In last week’s blog I discussed the response to What if? What does our future organization look like to the marketplace? By doing this we have established the gap analysis between what the customer wants and what we are providing to them. In this next installment we look at the introduction of solutions to resolve the gap that resulted from the analysis. When we combine the design tools with the improve stage of the TLS Continuum, we discover a clear roadmap for showing the customer what we have in mind to resolve their issues.

Your cross-functional team at this point in the process should have been able to work out the critical few solution options for the client. It should be stressed that if we continue the open view of the process you have been confronted with a wide range of solutions. If we were producing something we might have the ability to utilize a 3-D printer and create a prototype of the product you are introducing. But with a process we don’t have that luxury. So what are our alternatives? The key here is that the solutions are not based on what the organizations needs to resolve the issue, it is what the customer needs to resolve the issue.

We have chosen a solution and now you need to discover whether the solution is the right solution for the right problem in the right place and the right time. When you choose a solution it comes with a certain set of assumptions that determined that the proposed solution was the correct one. Like in the scientific method you used in your high school science classes, you need to determine whether your hypothesis is a correct one. The assumptions test whether your solutions (hypothesis) are the correct ones for the circumstances. With the assumptions proving that your solution is correct we then need to move to describing the new process in terms that can be understood by the audience receiving the message.

We can begin with a tool out of the designer’s playbook. This tool is called a storyboard. Think of a comic book for example. Each pane of the comic book consists of two elements. The first is a graphic portrayal of an action event coupled with a description of the storyline. In the use of the storyboard in the TLS Continuum we can use each panel to represent the stages of your process map of the proposed solution. Each block represents a step in the new process. Under each block (step) is a dialogue block in which you can begin the dialogue regarding the new process solution and the purpose of each step in the chain. At the end of the storyboard you have a graphic presentation of your process solution. It should be shared bot internally and externally to the stakeholders in the process being reviewed. Once you have fully developed the storyboard it is time to develop the potential model for the delivery of the continuous process improvement efforts.

In the TLS Continuum Part 61 blog post I discussed how to develop a picture of the current state of your process. As we move to developing the delivery model we can again use the same tools as we discussed in the previous segment. Begin by developing a journey map to show how the new process and its SIPOC components come into play. The model needs to how you are going to roll out the process. It needs to show how this new process is different and what does it deliver to the customer.

When you have this in place the best practice is to identify the client who has the most to gain from the utilization of the new process and invite them to review the process. Let them see and feel the new solution to their problem. Once they are comfortable with the parameters of the implementation let them have a free trial of the process to let them experience it in real time within their organization. Ask them for feedback on what is working and what isn’t. Use their feedback to modify where necessary the process before rolling out to all your customers.

The ultimate goal of this third stage of the TLS Continuum plus Design thinking is to identify the solution to the customer needs that far exceeds the customer demands. In his 1994 book titled The Pursuit of WOW!, Tom Peters suggested that our goal is to develop yeasty responses to our trials facing both our organizations and our stakeholders. Once we have developed these responses it will be necessary to release the new process to the full marketplace. Part 64 next weeks, will answer the question What Works. It will summarize our use of design thinking into the dynamic TLS Continuum. It will bring us full circle in implementing dynamic process improvement efforts.

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