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How do we do it?

December 29, 2011

After having figured out to some extent what our “team identity” is (see post “Who are we?), I cannot help but wonder if I like what I’m seeing. I’m not sure if we are doing the right things, the right way, and for the right reasons. I realise we are often doing things, simply because we have always done them. We use certain methods, because they are conveniently available. And because of time pressure we focus on delivery, and not so much on improvement. We focus on performing rather than improving, even though most of us feel that a relatively small time investment can help us do things smarter.

Frysian for: “Do what you have to do, and let the people talk”

I started off by asking questions: “What do we do?”, “How do we do it?” and “Why do we do it” (see post “Who are we?). If I ask the same what-, how- and why-questions about what methods we use, I get some interesting follow-up questions: “What else do we do like that?”, “How can we improve the way we do it?” and “Why do we do it like that”. No rocketscience obviously, but still it helps me to figure out some ‘leads’ to improve how we operate. I scribbled away again, leading to the picture below:

I zoomed in on our methods, but briefly investigated our measurement (what do we do?) and purpose (why do we do it?) as well (see bottom left- and right-side). Sometimes it’s hard to come up with follow-up what-, how- or why-questions, but with some effort I still came up with some intriguing -and hard to answer- questions. Some examples:

  • Why do we do it like that? Is it because we are used to it, because we are expected to do it like that, because it is generally accepted to do it like that, because everybody does it like that?
  • How can we improve the way we do it? What can we do to improve our methods and our processes? What methods can we deploy to improve our methods? Should we start a project (fixed timeframe) to improve a process (continuous).
  • What choices are/aren’t we making? Why do we do this, and not something else? Are we good at making choices? Choosing is a choice.

Q: Dear reader (notice I didn’t write readers?), could you let me know what you think of my scribbles? Some feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Like all my posts, I’m left with more new questions and ‘loose concepts’ to connect, like:

  • Anchoring and bandwagon effect
  • Groupthink and experience bias
  • Process improvement vs. systems thinking
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From → Awareness, How?

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