Friday, October 3, 2008

Process Map? What Process Map?

By Elaine Lauritzen
One of the things my husband and I like to do is hook up the trailer and hit the road.  We’ll drive across country, sampling regional specialties, shopping local markets, and finding places to fly his ultralight, or we’ll head to the beach and park alongside the ocean, watching the dolphins and sea lions play while we enjoy a leisurely breakfast.  Regardless of which direction we head, there is one thing we always make sure we have with us, our map.  Granted, the map is now a GPS that gets pretty bossy if we don’t turn just where it wants us to, but like the old American Express commercial says, we don’t leave home without it.
Our journeys are much different than those of Columbus, Lewis and Clark, Ponce de Leon, Magellan, etc.  We always carefully plan where we’re going after studying our map and reading of where others have gone and what they have done.  They bravely left their known world to face the unknown.  They may have been seeking glory, riches, or simply adventure.  They explored, discovered, sometimes battled, took, gave, and mapped.  Think about the mapping they did.  Have you ever wondered or considered how many people have used or benefitted from that effort?  I suppose lives have been saved, or perhaps lost, based on the maps and their accuracy or lack thereof.  Certainly lives have been changed as people used maps to relocate, find others, or conduct business.  In reviewing our country’s founding, it’s fascinating to see how often the battle was directed and won or lost based almost entirely on how familiar or unfamiliar the leaders were with the lay of the land, and how often they risked huge outcomes on the information of someone who knew how the ridge, river, gorge, or valley was laid out.  Similar to these geographical maps, we have maps in OIT that we use, and while our efforts and outcomes don’t reach the level of risking life and liberty others have, we still can gain huge benefit from understanding and using the maps we have.
  • defines map as follows: Noun: a representation of items showing them in their respective forms, sizes, and relationships according to some convention of representation 
  • Idiom: put on the map, to bring into the public eye; make known, famous, or prominent
So what maps are we talking about in OIT?  I’ll give you a hint – this newsletter is all about process . . .  Yep, we have process maps.  We even have a process roadmap.  So what are these and where can you find them?
Process maps are visual representations of the process flow, both at a high-level and a detailed step-level.  The process maps are part of the basic process documentation package that is created as the process is formally reviewed and documented.  The process documentation packages will be available in eRoom in the OIT Policies, Processes, and Procedures room, in the All Formal Processes folder.  Each process package will be in its own folder from there. 
The process roadmap is an inventory of all processes that have been identified at the OIT-level.  It provides detail about what the process is intended to do, who has accountability for ensuring the process does what it should, how the processes are related to each other, and the order in which we will focus formal process review efforts.  This roadmap is also in eRoom in the OIT Policies, Processes, and Procedures room, in the All Formal Processes folder.  It is currently an Excel spreadsheet with all kinds of columns and rows.  Quite frankly, we’re still working on how best to build, display, and use this map.  
Process relationships are complicated and our formal process work is still very early-on, so watch for ongoing updates and revisions of these maps while we explore and learn.  Whenever we find more details, more information, or old mistakes perpetuated, we will update and fix them.  We’ll do our best to keep everyone informed and able to navigate.  We invite you to come to eRoom and review the maps that already exist, give us feedback and information, and help us make the documentation even better.
Have you ever followed a Mapquest direction list that took you to an unexpected dead-end?  I have.  Even our new, fancy-schmancy GPS sometimes gets us to the wrong location or takes a really round-about path.  We hope our process maps never do that to us, but it may happen.  Whenever it does, please make sure to let us know.  Contact those you know who are part of a process review team.  Be part of a process review team. Contact a Process Navigator.  Help us make the journey better for those who follow in our path.

Leadership Council Message

By Brad Stone
“Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21).
In the Book of Mormon, Alma taught a marvelous lesson to the poor and humble Zoramites.  It is a lesson on faith and how to find rewards through patience.  Alma compares faith to a seed – a seed that if given the opportunity will grow.  
First we plant a seed.  As the seed grows, we begin to see the first rewards of our faith and “it beginneth to enlighten [our] understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to [us].”  This early reward increases our faith, but we have not yet received a perfect knowledge that the seed will grow to completion.  Next, we see the seed sprout and grow which in turn strengthens our faith. This cycle continues until we see the final fruit appear and our faith turns into a perfect knowledge and we are able to partake of the delicious fruits of our labors.
Faith is not a quick process. “Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe” (Alma 32:17).  Instead of exercising faith, what if we demand a sign – a quick result?  What if the seed is cast out by our unbelief and we never even give it a try in the first place?  Would we ever learn that the seed would grow and produce fruit?
What if we started the process of planting the seed, but neglected it and didn’t nourish it properly?  What if we didn’t have the patience to see whether the tree would actually grow and gave up early.  Would we ever see the fruit appear?  The answer is “obviously not.”
As you know, the Office of IT is embarking on a renewed effort to clearly document and communicate our processes.  This effort is called Process Improvement Management (“PIM”). The Leadership Council has faith that by clarifying the processes, roles and duties that each of us has, we will work in a more harmonious manner.  We have faith that our customers will see an improvement as they interact with the Office of IT and consume our services.  We have faith that as we are asked to do more, we will be able to rise to the occasion and achieve more than we have been able to thus far.
In the past, there has been less coordination of the processes than we hope to see in the future. In some ways, we were looking for a quick result.  The Leadership Council has a strong commitment to invest in the PIM effort.  We need everyone in the Office of IT to follow our example and give PIM a chance to show the fruits of our efforts.  We need each of you to have the initial belief that PIM can improve our organizations and lead to measurable results.
The Leadership Council chose the Incident process as the first process to go through PIM.  We made this decision because it is one of the most critical processes that we use day-to-day and because it is also one of the most mature.  The Incident Process team has been assembled by the Leadership Council with representatives from all of the areas of the Office of IT that contribute to the process.  The kick-off meeting was very successful and the team is now meeting regularly. We have faith that we will see the Incident process well documented and communicated within the Office of IT before the end of the year.
In the coming weeks we will start other process through PIM.  As we embark on this effort, we know that there will be struggles, conflicts, and hard times ahead.  The Leadership Council is committed to nourishing the process by providing resources and aligning work assignments to allow the work to continue.  We know that everyone is very busy and that PIM could be seen as increasing our load.  In the short run it will be hard, but we cannot neglect this important effort. We can’t afford to give up what we want most for what we want now.  As each of us exercises patience and hard work, we will see the fruits of our labors.  
“And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst” (Alma 32:42).

Incident Management Pilot of PIM

By Jared Harward
Incident Management has been selected by OIT Leadership Council to be a pilot for the PIM process. That may raise some questions in your mind, and I hope it does. Why Incident Management? Well for starters, it is a process that most of us are familiar with in the Office of IT. It’s also one of the more mature processes in OIT. It is a process that most of us use everyday.  
After formal approval as a project, the official project team got together, with OIT Leadership Council, for a kickoff meeting. During our kickoff, it was interesting to note how many different perspectives there are of what the Incident Management Process is. This is one of the very reasons that we need this team.  This team will be representing the various entities of the Office of IT as well as our customers.  They will be surfacing and resolving existing process issues and creating formal documentation about the Incident Management Process to help it and us to be more successful in serving our customers. They will be creating a package documenting the process so everyone can be on the same page.  How cool is that?
So, what is Incident Management anyway?  Is it the Service Desks?  Operations?  Remedy? Something else?  Let’s take a look at the way ITIL defines it. 
ITIL defines an Incident as follows:
  • An unplanned interruption to an IT Service or a reduction in the Quality of an IT Service. Failure of a Configuration Item that has not yet impacted Service is also an Incident. For example Failure of one disk from a mirror set.
The goal of Incident Management according to ITIL is:
  • The Process responsible for managing the Lifecycle of all Incidents. The primary Objective of Incident Management is to return the IT Service to Users as quickly as possible.
The Incident Management Process Team members are:
  • Christine Oakes (Process Steward), Marty Garn, Matt Wilkinson, Mark Andersen, Nyla Miller, Deborah Tibbens, Jared Harward, Troy Gundersen, Darin Stephens, Troy Martin, Relia Smith, and Sorrel Jakins (Process Navigator).
Members of the Leadership Council that attended the Kick off are:
  • Kelly McDonald, Brad Stone, Richard Maughan, and Ernie Nielsen
This is what we did at the project kickoff meeting. We played games; we had treats; we did not sing songs, but we could have. We played an awesome round of Jeopardy that used process terms introduced in previous newsletters. Can we just say, “Marty Garn rocks?” He knows his process stuff and is the undisputed Jeopardy champ! We also did a focus exercise on the value of teamwork and communication.  Kelly M reiterated OIT Leadership Council’s support and direction for this project and for PIM in general.
The next step is to determine where we are now with Incident Management.  We’ll do this by collecting existing documentation, brainstorming on the question of “where are we now?”, and most importantly, by directly interfacing with people who use this process every day.  After we do that we will set goals by asking ourselves, “where do we want to be?” Next, we will design the new and improved process, plan the roll-out, and implement the new process.
One of the most important parts of the new design will be to determine the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) and how we will measure them with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  We will use these on an ongoing basis to determine if the process is doing what we wanted it to and if we are reaping the benefit that we expected from the improvements.  How cool is that?!

What's Up With PIM?

By Valinda Rose
You may be wondering by now, “What is happening with the PIM process?” You remember the one; it’s the process to manage processes, aka Process Improvement Management! We want you to know that it is alive and well, in its “Preliminary Design” state. As you drill down into the process you’ll see we are currently in the “Simulate the Process” step, using Incident Management as our pilot. 
Let’s take a walk together through the steps the Process Navigators have taken thus far, in conjunction with OIT Leadership Council and others, and then give you a sneak peak of what is yet to come. 
Please refer to the newsletter insert for an overview of the PIM process. One side shows a textual one-page summary of key process components in PIM and the other side is a high- or overview-level map of PIM. 
Here is an outline of what has been accomplished so far: 
1.0 Evaluate the Process
  • Step 1.1 Initiate a Process Innovation Effort – OIT Leadership Council was approached with a proposal to formalize the PIM process as a means of implementing the “customer-centric, supported by process” strategy that Kelly and Kelly introduced at February’s OIT All-Hands Meeting. 
  • Step 1.2 Establish Organizational Sponsorship – OIT Leadership Council selected and chartered a cross-functional team (now known as the Process Navigators) to develop and implement PIM throughout OIT.
  • Step 1.3 Gather Process Documentation – Process Navigators collected and gleaned from process-based activities that had been previously done in OIT as well as drawing from proven practices in the industry. This provided a view of the current process and ideas for the vision and scope for the Process Improvement Management effort.
  • Step 1.4 Select Areas of Focus and Step 1.5 Determine Strategic Priority – OIT Leadership Council granted priority support to members of the Navigation team to allow focus on this important effort. The area of focus is to establish the baseline PIM process, design and validate an improved process, and implement the process in OIT. 
2.0 Analyze the Process
  • Step 2.1 Plan Analysis Phase – A simple project plan was created that outlined the activities that needed to be accomplished in order to analyze the current process. This step included activities such as training the team on process improvement, establishing a communication plan, and validating the project plan.
  • Step 2.2 Analyze Current Process – In this step, we took a more detailed look at best practices and current practices and identified gaps.
  • Step 2.3 Select Improvement Opportunities – The Process Navigators outlined the gaps that needed to be focused on in order for the process to best meet the needs of OIT.
  • Step 2.4 Obtain Confirmation and Support (Return and Report) – We briefed OIT Leadership Council on what we were doing and obtained their feedback and support for continuing the process improvement exercise. 
3.0 Develop the Process
  • Step 3.1 Plan the Design Phase - Process Navigators outlined next steps and set target dates for the preliminary process design to be accomplished. 
  • Step 3.2 Create the Preliminary Process Design – Process Navigators developed a set of templates based on best practices, and then documented the target PIM process using these formal templates. This resulted in the Process Package, introduced in last month’s newsletter. The Process Package for PIM is based on the reconciliation of industry proven practices and OIT’s strategic direction. It consists of the following documents: Process Policy, Process Overview, Process Map, Detail Process Steps, Roles and Responsibilities, and Continuous Improvement Plan. 
  • Step 3.3 Simulate the Process – The purpose of this step is to walk through the process and validate that the process design fills the gaps and meets the organizational requirements. OIT Leadership Council approved Incident Management as the first process to pilot through PIM. This is indicated on OIT’s Process Roadmap. A formal project request was approved in PMC (Portfolio Management Council) to run through the PIM process for Incident Management. 
The project objective for the “PIM Incident Management Process Improvement” project is: Evaluate, analyze, develop, and implement a formal incident management process as a PIM pilot by December 31, 2008.
So, as for PIM, that’s where we stand. Stay tuned for more reports in the coming months about how the effort is progressing. Just remember, this will affect you! Please feel free to address any questions to the Process Navigation Team or to your line management. Managing Directors “are in the know” and are also able to address any concerns you might have.