Get the right people in the room and most process issues can be fixed in 15 minutes

…and the first seven minutes are for pleasantries.

A bold claim, but there are some critical points in the sentence:

  • the right people
  • in the room
  • most process issues

The right people – this means the process owners who have a collective and shared understanding of the end to end process.  As process owners they can make decisions. A share understanding of the process means that they can focus on the root of the issue.  Most time is wasted in ambiguous terminology around process which delays getting to a common understanding

In the room – The room can be virtual or physical, but it requires their undivided attention of those attending and a collaborative approach to solving the issues. This cannot be vie email, interviews by consultants, phone or social media. Although all these techniques can help if used judiciously.

Most process issues – I remember a senior process professional at Toyota saying that most issues are in the hand-offs between process, because people working in the process know it well.  However, there are just a few process issues which are really tough. They are complex and take time to work through. But most processes in corporate are pretty straightforward, once the jargon and ambiguity is stripped away.

Where do most organisations fail? Point 1.  The right people



Categories: Process Management

Author:Ian Gotts

Founder of, tech advisor, investor, speaker and author. Runs on Duracell. Based in San Francisco and in a 747., is the business analysis app designed to support Salesforce #AwesomeAdmins. 100% cloud, it is tightly integrated into Salesforce. Use the free core capabilities to capture business processes and embed them inside objects, with single sign-on.

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4 Comments on “Get the right people in the room and most process issues can be fixed in 15 minutes”

  1. Steve Christensen
    August 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Maybe grab a water and bagel as everyone arrives a little late. 30 minutes tops for even difficult process challenges.

    I accept your challenge to deliver a solution spec’d out in that meeting. If you have a plan lets knock it out and deliver a solution. One customer saved 38% in transit time and 35% in transit cost. Toyota achieved 6 Sigma and accidentally 272%.

    • Steve Christensen
      August 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm # productivity…I hit post two words too soon.

  2. August 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Sometimes, sticky candy works too. It’s too tempting for people to avoid, but they can’t chew and speak (aka takeover the meeting) at the same time. I personally like Werther’s Chocolates ~ smile. Seriously, limit these convesations, 2 hours max. Set an agenda, 3 speaking point at a time, and pre-work the room (get your champions scripted and in agreement with the goal of the meeting) prior to the actual work session. Write the goal on the flip chart in LARGE letters. Have only one flip chart pen in the room (keep the rest inyour pocket or hide them away) and the facilitator keeps the pen (and there will be fights for it. After all, he who has the pen wins – they get to write down their thoughts and ignore everyone elses). Happy solutioning!

    • August 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

      Candy always works. Great idea on limiting access to the pen and paper versus a whiteboard. Simplifies the focus and delivers great results. 2 hours of ideation will yield a very workable solution for even the largest opportunity.

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