Computers have transformed almost everything around us. One of the things they make possible is the acceleration of change, and therefore results, at scale.
Why Are We The Only Software Company that Puts so Much Emphasis on People
Probably because we were a services company before we were a software company and we knew to produce groundbreaking results requires changes in behavior. Recent literature by Gartner and others claims that “culture change” is the biggest obstacle to digital transformation and operational excellence projects. We’ve known this for over 20 years and have the results to prove it.
- Up to 50% reduction in costs
- As much as 2X increase to speed through test
- Industry and Customer Best Practice Awards that leave the competition in the dust (we typically produce 2X to 5X the next closest projects)
There are three components required to ensure programs produce game-changing results.
- Targeted “Game-Changer” Outcomes and Strategic Objectives
- A sound “technical” solution &
- A compelling “cultural” solution
Targeted “Game Changer” Outcomes and Strategic Objectives
The first place programs fail it by setting uncompetitive or common objectives. Teams generally set objectives that they know they can deliver. These asset management programs generally don’t generate or maintain interest from executives and managers who are looking for game-changing results to remain competitive in the 4th Industrial Revolution. When executives or managers suggest more competitive results the teams don’t know how to deliver them. They are missing critical knowledge in either the “technical” or “cultural” solution typically missing strategic objectives for the development of new practices and narratives, growing their Network-of-test-capabilities and producing and communicating value to their customers.
The “Technical Solution” and the “Cultural Solution” work together to produce the targeted outcomes.
The “Technical” Solution: Practices, Tools, and Metrics
Most teams put 100% of their effort on this part of the solution. Of course, they don’t generally have a well-articulated outcome or strategic objectives so whatever the team comes up with will, by definition be weak, designed for common outcomes.
The technical solution is composed of the following components.
- Process maps that enable the production of results and integration with existing enterprise practices. Sente has over 200 integrated process maps that we can tailor for the customer’s specific environment or situation. They ensure the solution is well integrated into existing enterprise processes to enable speed and competitiveness.
- Software tools that enable the processes. Producing game-changing outcomes will require highly-capable software that reduces the costs of executing processes
- Knowledge that is embedded in the processes by the software and embodied by properly trained practitioners. Embedded knowledge includes asset performance, market and obsolescence data, report templates, training materials,
- Metrics that enable users of the overall solution to measure their performance and continually improve it. Metrics are critical to the “cultural” solution because they produce incentives and when done well drive incentives.
The Cultural Solution Part I: Executing Sente’s “Culture Change Algorithm”
Old solutions unwittingly reinforce behaviors that lead to hoarding, higher costs, slowed processes, project delays and uncompetitive practices. They reinforce distrust between groups thwarting collaboration and killing speed. Our algorithm starts by helping your teams build trust with new strategies, practices, and narratives. Building trust is the first step in building any competitive culture as we write about in Are You Building a Foundation for Speed? Once trust builds teams can begin forming and using the trust they’ve built to reveal the truth they’ll need to produce the outcomes they are after. Truth means not only “telling the truth” but “knowing the truth” in different situations like an aerospace engineer knows the truth about why an airplane flies. Trust and Truth, in turn, produces an environment Innovation can take place and from Innovation comes Speed and Competitive Advantages. Read our blog post, “Are Your Teams Designed for Speed, Quality, & Effectiveness? We Accelerate Results With Our Culture Change Algorithm.”
The Cultural Solution Part II: Designing and Targeting Narratives at Roles and Outcomes
The cultural solution is required to give meaning and produce mobilization to execute the technical approach and the culture change algorithm. This type of communication is more important than ever because the pace of change of technology has produced a crisis of meaning with so many new solutions. Years ago it was clear when a new typewriter came on the market, for instance when new electric models replaced old mechanical models, what it was used for and we could anticipate how to use it. By looking back to recordings of old television shows it is clear to see how show producers were trapped by their previous practices with radio produced television programs that were not much more than radio programs with moving pictures. Today, during the 4th Industrial Revolution, when the tools are significantly more disruptive than typewriters or television, the crisis of meaning is greater.
Our cultural solution includes:
- Metrics that provoke changes in behavior. Metrics produce the incentives necessary to drive the changes in behavior required for game-changing outcomes. They have to be able to uncover ineffective behaviors that can be targeted for change. The metrics must be both leading and lagging indicators and must include operational, technical, and financial categories of metrics. We provide an overview of some of the metrics in, “Are Your Metrics Complete? Do They Trigger Effective Behaviors and Results?”
- Detailed communications plans targeted at specific roles and the interim and ultimate outcomes they are responsible for producing. The narratives bring meaning and relevance to the practices, tools, and metrics that make up the “Technical” solution.
- Fundamental narratives, that have been developed and perfected over the years, are used to tailor specific narratives using language the listeners will have a background with and which are aligned with core company narratives including, mission, vision and core values/behaviors.
- Templates for communications tools that can be used in various communications channels, like newsletters, powerpoint templates, etc.
- Governance Practices for continually aligning the “technical” and “cultural” solution with the outcomes specified by executives
The truth about the effectiveness of anything is in the results it produces. The same is true about communications and narratives as well. As the project starts performance is measured and our experts tune the practices and narratives so people are mobilized into action. We can gauge the effectiveness of our narratives early on with metrics we have for measuring process adoption and performance, which we call Accountability Practices. As narratives and practices are tuned they produce a virtuous circle of trust-building across teams which results in collaboration, sharing, speed, and cost-competitiveness.
The Great Thing About Computers!
Computers are exceptional tools. There are fundamentally four different categories of tools and computers fit of them: tools for communicating, tools for coordinating, tools for producing, and tools for learning.
What this means is that software tools can be used to produce change at scale and with the consistency required for today’s global competitors. Without our software capabilities we wouldn’t be able to produce change at scale. Sente’s technical solutions have to fit hand in glove with the cultural solution and are why we claim our approach is “Human-Centered, Technology Enabled”. Software tools that measure behaviors and incent certain behaviors with metrics are accompanied by narratives that make the meaning of the metrics and need for change clear.
We Focus on Accelerating Time-to-Market & Reducing Costs With Embedded Knowledge! And we’ve been focused there for over 20 years helping companies manage their performance in mission-critical, asset-intensive processes, e.g. test, enabling them to lower their cost and accelerate time-to-market. We initially focused on test because of the large investment companies make there and over…
Our Whole System Approach to managing performance in mission-critical, asset-intensive enterprise processes, e.g. test, is why we’ve been able to help our customers drive award-winning results, helping them win enterprise best practice awards. Our results have been uncommon and superior: 25% to 85% increases to speed and responsiveness 40% to 75% reduction in equipment costs…
“Test Resource Management has been instrumental in changing the mindset of engineering to think in terms of sharing the test equipment, and treating the test environment as a business within a business.”
Director of Engineering Labs