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This chapter is from the book

Your Shot

  1. Answer John Seddon's five questions about your organization:
    1. Purpose: What is the purpose of this organization?
    2. Demand: What is the nature of customer demand?
    3. Capability: What is the system predictably achieving?
    4. Flow: How does the work work?
    5. System conditions: What are the causes of waste in the system?
  2. Choose two to five customer-centric measurements for your system. Some you might consider are
    1. Time-to-market for product development (for the whole product)
    2. End-to-end response time for customer requests (request-to-resolution time)
    3. Success of the product in the marketplace (profitability, market share)
    4. Business benefits attributable to a new system (measureable business improvement)
    5. Customer time-to-value after delivery (consumability)
    6. Impact of escaped (post-release) defects (customer downtime, financial impact)
  3. Create time series charts for each of your customer-centric measures. (Some people call these charts the "voice of the process.") If the data doesn't exist, now would be a good time to start measuring.
    1. What do the charts say to you?
    2. Are your work processes stable?
    3. Can you distinguish between common-cause and special-cause variation?
    4. Is the way you do work delivering the results your customers expect?
    5. If not, what should be done?
  4. Analyze how you handle requests from your customers:
    1. How much value demand do you receive in a month?
    2. How much failure demand do you receive in a month?
    3. What is the ratio of failure demand to value demand?
    4. What kind of approval process do you use to filter customer demand?
    5. What criteria are used?
    6. What percentage of the requests are accepted?
    7. How long does the approval process take?
    8. How long on the average does it take for customers to find out about rejected requests?
    9. Do you measure after the fact to see that the projected customer outcomes are achieved?
    10. How long does an average approved request take to complete?
    11. What do your customers think about your approval process?
  5. Gather a team that includes the person responsible for an end-to-end process, if that person exists. Sketch a value stream map of an actual end-to-end flow of a customer demand through your organization's various processes, through the customer's processes, and back to the original customer.
    1. What is the total cycle time?
    2. How much of that time was spent adding value?
  6. Have the team brainstorm the goals, policies, and beliefs that cause waste that might exist in your organization in each of the five categories:
    1. Complexity
    2. Economies of scale
    3. Separating decision making from work
    4. Wishful thinking
    5. Technical debt
  7. How does ideation take place in your company?
    1. Does your organization have the role of product champion or chief engineer?
    2. How do you move ideas from the fuzzy front end of product development into an approved product concept?
    3. How does it work for you?
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