GENEO has just posted its first video on the software application, an overview of the features and its benefits on the homepage.
“You’ve got 30 seconds to tell me about what your software can do.” It would seem that the timespan to pitch is getting smaller. Executive summaries may no longer be brief enough anymore, a couple of bullet points will do. This puts us in a spin as we just keep adding fantastic features that we want to shout about and after explaining some of the key features of our application for Standardised Work, we sometimes find it hard to stop. Our elevator speech requires a very tall building without an express button to the top floor. 30 seconds is just enough time for us to tell you that we are not sure where to start because there is so much to talk about.
For example, what about the ability to compare the differences between two versions of a standard? Seeing the key points and annotations side by side makes the world of difference when editing the sequence or when performing an audit. We could talk about that feature alone for a couple of minutes.
After trying to craft a standard pitch for the busy exec, we thought it might be easier to start with an introductory video. Problem is, there’s no time to squeeze in comparing standards, process flows, the clever use of the annotation system, sharing elements of work, optional standards, revert buttons, hosting documents, managing bills of materials… You can see my point.
Who is Fiona?
There have been many times in my career as a consultant when the time to ask the dumb question has long since elapsed leaving you in the predicament of hoping that the answer may come from someone across the table as the discussion continues without you having to ask.
In my case it was Fiona. For some reason when performing a Value Stream Mapping exercise with Hill Hofstetter LLP, a specialist commercial law firm based in Solihull, I could not understand why Fiona played such a vital and central role throughout the process. From beginning to end as we mapped the process with post-its her name would crop up with prodigious frequency. By this stage we had moved from mapping process to mapping information flow and yet still the name Fiona comes to the fore.
I take a breath and finally ask who is Fiona and whether she is the best-paid solicitor in the firm considering her work rate and versatility. Turns out there is no Fiona, just a fee earner. And yes, the time had long since gone for that question.
Needless to say, Value Stream Mapping does have a place in a legal practice. My curiosity is always piqued when looking to see whether there is a process that would not benefit from such an approach. In this case I did not expect there to be a takt or indeed a pacemaker. This was not a drive for throughput time improvements or looking for bottlenecks hidden behind stockpiles of dusty cases in the overburdened IN tray. No, more interestingly there was a search for quality improvement to better differentiate the company from the rest. Some standard issues came up such as standardising aspects of the engagement process and the use of associates’ time for certain tasks, but more refreshingly than simply looking for cost reduction it was an exercise in value enhancement for the customer.
Once again, as is the case every time I embark on a new VSM exercise, I learn something new. Except this time I learned an old lesson the hard way: ask the dumb questions before looking dumb for not asking them in the first place.
Mark Radley presents the Masterclass session on the impact of austerity measures on Lean in the Public Sector
The GENEO team at the Barbican Centre to support the public sector in their pursuit of Lean.
First impressions: there is a great interest in how Lean will fare during the difficult months ahead. The turnout of delegates is strong.