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).