Consulting Services

Understanding Your Organization: Our Experience

Geary Rummler was a pioneer in the development of tools for modeling and methodologies for analyzing and improving organization performance. Many of these tools and methodologies were described in Geary Rummler and Alan Brache’s pathfinding book Improving Performance:

“With over 100,000 copies sold worldwide, Improving Performance is recognized as the book that launched the Process Improvement revolution. It was the first such approach to bridge the gap between organization strategy and the individual.” Amazon.com

The hallmarks of PDL’s approach are our continued utilization of a holistic view of the variables impacting performance and continued application and refinement of the modeling techniques and improvement methodologies invented by Geary Rummler.

  • Organization Unit Modeling

    PDL will develop the systems view of your organization including your process architecture, values chains and management system. This view can be used to diagnose problems and bring new insights to your management for how to resolve those problems and manage performance. For organizations with distributed operations such as multiple retail centers or manufacturing sites, these models can be used to identify elements of exemplary performance that can be leveraged across the system to improve the performance of all units.

    Benefits of organization Unit modeling include:

    • Common view, visibility across the system and into individual performing units.
    • Specification of the reasons for variances in performance across units, with key variables identified that are affecting performance, such as measures, supervisory practices, differences in work environment, etc.
    PDL will develop the systems view of your organization including your process architecture, values chains and management system. This view can be used to diagnose problems and bring new insights to your management for how to resolve those problems and manage performance. For organizations with distributed operations such as multiple retail centers or manufacturing sites, ...
  • Know Your Business

    Know Your Business is an approach to management development centered on the improved capture and active transfer of business specific knowledge.

    Most management development programs today are based on generic business management skills or competencies because of the difficulties associated with capturing and transferring knowledge that is unique to individual businesses.

    The Know Your Business approach is a business tool that creates a real competitive advantage by tailoring management and leadership development to current management business philosophy – one size does not fit all. PDL provides an effective and efficient approach to the capture of business specific knowledge.

    With the ability to transfer business specific knowledge comes the opportunity to engage new & existing managers using active learning techniques such as case studies and scenario building that makes the Know Your Business approach relevant and challenging to managers and value-added in the eyes of the organization.

    Benefits of Know Your Business:

    • Everyone in the organization has a common view of the “system” being managed.
    • Managers understand how their operations impact the external customers and their internal business partners. They understand how they can add or subtract value.
    • The seasoned manager will learn how to better leverage the key variables impacting their operations. They will be better equipped to troubleshoot their operations when they detect variances to results.
    • The new manager will be provided with a model to quickly learn and orient themselves to their new operations. They will quickly learn and understand the key variables that impact their operations and people.
    • Managers know the key variables that must be managed and that impact the company, department, their operation, their job and the customer.
    • The organization will:
      • Develop a pipeline of candidates
      • Develop a core curriculum that becomes the basis for all development efforts that can be easily incorporated into current management development efforts
      • Develop a career path for key management position
    Know Your Business is an approach to management development centered on the improved capture and active transfer of business specific knowledge.
  • Situation Analysis

    The purpose of a situation analysis is to determine the cause of the gap in results and specify what must be done to close the gap. The analysis may identify a gap in results at the Organization, Process, Department or Individual Performer level.

    Benefits of Situation Analysis:

    • Causes of performance problems are identified – not just the symptoms.
    • Clients receive prioritized recommendations and an associated implementation plan.
    The purpose of a situation analysis is to determine the cause of the gap in results and specify what must be done to close the gap.

Transforming Your Organization: Our Experience

When an organization must change direction, PDL has the tools and methodologies to ensure that the direction is clear and that all elements of the organization are aligned to reach the desired future.  Our approach helps senior management teams in redesign of structure or clarification of strategy and desired results and design of the complete business architecture.

  • Future State Design

    The aim may be growth, renewal or recovery, but when the leaders of an organization need to do a fundamental rethinking of purpose, strategy and capabilities, PDL has long experience in providing a thorough systems-based approach that goes far beyond the popular approaches of visioning and strategy statements.  Attempts to change organizational direction often fail not because the goal is wrong but because the specific architecture and components of the business are not thoroughly examined and redesigned to make long-term success possible.  We help an executive team through a fast but comprehensive redesign of capabilities, organizational architecture, processes, jobs and management system to make the future happen.

    Benefits of our approach to Future State Design include:

    • Clear strategy for the future
    • Alignment between strategy and organization components (capabilities, processes, resources)
    • Agile organization design to meet turbulent business environments and competition
    The aim may be growth, renewal or recovery, but when the leaders of an organization need to do a fundamental rethinking of purpose, strategy and capabilities, PDL has long experience in providing a thorough systems-based approach that goes far beyond the popular approaches of visioning and strategy statements.  Attempts to change organizational direction often fail ...
  • Organization Design

    Organization redesign projects involve analyzing the entire organizational system to determine gaps in performance and to create an optimal organizational structure (processes, functions, jobs and roles), anchored by a management system to steer the organization to desired results.  The PDL approach is also applicable to design of new businesses.

    Benefits of our approach to Organization Design include:

    • Comprehensive design driven by customer, value chain and process requirements, linked down to functional areas and jobs.
    • Management system design integrated with the work system and organization structure.
    Organization redesign projects involve analyzing the entire organizational system to determine gaps in performance and to create an optimal organizational structure (processes, functions, jobs and roles), anchored by a management system to steer the organization to desired results.  The PDL approach is also applicable to design of new businesses. Benefits of our approach to Organization Design ...

Optimizing Work: Our Experience

PDL’s process improvement, design and management roots go back to Geary Rummler’s pioneering process work for Motorola and GTE in the early 1980’s. With the publication of Improving Performance – How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart, in 1990, the Rummler-Brache process improvement and design methodology became the standard for such organizations as Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Chevron, ABB and DuPont. With the formation of Performance Design Lab in 1999, Geary Rummler and his partners have endeavored to take the methodology to another level with a particular focus on process management and the linkages to enterprise management.

Over the past decades, PDL partners have been involved in the improvement of hundreds of critical processes for dozens of Fortune 500 companies. With the publication of White Space Revisited:  Creating Value through Process, their experiences have been captured for the benefit of process practitioners.

Process Improvement and Management Today

Back in the early 80’s process was a new concept to most organizations. Today process is generally recognized as fundamental to achieving organization results. Despite this increased attention and focus organizations today still stumble in their attempts to improve and manage this fundamental component of their business. Some of the key stumbling blocks to achieving process improvement results are the failure to view process improvement in the larger systems context, including clear definition of the organization’s process architecture and the failure to address the management system surrounding the process.

More and more, the mantle of process improvement has shifted to the IT function due to the automation of many of the organization’s processes. IT organizations are struggling with moving from their traditional project approach to a more process based approach – one that will lead to more successful and aligned IT solutions.

Our Methodology

An important differentiator of the Rummler Process Methodology (RPM) is always viewing process improvement and design projects in the larger systems context of multiple levels of performance – Organization, Process and Job/Performer (Human or Technology Performers) Operationally that means that the process design must be aligned with customer requirements, organization strategy and goals, and is not complete until the job/performer level and supporting IT systems are fully aligned with process requirements. The result is a tight alignment between organization, process job/performer and technology goals. The methodology also addresses redesign of the supporting management system ensuring that they stay in alignment.

Contact us to learn more about what PDL can do for you to optimize and management processes for sustained value.

  • Strategic Lean Six Sigma

    This service puts the traditional six sigma approach into “organization as a system” approach and focuses on projects that contribute to strategic intent or competitive advantage. Includes design of the management system.  The advantage to your organization is achieving real results from your six sigma investment.

    Needs addressed include:

    • Languishing six sigma effort
    • Lots of projects with little bottom line impact
    • Need for integration with other improvement efforts
    • Need for connection to real business needs
    This service puts the traditional six sigma approach into “organization as a system” approach and focuses on projects that contribute to strategic intent or competitive advantage. Includes design of the management system.  The advantage to your organization is achieving real results from your six sigma investment. Needs addressed include: Languishing six sigma effort Lots of projects with little ...
  • Business Process Architecture Definition

    This is PDL’s methodology for identifying and aligning an organization’s key business processes against business requirements.  The architecture definition is also a critical step in determining how to organize and implement formal process management. This service is a precursor to Process Management System Design.  Our approach provides clarity about what processes are critical and need to be designed and managed for sustainable performance

    Needs addressed include:

    • Lack of understanding or agreement about what processes exist or are critical to organizational performance
    • Slowness in responding to changing business conditions or issues
    • Focus on functional silos; lack of cross-functional collaboration
    • Lack of linkage between IT efforts and business needs
    • Process documentation or improvement efforts at a low level, without a driving business reason
    This is PDL’s methodology for identifying and aligning an organization’s key business processes against business requirements.  The architecture definition is also a critical step in determining how to organize and implement formal process management. This service is a precursor to Process Management System Design.  Our approach provides clarity about what processes are critical and need ...
  • Value Chain/Value Stream Analysis and Design/Redesign

    PDL’s time-tested improvement methodology applied at the value chain (mega-process) level.  The result is an optimized value chain and consistent delivery of value to customers.

    Needs addressed include:

    • Misalignments in the value chain (e.g., new product development vs. sales, sales vs. delivery)
    • Mismatches between value chain and market changes
    • Cross-functional misalignments
    • Dissatisfaction among key customers
    PDL’s time-tested improvement methodology applied at the value chain (mega-process) level.  The result is an optimized value chain and consistent delivery of value to customers. Needs addressed include: Misalignments in the value chain (e.g., new product development vs. sales, sales vs. delivery) Mismatches between value chain and market changes Cross-functional misalignments Dissatisfaction among key customers
  • Rummler Process Methodology

    RPM spans the seven phases of a project – Align, Analyze, Design, Commit, Build, Enable and Adopt – and the five dimensions of design – Process Design, Performer: Human Design, Performer: Information Technology Design, Process Management Design, and Change Management Design – and has built in the critical success factors that Dr. Geary Rummler and his partners have learned in over 40 years of improving processes.

    Needs addressed include:

    • Gaps between required performance and process results
    • Slow, bureaucratic processes
    • Silos between organizational functions
    • No well-designed processes
    • No mechanisms in place to launch new capabilities or products
    • Waste in the way work is performed
    RPM spans the seven phases of a project – Align, Analyze, Design, Commit, Build, Enable and Adopt – and the five dimensions of design – Process Design, Performer: Human Design, Performer: Information Technology Design, Process Management Design, and Change Management Design – and has built in the critical success factors that Dr. Geary Rummler and ...

Managing Effectively: Our Experience

For the leaders of an organization, the infrastructure and practices of management must be as carefully designed and executed as any of the work processes that deliver value. Ultimately where the organization is steered will determine how successful it is. PDL has the most extensive experience in the performance field of designing and implementing complete measurement and management systems to accompany and make sustainable a process-centered approach to business.

  • Organization IQ

    “Organization I.Q.” is a measurement and management system that helps companies achieve and sustain desired organization results. The Organization I.Q. acts as a cockpit for organizational decision-makers; providing them with timely and accurate information with which to plan, manage and execute performance of the value chain and the business.

    PDL works with clients to develop Organization I.Q. systems for their companies by:

    1. Determining what organizational variables must be managed to achieve the desired results.
    2. Designing an appropriate Management System.
    3. Designing an appropriate Measurement System that a) tracks all key dimensions of Organization performance and b) links all levels of management.
    4. Implementing the integrated Management and Measurement System.

    Benefits of Organization I.Q. include:

    • Plans and evaluation measures are aligned within the entire organization.
    • Focus shifts from managing vertically (managing resources) to managing horizontally (managing value) and vertically – optimization.
    • Managers are able to identify performance problems before they become critical.
    • When results gaps are identified, managers can use the Organization I.Q. system to quickly and accurately determine the cause of the gaps.
    • Timely, accurate, usable information allows organizations to adapt proactively.
    “Organization I.Q.” is a measurement and management system that helps companies achieve and sustain desired organization results. The Organization I.Q. acts as a cockpit for organizational decision-makers; providing them with timely and accurate information with which to plan, manage and execute performance of the value chain and the business. PDL works with clients to develop Organization ...
  • Process Managed Organization (PMO) Journey

    Assistance in helping management design an effective journey to becoming a process-managed organization. Typically includes most of the Process Services listed above.  The result is an effective process-centered organization.

    Needs addressed include:

    • Vision of becoming process-centered but no plan or insight about how to get there
    • Stalled efforts
    • Confusion about the goal or the means to get there
    Assistance in helping management design an effective journey to becoming a process-managed organization. Typically includes most of the Process Services listed above.  The result is an effective process-centered organization. Needs addressed include: Vision of becoming process-centered but no plan or insight about how to get there Stalled efforts Confusion about the goal or the means to get there
  • Process Management System Design

    Given a defined business process architecture, this service is to design and implement a formal governance infrastructure for key processes that is integrated with the organization’s existing management system. This service focuses on the process level, but is often a sub-set of Org IQ service.  The result is effective process management and an end to confusion about how process management is supposed to work.

    Needs addressed include:

    • Failed process management
    • Process owners uncertain about their roles
    • “Process” has become a contentious word
    • Process management is in place but not producing value
    • Conflicts between process owners and line managers
    Given a defined business process architecture, this service is to design and implement a formal governance infrastructure for key processes that is integrated with the organization’s existing management system. This service focuses on the process level, but is often a sub-set of Org IQ service.  The result is effective process management and an end to ...

Aligning Internal Services: Our Experience

PDL has always supported the internal organizations that support and enable the line operations.  We have worked with virtually every internal staff organization over the decades, including Quality, HR, Training, OD, and Industrial Engineering.  In recent years our focus has turned to IT, as processes have become more and more technology-dependent and IT experts have aimed at being effective business partners.  In the services described below, we describe our current focus on IT as a client, but we can also offer these same services to any internal department that wishes to become more effective as performance improvement experts

  • IT Alignment – PDL Bridge Methodology

    Methodology for bridging the requirements gap between business needs and IT solutions, including definition of the business and the drivers for technology

    Needs addressed include:

    • Delays in getting technology solutions
    • Misunderstandings between business users and technology providers over needs, requirements, and methods
    • Missed opportunities to capitalize on technology innovations, becoming uncompetitive
    • Money wasted on unwanted technology solutions
    Methodology for bridging the requirements gap between business needs and IT solutions, including definition of the business and the drivers for technology Needs addressed include: Delays in getting technology solutions Misunderstandings between business users and technology providers over needs, requirements, and methods Missed opportunities to capitalize on technology innovations, becoming uncompetitive Money wasted on unwanted technology solutions
  • IT Department Transformation

    Assist IT management to redesign IT department for better alignment with business and more effective product and service delivery.  The result is more effective IT support to the business.

    Needs addressed include:

    • Dissatisfaction with IT
    • Costs and wasted effort
    • Increased demand for IT services
    • Mismatches between IT mission and demands
    Assist IT management to redesign IT department for better alignment with business and more effective product and service delivery.  The result is more effective IT support to the business. Needs addressed include: Dissatisfaction with IT Costs and wasted effort Increased demand for IT services Mismatches between IT mission and demands