The 12 Days of Adopting PIE

Written by Annmarie Curley We put together these 12 tips on how to improve your organization with best practices that businesses have used while adopting the PIEmatrix business execution platform, or what is also called a process improvement environment (PIE). This can be used for any other process improvement vendor tool. Hopefully the following holiday tips will help your organization get the maximum benefit from implementing a PIE in the new year!

On the 12th day of adopting a PIE, my true love gave to me...

Twelve changers changing

Changing an organization requires a true process towards the end goal. Have a vision of where you want to go but approach organizational change carefully. Take incremental steps that add immediate value to the team, and position the organization further on the path to continuous improvement.

Eleven visionaries visioning

Let your team know why you are adopting a PIE technology. Tie in your overall company message, such as enterprise-wide process improvement is for increasing business performance, driving revenue and lowering cost. Then establish a phased approach for implementing a PIE with your best practice methods.

Ten executives a-drumming

Executive support is a critical element for any organizational change endeavor. Before starting, ensure all senior directors are on board. Help them by defining how to be a proactive supporter. Ensure that they constantly beat the drum of PIE implementation for improving processes and projects.

Nine parties avoiding paralysis

Avoid trying to boil the ocean! It's too easy to get overwhelmed and stuck. Rather than making too many changes at once, look for quick wins that bring immediate value to some specific areas. Don't worry about it all being perfect at the beginning. Try small steps and keep moving.

Look into immediate needs and start there:

  • Eliminate manual reporting work by using a PIE dashboard immediately
  • Get all of your existing projects in the PIE so you have immediate visibility
  • Begin to track actions, risks & issues for a project that is in progress
  • Start to track personal and team assignments in the to-do planner

Eight supervisors simplifying

Keep it Simple & Straightforward.  Avoid creating overly complex process templates at the outset. Use simple terminology and add key information that is easy to follow. Remember that the team will be learning both the PIE as a new technology and your new processes. This is a double hit on the learning curve.

Start with familiar processes or high-level critical milestones only until the team are familiar with the PIE environment. Then add more process content as needed daily, weekly or monthly.

Seven archers targeting

Target an initial “starter” process. Consider processes for projects or initiatives that will be used in the short term, such as a project kicking off next week or a process that starts up frequently. Also consider targeting a process that is important enough to be monitored by management. The more visible your initiative  the more likely everyone will do their part.

Six rulers ruling with 80/20 rules

Pareto's Principle also known as the 80-20 rule, helps you manage the things that really make a huge impact to your results. Focus on the processes that will yield the most results for the organization (the 80%). Also, avoid designing to much complexity to deal with the exceptions (the 20%) . You can add those later as your team have consumed the most important and simple processes.

Five teams collaborating and storyboarding

As you build your processes in the PIE solution, involve some of execution team member for ideas and early feedback. Create process templates that can be changed easily as the organization adapts and evolves. If your system permits (like PIEmatrix), you should create a dynamic link between process templates and projects to allow you to be more agile in your approach to process improvement. Storyboard, implement, and evolve on the fly.

Four doctors implanting

Surgically implant the art of "Continuous Improvement" into your organization's DNA. Come up with a set of steps to show everyone we are serious with smart change.

  • Add checkpoints with implementation reviews to check if the initiative is running as expected and if the process needs to be adjusted for reality.
  • Incorporate your team's feedback and lessons learned into the underlying process template.
  • If a team member has contributed to the best practice process, advertise how it was updated.

Three trainers training

Empower your organization with hands-on training that will set them up for success. Your PIE trainers should be trained to train your organization. These trainers should be people who are quick with computers, great a training and working with people, and use the PIE platform on a daily basis for their own work. They have to be experts.

The PIE solution is made for process execution, so use the PIE to train on PIE! Show how to leverage any self-help videos and content in the PIE's help center. The more time you invest in training the more successful everyone will be.

Conduct training just before rolling out your PIE to a group so the knowledge is fresh and can be applied immediately.

Two turtle doves

Ok, we had to throw this one in for devotion and lovingkindness.

And a project running in a PIE tree

 Use project management best practices with the PIE to implement the PIE. The training process itself should be designed as a repeatable and executable process. Here are some example steps:

  • Assign a project manager, and team, assign responsibilities.
  • Set up governance, meetings, set milestones and track progress.
  • Hold the team accountable.
  • Monitor and track deliverables.
  • Deal with risks and issues as they arise.
  • Celebrate success - throw a party when each process is successfully launched!

About Annmarie Curley

Annmarie Curley is a senior project management consultant with over 18 years Information Technology experience, and has a passion for quality, delivery and results. She has extensive experience managing global teams and complex projects across financial, healthcare, and IT consulting sectors. She has a track record of focusing on high risk areas of a project or program, realigning projects that need rescuing, and delivering improved processes and technical solutions that result in tangible business value

Annmarie has been a PIEmatrix Solution Partner since 2010. She trains PIEmatrix end-customer trainers and users. She helps organizations implement improved business processes using PIEmatrix to increase operational efficiency and ultimately lower costs.

Contact information: Twitter: @annmariecurley

Call or email PIEmatrix to set up a free 30-minute evaluation session with Annmarie.