Setting Workshop The First Decisions (cont’d) • You need to decide about other important things: • The date for the workshop in order to book the local and send message to the attendees • Book a suitable local • Decide the roles for your team. You need to define the roles and responsibilities for your team and for other involved resources. • The sponsor (in our case the group manager) and your workshop organization team will be your first stakeholders. You need to create a stakeholders map and start to manage expectations and concerns. • You will use the stakeholders map as a basis for your communication plan.
  • Our Case: Targets Setting (structure your world) • During the workshop’s life-cycle you and your workshop organization team will produce many documents. You need to structure your documents in a way that the team and other stakeholders can easily find your latest work. • The following structure describes the main folders that we used in our workshop. • We used our document management system to create an area for our documents and to manage the versions of these documents. 15
  • 16 1. Stakeholders • If we go back to our method, we put our stakeholders and their needs in the middle of the PDCA method and we decided to start with the stakeholders. • The first step is to identify these stakeholders. • Some main principles: • If you have many stakeholders and if there are risks for conflicts between different interests and expectations, then you may need to analyze your stakeholders’ power and influence in your assignment. • Clarify and meet their expectations • At the end you may not satisfy all your stakeholders. The key stakeholders with the most power and influence are very important to concentrate on. • Then as a workshop project manager, you need to map the stakeholders’ expectations, needs, requirements and concerns in a stakeholders map. You may keep the map to yourself, but you will need to use the map as direction for your communication plan. "The only way the world will ever be a safe place to express our full uniqueness is if we can learn together that your view need not pose a threat to mine.“ Susan Campbell
  • 17 1 Identify Stakeholders (basic principles) • Identifying stakeholders is not an easy task and you as a project manager have to seek proactively for new stakeholders. • Face to face meeting with stakeholders is a good way to obtain and gather their concerns. • A good way to obtain commitment is to actively engage your stakeholders • Some of these stakeholders could be a part of your team • You need to build trust with your stakeholders • You may need to define and describe your stakeholders • The next page describes the main concerns and expectations of the key stakeholders. In our case the sponsor (the manager) was one of the key stakeholders. • Clarify and meet their expectations, assign responsible for every activity, see the next page. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. Habit 5. “The 7 habits of highly effective people”. Stephen Covey
  • 1 Stakeholders Map (your main stakeholders) Stakeholder Concerns and expectations How to meet their expectations How to communicate Sponsor of the workshop Accomplished objectives for the workshop regarding the target setting. High level of team participation and involvement in the workshop. Costs below the budget. Deliver in time. Define and decide the objectives of the workshop. Scope management. Create high attention. Status meetings Logistics Responsible Find a suitable local for the workshop and the attendees. Help the responsible if needed. Create a list with possible locations. Meetings Attendees Getting right information in right time. Define the level of involvement before, during and after the workshop. Purpose and outcomes, time, local etc. Create an agreed communication plan and decide on content of the workshop and how to involve them. E-mail, meeting, status reports Workshop Facilitator Agreed agenda, suitable and logical sequencing of activities that aim to accomplish the agreed objectives. Ensure that an agreed agenda is decided. Meetings You need to assign a responsible for these activities. In our case the project manager was the responsible. 18
  • 19 2 Plan the workshop 1. Define the purpose of the workshop (goal, scope, outcomes,…) 2. Create an agreed overall work breakdown structure and milestones and visualize that. 3. Establish a workshop organization team and assign the activities in the plan to the workshop organization team 4. Agree about a communication plan, action plan and identify new workshop’s stakeholders (if any). 5. Create the necessary content/documents and package the Master Presentation for the workshop. 6. Logistics and practicalities (need to be decided in the beginning) Decide the location Plan for Lunch, Dinner, refreshments (if needed). Information about: Transport, hotels, maps etc. Material (pens, post it, flipcharts, video,….)
  • 20 2.1 Define the propose of the workshop • You need to start with the sponsor/the owner of the outcomes of the workshop. Check her/his view of the benefits of the workshop and which problems will be solved by conducting this workshop. • Creating a business case for a workshop could be overkill, but this is depending on how the sponsor wants that. • It is very important to agree about a good and a simple formulation of the (Purpose, Scope, Objectives and Deliverables). The description should be straightforward and understandable by every member of the group/attendees.
  • 21 2.1 Define the propose of the workshop (cont’d) • The communication is the key here. You as a project manager and the owner as the key stakeholder are responsible for communicating and making the description of the (Purpose, Scope, Objectives and Deliverables) as simple and understandable as possible. • In our case we had the following ambition level for the deliverables: • A list of common Targets. The list should include appointed responsible and teams for implementing these targets. And preliminary WBS and plans for delivery of the targets • We had to communicate to and get feedback from the team managers and some experts in the group regarding: • The description of the Purpose, Scope, Objectives, Deliverables and the list of the targets, see the next page.
  • 2.1 Define the propose, scope, objectives and deliverables of the workshop •Establish collaboration between the members of the group •Create an environment for getting to know each other •Share common targets and work together to achieve them •Understand our challenges and expectations Purpose •Common Targets for the organisation •Cooperation between teams and Team WorkScope •Ensure that our Targets are Aligned, committed and prioritized •Ensure that Teams are committed to implement the Targets Objectives •A list of common Targets •The list should include appointed responsible and teams for implementing these targets. •Preliminary WBS and plans for delivery of the targets Deliverables 22
  • 23 2.1 Define the success criteria • We need to define the success criteria in order to declare and agree when the workshop is finished. • According to [6] we should ask the customer several questions: • "What does success look like?“ • "How do I know I've completed the project?“ • "How do I know I've done a great job?“ • and finally, "How will all this be measured?“ • We may need to establish and follow an agreed measurement metrics for different success criteria (if needed). If you need to do that, again, keep it simple. • The success criteria will be used in the check and act phase to determine if we have gaps or if we accomplished the work. Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. George S. Patton
  • 24 2.1 Define the success criteria (cont’d) In our case the main success criteria were: • By the end of the workshop: • A list of realistic and committed targets is defined • The responsibility of the targets are divided between different teams in our groups • Every target has main responsible person and the time for delivery of the target is defined • All the targets are explained and braked down into main activities • By the end of the 100 days • Members of the group and teams know each other and worked together to achieve the targets • The agreed targets are achieved • A celebration party is arranged (or is planned to be arranged)
  • 25 2.2 Create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) • WBS is one of the most important activities in a project or an assignment • You do this activity with help of a team/experts and you need to involve the sponsor of course • The main principle here is to create an hierarchy of elements/components of your undertaking. Start with defining the main ones in order to have a good overview of your assignment • Decompose the main activities into smaller activities and tasks that could be easy to estimate (the required time to be finished) and easy to be assigned to a responsible role There is likely no factor that would contribute more to the success of any project than having a good and complete definition of the project’s scope of work [7].
  • 2.2 Create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) • A simple presentation of a WBS for our workshop is illustrated in following figure. 26 "Nothing can exist without order. Nothing can occur without chaos." Albert Einstein
  • 27 2.2 Activity list • We need to schedule the project to meet the key stakeholders’ (e.g. sponsor/user) expectations • The schedule need to be agreed by the involved stakeholders • Based on the WBS, you create a timeline with the main activities, the required time to finish these activities • If the team that you will work with is already decided and available, then you may assign responsible for every activity • The activity list could be also used: • As an indicator for the completeness of the tasks • To create milestones • To create the critical path chart
  • 2.2 Activity list • A Gantt Chart is very useful tool to visualize your schedule 28
  • 2.3 Establish a workshop organization team • In our case the team was ready to start from day one when the voluntaries were accepted by the owner. • For our workshop we decided to have 5 members in workshop organization team: – The owner/sponsor – Project manager – Facilitator/agenda owner – Content owner – Administrator/logistics responsible • You may need to define these roles (or similar roles) and the responsibilities for these roles. • You may of course assign different roles to one member of the team. 29
  • 2.3 Establish a workshop organization team (roles) Role in the workshop Responsibility Workshop Owner/Sponsor Setting objectives for the workshop. Ensuring the right people are in the workshop. Processing and Follow up of the achievement of the agreed Targets. Logistics Responsible Logistics of the room/location, transport (if needed), lunch, refreshments, coffee, water and other practicalities. Facilitator During the workshop the facilitator coordinates the activities according to the agenda and the objectives of the workshop. The facilitator keeps the pace, stimulates discussion, and ensures people can share and present different viewpoints. Responsible for conducting the workshop activities and executing the workshop by creating environment for an active involvement and participation of the attendees of the workshop. Content Designer The responsibility of the content designer is to design or select a suitable method to describe our Targets in an understandable way. We selected the A3 method; Problem Solving template. Attendees Attendees will provide and present the assigned homework and will commit and own targets and targets action plans. Planner/Project Manager With help of the workshop organization team, plans the workshop that will accomplish the owner’s objectives. The main responsibility is planning and coordinating the required activities in the pre-workshop and post workshop periods. Proactively identify challenges and plan actions to solve the problems. Send out the pre-work/homework the attendees must complete prior to the workshop. Workshop Organization Team (WOT) A team consisting of the owner, logistics responsible facilitator, planner, method-agenda- homework owners. The team can act as steering committee for the workshop project. The sponsor/owner is the head of the committee. 30
  • 2.3 Establish a workshop organization team (schema) 31
  • 2.4 Communication plan • As soon as you decide the date of the workshop and the location, you need to communicate that with your attendees. • A communication plan is a good instrument to agree about what, when and how to communicate with different stakeholders that are effected by your workshop • Take that as a rule: A well planned workshop has a well- defined communication plan • The communication plan is based on the stakeholders map. 32
  • 2.4 Communication plan Activity To Whom End Date Status 1. Sending mail to the workshop participants about the date and the booked local for the workshop Workshop attendees 2014-01-10 Completed 2. Sending mail about the homework 1 (Know each Other) Workshop attendees 2014-01-13 Completed 3. Sending mail about the homework 2 (workshop targets) Team Managers 2014-01-14 Completed 4. Send an agreed version of the Master Presentation Workshop attendees 2014-01-22 Completed 5. Communicate the agreed outcomes (Targets, Decisions,…) from the workshop Workshop attendees 2014-01-28 Completed 6. Sending mail to book a local and date for presenting the final results of implementing the Targets. The date of the meeting will be some time after the 100 days (in May 2014) Workshop attendees 2014-02-06 Completed You may need to add some other columns (e.g. responsible) 33
  • 2.4 Action plan • Without actions and decisions you will not move forward • When the activities, the duration and the accomplished dates are defined, the responsible for these activities should be appointed. • The action plan and the communication plan will remain as your (project manager’s) instrument during the rest of the days until you run the workshop and you achieved the targets. • Therefore you (as project manager) may think about the start and the end of your responsibility domain. I mean when your work is finished. What would be your role after the workshop? • Is your responsibility finished when the workshop is finished or when the targets are achieved? • These things need to be clarified, otherwise the sponsor may have some other expectations on you. Again, dialog and communication is the key here. 34
  • 2.4 Action plan (decision Points) Decision Points Decision End Date Status 1. The workshop Date. New date 27th of January 2014-01-08 Completed 2. Local and other practicalities (lunch, refreshments, material). K works on this issue. 2014-01-08 Completed 3. Targets List (Gross Lists). The suggestion from X is agreed within the workshop organization team. 2014-01-08 Completed 4. Management of content and the workshop follow Up (before, during and after) the workshop including a template for visualization of the Targets. Y will present a suggestion for a method. Need to be inserted in the Master Presentation. 2014-01-17 Completed 5. Pre-work package nr 1: To Know each other H will present a new suggestion. To be agreed within the workshop organization team in the next meeting 13th of January. 2014-01-13 Completed 6. Pre-work package nr 2: Teams Work with the Targets X sent an e-mail to the team mangers including the Target Gross list and how to work with these targets within each team in our group. 2014-01-09 Completed 7. Agenda for the workshop. H and Y created a new suggestion. Need to be agreed by the workshop organization team in the 13th of January’s meeting. 2014-01-13 Completed 35
  • 2.5 The Content of the Workshop • The content is about the main message and what you want to achieve before, during and after the workshop. • In our case, as you know, the content was about: – Create opportunity to know each other – Setting, presenting and analyzing our targets – Defining the main activities for these targets and assigning a responsible for every target • In every project you will face some challenges. Our main challenges were: – How to set and communicate the targets? – What method should be used here? – How the group/teams, the corresponding team managers should contribute and support to set the main targets before the workshop? – Do we have time to communicate a gross list of the targets and get feedback from attendees before the workshop? – Should we work directly in the workshop with the gross list provided by the manager? 36
  • 2.5 The Content of the Workshop • The first question for the sponsor would be: Should we have a top-down created targets or bottom-up or a mix of the last two? (See the next pages). • You and your organization team (including the sponsor) need to take a decision about: • How to set your targets? • How the attendees should be involved (before, during and after the workshop)? • Who will decide on the right targets? • Is it the sponsor or the team managers or the group or a mix of these roles? 37
  • 38 Target created this way are often related and aligned to the company’s objectives and the company’s strategy. It can be a challenging issue to get buy- in from the team for top-down approach especially if the team is not involved in creating these target. There is a risk that the team may not see the importance, alignment and the connection of these target to the daily work of the attendees. 2.5 How to set targets (Top-Down Approach) The top-down approach to target setting is where the company’s management identifies the goals and the teams implement these targets. What does this approach means for our workshop? The top-down approach means that we (the workshop organizing group) agree about using the gross list of target that will be provided by manager as the main list. Then the workshop attendees need to commit to these goals and take the ownership of these goals and work towards to implement these goals.
  • 39 Easy to get buy-in and commitment from the teams. The teams are highly involved in creating and identifying the goals. Targets created this way may not be related (directly) to the company’s objectives and strategy. It can be a challenge for the manager and the team to align these targets to the company’s objectives and strategy. Another disadvantage for this approach is the time to get an agreement about common targets for all teams. There is a risk that this approach could take long time to get a common agreement within the group. 2.5 How to set targets (Bottom-up Approach) In the bottom-up approach, the members of a team create their own targets.
  • 40 2.5 How to set targets (Bottom-up Approach) In our case and for our workshop: We may do the bottom-up approach in different ways: 1.The workshop group agrees about giving the possibility to every workshop participant to provide their goals (before and under the workshop). Then the workshop participants need to evaluate, prioritize and select the right goals and take ownership of these goals and work towards to implement these goals. 2.To avoid many discussions and to focus on real goals that are already thought out, we may ask the team managers to discuss with their teams and prepare goals for the workshop. This way make the workshop easier and the workshop participant could focus on more agreed goals.
  • 41 Easy to get buy-in from the team. Teams are involved (to certain level) in creating, identifying and of course selecting/prioritising the targets. The main challenge is to prioritise and select the right goals that could be agreed, committed and owned by the teams. The risk is that the group need to choose between many different targets (if we assume that every workshop participant or team provide one or more targets in additional to the manager’s targets (the gross list). 2.5 How to set targets (Mixed Approach) In the reality a mix between the top-down and bottom-up approaches could be very helpful way to obtain the satisfaction of the managers and the buy-in from the team.
  • 2.5 How to set targets (Mixed Approach) • In our case and for our workshop, this approach means that we (the workshop organizing team) agree about using the gross list of targets (from the manager) and in addition give the workshop participants/teams the opportunity to come with their targets (maybe one or two targets each). To avoid many discussions and to focus on SMART targets, we may ask the team managers to discuss with their teams and prepare as SMART targets as possible for the workshop. A team has the freedom to pick targets from the gross list and make the targets more specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-bound. • This way makes the workshop much easier and the workshop participant could focus on more agreed targets. (Remember it is all about preparation). 42
  • 2.5 The decision about how to set our targets 43 You may need to check the culture of the organisation before taking a decision about how to agree about setting the targets If the culture of the organisation is indicating that the decision are always taken in the top level and the lower level will just implement and there are no reasons to change that, then the best way will be a top down approach If the culture of the organisation allows the employees to be involved in taking decisions then the mixed or the bottom-up approach are good ways to achieve more committed targets In our case we used the mixed approach. The Gross list from the manager was accepted by all the 3 teams and every team added some own targets to the list.
  • 2.5 The Gross List • The gross list of targets from the manager was communicated with the 3 teams before the workshop. • The gross list was partitioned between the 3 teams according to every team’s assignment. • The 3 teams had the possibility to agree about own targets. • Common Targets was created to allow the 3 teams to cooperate and achieve common targets. 44
  • 2.5 How To Evaluate, Prioritise and Select Targets • For evaluating, prioritising and selecting targets, we can use the MoSCoW and/or S.M.A.R.T criteria/methods. • When the targets are selected and prioritized, then we need to assign these targets to the teams. The team will do the necessary work in order to accomplish and provide the desired results for these targets. • The questions here will be: – How we will build our teams? – Based on which principle (organisational structure, required competences to implement our targets, other principles)? – One of the main objectives of the workshop is to allow the group members to know each other. Mixing competencies from different teams and allowing these persons to work together, is the best way to achieve this goal. 45
  • 2.5 The Overall Process • Now maybe it’s time to draw the overall process from Identified Targets To Accomplished Targets 46
  • 2.5 The Process From Assigned Targets To Accomplished Targets • The following diagram is a more detailed chart for the process step number 6 in the previous page. The teams can accomplish their targets via starting a project or an assignment 47
  • Integration of method, technique and tool • Even if we have a very good method to define our targets and we have a mature gross list, we still need to manage these targets and make them more understandable for everyone. • Here you need to decide about how the attendees should analyse and present the progress of their targets in a best way. • There are many tools, templates and diagrams available for problem solving. These tools, templates and diagrams can be used for our purpose. • We can mention two of them: – The A3 template – The fishbone diagram (Ishikawa diagram) • Again, select a tool that is easy to use and understand, fit for the purpose and is recognisable by the group. 48 You can manage, what you can measure; you can measure, what you can define; you can define, what you can understand[8].
  • The A3 Template • A3 refers to a European paper size that is roughly equivalent to an American 11- inch by 17-inch tabloid-sized paper. The A3 format is used by Toyota as the template for three different types of reports: – Proposals – Status – Problem solving • There is no “magic” in the steps through which the structured A3 Problem Solving template takes a team. These steps are basically: 1. Identify the problem(s) or need(s) 2. Understand the current situation/state 3. Develop the goal statement – develop the target state 4. Perform root cause analysis 5. Brainstorm/determine countermeasures 6. Create a countermeasures implementation plan 7. Check results – confirm the effect 8. Update standard work • These steps follow the Deming Plant-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, with steps 1 through 5 being the ”Plan”, Step 6 being the “Do”, Step 7 being the “Check” and Step 8 being the “Act” [9]. 49 There is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • The name of the Target/Problem To Be Solved: Responsible: • Define the problem. What problem(s) are we trying to solve? • What are the needs? What you want to achieve? • Start with identifying your stakeholder and gather the right Information from the right sources. • What benefit does solving this problem have for the stakeholders? [10] Problem / need / Target • Even I f you have a good picture of your target, you need to know where to start and you need to know if there were some work has been done before you. Ask about: • What’s been done to solve this already? As-is situation • What outcomes do your stakeholders want? • Visualize the desired results and agree with the customer about these outcomes. To-be situation • When the problem is defined, breakdown it into smaller parts. • Clarify the root cause. Consider as many potential cause factors as possible. • Use the fishbone - Cause and Effect Diagram Problem analysis • List as many potential countermeasures as possible. Identify an effective countermeasure that directly addresses the root cause. [10] Countermeasures • Perform your work iteratively • apply the 80:20 rule: 80% of results come from 20% of effort • Select the most practical and effective countermeasure.[10] • Create a clear and detailed action plan. • Assign responsible roles for the activities • Estimate the activities and create the timeline • Implement and test Implementation Plan • Monitor progress and report findings to stakeholders.[10] • It may require more than one attempt to get the desired result. • Mistakes are an important part of the learning process. • Compare the result with the desired outcome from your stakeholders Effect • Document the lessons learned and implement your lessons in the next iteration • Handover and Governance of the result should be agreed and implemented • Potentials for improvements should be analyzed and suggested Next Steps 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 0
  • More About The Tool • As we mentioned the A3 is very flexible tool. You can combine an iterative approach for implementing your activities. You can apply the iterative approach on your countermeasures, see the previous page. • I used a free A3-8 step template from [10] as inspiration for my work. • I should mention that there are some books in this area: – Understanding A3 Thinking: A Critical Component of Toyota's PDCA Management System; ISBN-13: 978-1563273605 – Managing to Learn: Using the A3 Management Process to Solve Problems, Gain Agreement, Mentor and Lead; ISBN-13: 978- 1934109205 • We in our department used A3 for different purposes: – Financial Reporting – Problem Solving – Process Improvements 51
  • The Tool • We decide to use the A3 template for different reasons: 1. The A3 template is easy to use and fits to our purpose 2. A3 template is flexible and adaptable for (e.g. adding new attributes). 3. A3 template is according to our requirements on visualisation and communication of our targets and target’s progress. We decided to show our A3 by paste them on our walls in our floor. 4. The A3 tool is built around our previously selected method (the PDCA method). 5. The A3 tool is widely used and it is a recognised standard for problem solving. 52
  • 6 Logistics and practicalities As we mentioned previously, logistics and practicalities is very important to take care of in the beginning. • The logistics’ responsible need to provide different alternatives of locations for the workshop. • Decision about the location should consider the availability, costs and simplicity to transport to the location • On of the best scenarios could be: The facility for the workshop is located inside the office or the hotel where the attendees work or stay. • The logistics’ responsible also needs to: – Plan for lunch, dinner, refreshments, coffee, water etc. – Send information about: Transport, hotels, maps and important information regarding the logistics to the attendees. – Provide material (pens, post it, flipcharts, video,….) to the workshop 53
  • 3 Do (the workshop day) • Now the workshop day is arrived and you and your team need to be there early in the local. Check the local for following details: – Lights, Air-condition and heating. Try to learn how these things work. – Tables and the place of the tables are very important issue. In the case of presenting each other, then it is important to make it easy for the attendees to see each other. A ‘U’ structure of the tables may help. – Place nameplates, pens and other useful material on the tables for every member of the workshop. 54 Devil is in the detail.
  • 3 Do (the workshop day) During the workshop: • The agenda and The Master Presentation are the main parts in the workshop. The facilitator relays on the correctness and the completeness of these two very important cornerstones of the workshop. • Creating a good environment for creativity and sharing ideas is one of facilitator’s task. • Everyone knows her/his role in the workshop. • Do not forget gathering the material and the outcomes of the workshop. 55
  • 3 Do (The Agenda) 56 Agenda Item Duration in minuets Time 1. Welcome and Introduction (Purpose of the workshop, expected deliveries) 20 09:20 2. Presentation of the Agenda and practicalities 15 09:35 3. Presentation of every participant (part 1) 87 11:02 Break + refreshment 15 11:17 Presentation of every participant (part 2) 45 12:03 4. The workshop presentation; how we will run the workshop and ensure the required outcomes (workshop method)? 27 12:30 Lunch 30 13:00 5. Presentation of the decided Targets 40 13:40 6. Agreements about the responsible and the responsible team for every Targets (team work) 70 14:50 Break + refreshment 15 15:05 7. Analysing the Targets, the required activities and plan for implementing the targets: The A3 template (team work) 100 16:45 Break 5 16:50 8. Summary of the outcomes of the Workshop and the next steps 10 17:00
  • 3 Do (The Main Parts of the Agenda) • The facilitator is the main person during the workshop day. • The facilitator orchestrates the workshop’s items and allows the responsible of every item to present his/her part. • The facilitator may need help in different moments of the workshop, especially when the time is arrived for starting the team work. • The team work (item number 7 and 8 in the previous page) is the most important and critical part of the workshop. The attendees were asked to: – Agree about the responsible and the responsible team for every Target – Analysing the Targets, the required activities and plan for implementing the targets using the A3 template 57
  • 3 Do (The Main Parts of the Agenda) • The responsibility for the targets was divided by different teams. Approximately, every team had 3 targets. • The principle for assigning the responsibility for a target was based on voluntary wishes of the team members. • If more than one wants the responsibility, then the manager of the team needs to assign the responsibility to the one who is the most suitable for the work. • Every responsible for a target gathers a team according to the required competence to accomplish the target. 58
  • 59 We go back to our success criteria and check if they are accomplished by the end of the workshop: A list of realistic and committed targets is defined. The responsibility of the targets was divided between different teams in our group. Every target has a main responsible person and the time for delivery of the target is defined. All the targets are explained and braked down into main activities. By the end of the 100 days: The following success criteria are out of the scope for now. These success criteria will be checked when the 100 days are over. Members of the group and teams know each other and work together to achieve the targets. The agreed targets are achieved. A celebration party is arranged (or is planned to be arranged). 4 Check
  • 5 Act As we saw in the previous page, the below success criteria was not fulfilled. All the targets are explained and braked down into main activities. – Some Targets where not explained in an understandable way for the attendees, see the agenda number 5 in page 56. The responsible for these targets got homework to update the definition of these targets. – As a project manager you may have to: – Communicate the outcomes and the next steps to the attendees – If some teams did not make their homework in a proper way, then you may ask them to update their material. – Publish the material. – This is a manager’s task; creating a system (way) to follow up the progress and keeping the employees motivated to accomplish the targets. – Identify, document and publish the lessons learned. You may need to ask the attendees to evaluate the workshop. 60
  • • As we maintained in the beginning the purpose of the workshop was to allow the members of the teams to know each other and to identify the targets and execute these targets in 100 days. • The owner of the workshop has the ambition to continue and follow up the execution of these targets. • The countdown starts the day after conducting the workshop. • We decided to place our A3s in a war-room in our floor. • The responsible for a target should update the progress of the activities in the target. He/she will present the progress every week at a certain time. • The responsible could be asked anytime to report about her/his target. • We are still working on these targets. 61 “Strategy is 10 per cent vision and 90 per cent execution.” Percy Barnevik Finally
  • References ID Source 1 2 3 assistance/workshops/powerpoint 4 5 6 success-criteria-HA001211137.aspx 7 (Book) Earned Value Project Management: by Quentin W. Fleming(Author), Joel M. Koffleman 8 9 10 2D7059FB72E2&PID=a257bece-c1e7-464a-9cd0- fde10d3a18c3&NID=0a37b63a-2c87-459e-bae8-8e089a455936&M=2 62
  • Some words about me • Where I’m from? – I was born 1963 in Iraq/Baghdad – From a Kurdish Family. Swedish citizen since 1995 • Family – Married since 1992. I have a daughter and a son • Jobs and careers – Vattenfall AB (2000- Current): • Solution/Business Architect/Project Manager – ABB (1996-2000) – Software Engineer • My Educations – Electrical Engineer (master in science education) – Two year’s education in IT in Mälardalens University in Sweden • My Certifications – IPMA Level C (2013) – Certified Business Architect + Certified IT Architect + TOGAF 9 Certified • If you want to know more about me, please contact me on 63