Deploy Enterprise Technologies Remotely with the PDCA Model

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You can’t spell installation without s-t-a-l-l. Procuring and installing a new software solution is a war for momentum. There are key battles throughout the procurement process in which hesitation and deprioritization can overwhelm internal forces to ensure the status quo reigns supreme. 

The process of adopting a new software begins with leaders identifying a change that must occur in order to preserve and provide for the sustaining success of the operation. The first true victory is the decision – the selection of a tool that lets the team wield critical capabilities. The next victory comes after procurement, when the tool is received. What comes next, the installation, implementation and utilization, is where the status quo rallies, resisting the new in favor of the everyday. Momentum wavers and change fails to take root. The war is over and the future is bleak. 

A lot of projects are doomed to fail before they begin. This becomes clear as priorities are shifted and interest is lost. While momentum is key, it’s hard to sustain. Without it, organizations will not be able to implement lasting change. Momentum can only be maintained through a disciplined adherence to a strategy. 

The key to overcoming the status quo and successfully implementing sustainable change is to leverage proven principles and practices. At Parsable, we’ve empowered our clients to create and maintain the momentum needed to drive change, which is how they’ve collectively enabled hundreds of sites and thousands of frontline workers around the world – even while remote. 

How have we done this? By leveraging a strategy that should be familiar to everyone who might be reading this post: the PDCA model.

PDCA, developed by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, is a key part of lean manufacturing processes. PDCA represents the key steps of Plan, Do, Check, Act.

Plan

It all starts with a plan. This is where it’s critical that you establish objectives with supporting tasks that must be completed to deliver the desired results. Create a clear problem statement, set SMART goals, identify a clear process for data collection, and assign ownership.

Depending on the size of the project, planning can take a major effort. In general, effective planning will answer:

  • What is the core problem you’re trying to solve?

  • What resources are needed?

  • What resources are available?

  • What is the best solution for fixing the problem with the available resources?

  • What does success look like? How can it be measured?

Parsable has boiled down the “Plan” approach into the following steps:

Identify opportunities for improvement – Find 2 or 3 areas of opportunity to improve overall operations, which can include high-level goals or specific use cases.

Define the problem(s) to be solved – Critically examine the opportunity to identify the root cause of the current need for improvement. Consider using another great process with which you’re already familiar – the 5 Whys.

Set SMART goals for the output – 

  • Specific – What needs to change?

  • Measurable – How can we measure any impact and tie it to business value?

  • Attainable – Is the goal realistic?

  • Relevant – Does this goal matter to the stakeholders?

  • Time-based – Is there an “achieve by” date?

Assign responsibilities and ownership – Drive evaluation success by clearly identifying who is responsible for doing what, and by when. Tasks without owners will not get done.

Do

It started with the plan, and it gets done by…well…doing! Execute the tasks per the plan developed from the previous phase. Small changes are usually tested and data is gathered to measure the effectiveness of the change.

In our experience, this can last anywhere from four to 12 weeks, and is critical to capturing the data needed to prove the impact Parsable will have for an organization. 

Parsable has boiled down this approach into the following steps:

Implement the plan – Use the agreed upon tasks, responsibilities and SMART goals to guide the efforts of the implementation.

Author: Digitize processes – Train and onboard authors who will digitize the content related to the problems to be solved.

Execute: Enable frontline workers – Train and onboard the frontline workers who will use Parsable to execute tasks.

Insight: Visualize data to drive improvement – Build dashboards that can capture the data required to measure the impact.

This is also when we partner with the IT team to review the key requirements from IT for procuring new software, which may cover authentication, compliance and architecture.

Check

Now it’s time to evaluate the data and results gathered during the “Do” phase. Data should be compared to the expected outcomes to understand if there are differences between what you thought would happen and what actually occurred.

At this point, a significant amount of data points will be available for review. This can include data captured through Parsable, as well as success stories and testimonials from end users who are responsible for using Parsable to get their tasks completed. The data can be used to build the business case that’s needed to go from evaluation to enterprise-wide deployment.

Parsable has boiled down this approach into the following steps:

Validate frontline work adoption – Gather feedback from the frontline workers on their experience to understand how Parsable made an improvement in their lives.

Assess the impact of operational insights – Provide a measurable output from the “Do” phase in which business value can be assessed and tied to revenue or cost.

Share learnings with cross-functional stakeholders and leaders – Make key stakeholders like executives or representatives of other sites aware of the impact and the plan for repeating it.

Act

Now you can use information and experience from the “Do” and “Check” phases to help identify issues with the process. This is critical for planning the expansion and ensures that new sites and users have the foundation they need to successfully implement.

After reviewing the data that’s been collected along with the feedback from users, you can make adjustments to improve processes while assessing their applicability across locations. In addition, the foundation that’s been built can be shared with interested stakeholders and the lessons learned can be used to expedite onboarding of new users. Then we can begin planning for a broader deployment.

Parsable has boiled down this approach into the following steps:

Iterate based on operational insights – Make improvements to the content and the experience to continue the momentum of the impact.

Assess applicability across additional locations – Determine where the foundation that has been built can be easily repeated with little to no additional effort by the project team.

Create clear governance for quicker adoption at new sites – Assign roles and responsibilities for additional locations.

Remotely onboard new users at scale – Train and onboard all new authors and executors.

Develop roadmap for impact reviews, integrations and expansions – Plan for sustaining success by determining key check-in points to assess further impact, possible integrations and what to tackle next.

Following this strategy will help you win the war for momentum and drive long-lasting change that ensures the sustained success of your operations. 

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