By nature I prefer conducting paper surveys. They are easy to score, tabulate and read. They don’t take a lot of time to work through and I can usually obtain enough information to understand the perspective of the respondent. But . . . There is nothing quite like the sense of passion that you gain by conducting the one-on-one interviews. Especially in a project like this.
I started the interview process this week. After spending some concentrated time reading through the Questionnaire and noting some of the Assessment responses, it became apparent pretty quickly about where I needed to focus during the interview process. And the interviews are not disappointing either. The process will continue for some time as I can only do a couple a day. Of particular note is this – do not underestimate the perspective that your team has. Many times, departments get into a rut, doing things “the way we have always done them” without really doing the analysis to determine the value. And really sitting down and listening to your team can provide insights that maybe go beyond the typical management level understanding. Those the actually do the work have tremendous insights about how things might work better if “we could just do . . . ” .
Here is what I have discovered so far:
- One of our processes is tallied three different times.
- Many of the “exceptions” that we handle could have been dealt with before reaching us if technology was implemented differently.
- Our file documentation process is killing us. We file hard copies and electronic copies of everything!
- Lack of training in other departments is increasing our workload.
- There appears to be a lack of definition about what our Key Result Areas truly are. And if you believe the mantra “You get what you inspect not what you expect” then this is an issue of real concern. If we don’t know what we are about then how can we know what to measure?
These are certainly preliminary findings. I have many more interviews to go. Between what I have read from the Questionnaires and what I am hearing in the interviews, we have a lot of work to do.