Tag Archives: Business Process Reengineering

Rapid Crisis Intervention/Facilitation Method


Organizations around the globe face critical instances that need a clear and consistent approach to resolving issues in a way that not only fixes a problem in the short term but also helps to ensure that the issue does not happen again.  Too many times organizations make knee jerk reactions to stop the bleeding and resolve immediate problems however, there is  no true resolution to make sure that the problem does not occur again.  Often times, these organizations face a make or break situation in terms of public perception as well as operational capabilities standpoints.  These situations demand rapid and corrective actions in mid-stream, without the luxury of re-starting operations from square one.  In most situations, there is time to right the ship and provide the necessary practical and technical leadership that is required to fix the current problems and to communicate a concrete plan and corrective solution to the organizations stakeholders.

Based on Crisis Intervention experience for organizations across the globe,  the following approach to standing up a Crisis Intervention Management (CIM) PMO has been established.  The goal of the CIM PMO is to coordinate, facilitate, and be a management tool for allowing organizational leads to direct and integrate resources allowing them to navigate the correct path within a defined period of time.

The Crisis Intervention Management (CIM) PMO is a well-defined and replicable methodology that is used to assist organizations in tracking, managing, coordinating, and communicating the successful remediation of the issues with systems that are in a rapid remediation mode.

Crisis Intevention Model

The Crisis Intervention Model above does not in itself contain the final solution to the specific problems that plague organizations/programs in crisis.  That is the function of the leadership, program, and technical resources that are tasked for this purpose.  Rather, the CIM is a defined methodology to help ensure that a rapid but replicable intervention process is followed and that the issues are identified and the solutions are implemented in a timely manner by the individuals with the required expertise.

From Kick-Off to Execution, the CIM Model envisions a six week project followed by the Delivery of the Solution.  The Kick-Off is used to establish the ground rules for interaction and to allow everyone to understand the role of the CIM PMO and how all of the stakeholders will work within this structure.  The Gap Analysis is done in a two day workshop format that will allow the Organization to identify their vision of the problem and their requirements, the current staff/vendors to present the current problems and the proposed solutions, and selected Industry thought leaders to evaluate the issues and identify gaps and propose innovative solutions.  The Solutions Definition workshop is an addition two day workshop that will include some of the key personnel from the previous meetings and builds upon the Gap Analysis by including additional Subject Matter Experts that may be necessary to build a solution.  The outcome of this meeting will be the roadmap by which the solution will be executed.  Project Planning is the concrete schedule of implementation events that will be conducted as a means to deliver a fully functional Solution.  Execution is the work that will be done by the incumbent team, coordinated by the CIM PMO, with oversight from the organizational Lead.  Finally, Solution Delivery is the rollout of the new fixes in a seamless and effective way so that stakeholders have fully functioning and user friendly solution to the problem.

During a period of crisis, organizations a facing a very difficult time and that there are many ideas and proposals being provided to fix the problems facing the organization.  CIM is not a  solution, it is an organized and efficient way to screen solutions and implement them in a clear and well-structured process.  Even in the toughest of environments, properly trained and experienced Crisis Intervention Subject Matter Experts are able to drive even the most difficult of organizations to the execution phase within six weeks.  A standard timeline is included below.

Outcomes of a Structured Crisis Intervention Management Methodology include,  stand up the CIM PMO, facilitation of a Kick-Off meeting, Gap Analysis, and Solutions Definition, as well as providing the organization with a detailed Project Plan,
Daily Updates, Weekly Status Reports, Strategic Talking Points, and a final debrief.  Additionally, it is necessary for the CIM PMO to work with the Organization leads to drive the successful implementation of the Solution Delivery team, providing the necessary personnel and bandwidth to provide the oversight necessary to resolve a very serious issue at a very delicate time.

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5S Your Room Please


For those of us in the Process Improvement realm, we are very familiar with 5S (yes I know many people often add the 6th S for safety).  My first encounter with 5S occurred as a kid getting paid to work weekends (i.e. allowance) cleaning up the shop while my dad was working.  It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time.  I didn’t know I was following a tried and true method for improving efficiency in the work place.  I was simply doing what my father asked so that we could go to the candy shop, sporting goods store, or pet shop on our way home.  However, 5s launched my career as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt long before I knew what I was doing.

This exposure to 5S and following a process to accomplish a goal set the foundation for process improvement and quality management for my entire life.

  • As a student, I had a place for everything and everything had its place.  Before I started any assignment I would be sure that I had everything I needed to get the job done before I ever got started, snack included.
  • As an athlete (soccer goalkeeper), I prepared meticulously, shining my cleats, taking care of my gloves before and after practice, putting air in my soccer ball, making sure I had all of my equipment packed before practice/games (as well as back-ups), and ensuring my water bottle was clean, full and cold.
  • As a coach, I ensured I had a practice plan, I had the equipment ready to run my sessions, I made sure I had a backup plan (in case something unexpected happened), and I expected excellence in preparation by my players.
  • As a business professional, I utilize all of the things that I mentioned above to make sure that I can get the most out of my day.  But, it all starts with having a clean and organized work space and ensuring that there is a place for everything and that everything has its place.

Now I know that everything I mentioned above doesn’t necessarily align directly with 5s. So, with a nod of deference to the Japanese I will do a quick review.


What is 5S?

5S ensures work spaces are kept clean and organized to form the foundation of a Lean office. It involves five steps:

  1. Sort – Sorting through the contents of an area and removing unnecessary items
  2. Set in Order –  Arranging necessary items for easy and efficient access
  3. Shine – Keeping everything clean as a way to ensure that the work area is always in a condition to support claims processing
  4. Standardize  – Creating standard, visual guidelines for keeping the work area organized, orderly and clean
  5. Sustain – Educating, communicating, and auditing to ensure everyone follows the 5S standards

When following the simple steps of 5S we find that we get more done by creating a cleaner, more organized work environment, enabling faster and easier access to the computers, references, work products, and office material they needed to accomplish work. The anticipated benefits include:

  1. The ability to identify and eliminate waste
  2. Standardized work station setup for each position
  3. Decreased document retrieval times
  4. Reduced clutter
  5. Improved employee health and safety

So what is the point? 

The point is, whether we are a parent, a coach, or an employer/manager, 5S should be part of our approach to helping anyone we advise.  We are not only helping them better prepare for the task at hand but, we are helping them prepare for the bigger things in life that will eventually arise.

Happy Leaning,

The Common Sensei

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