Axiom 3: Documents provide the facts to manage people





 Axiom 1

 Axiom 2

 Axiom 3

 Axiom 4

 Axiom 5


The summary of process and resource statistics can be used by the management infrastructure to operate and change its core processes. 

Acquired and useful abilities of employees by education, study or apprenticeship, is fixed capital realized in a person.
-- Adam Smith

If a process, its outputs, and assigned people and resources are explicitly defined and tracked, the current state can be summarized to provide the facts to manage. That is, the manager can observe and refine process progress and deploy people and resources to accelerate the process, satisfy new constraints, reduce cost or improve quality.

Having the facts to manage is half the management battle. In most business processes, managers do not have the facts to perform their jobs. A document-enabled view of the process — monitored in real time with workflow software and summarized daily with project management software — provides the facts to manage.

The management cycle in the figure is represented by the cyclical steps of lead, audit, improve, direct and enable. It exists at every level of business processes.

Empowered employees are expected to be self-directed managing processes for which they are accountable.  They understand the elements of the job, the goals of the organization and the requirements of the customer, and define metrics to measure process performance.  By continuously auditing the process, one can evaluate how to improve the process of creating value for the customer.  Employees are enabled by training and by project and workflow software that supports the project management process. Leadership can be viewed as the intuition required to judge how and what to change, and how fast change should be instituted. This is discussed in Chapter 4.

Enable People: Live Long and Prosper

Successful enterprises recognize people as the prime source of added value.  What companies and their employees really want to do — in the words of one interstellar traveler — is "live long and prosper."  Employee competence is the key factor in building adaptation in enterprise systems.

To live long, enterprises must be adaptable so they can:

·         Leverage people's inherent multifaceted capabilities.

·         Use information technology to increase people's productivity and provide the information they require on demand where they need it.

·         Build flexible, yet focused enterprise systems.

To prosper, companies must innovate and continuously increase proficiency. They need to:

·         Reduce enterprise time cycles everywhere.

·         Speed up communication of information.

·         Increase resource utilization.

·         Reduce resource requirements.

·         Increase process utilization.

Axiom 3: Management Scenario

Ed was asked how he got so much work done.  He replied that he continuously reevaluated what was critical to finish his day - for whom, why and when things were needed - to help set priorities for the day, week, and month, and how he might make the most effective use of his time under the priority constraints.  Furthermore, he listed tasks and recorded when they were started and finished and the hours worked.  Repetitive tasks were automated as much as possible so that he had more time to spend on ambiguous tasks innovatively.  He took notes of conversations so that he didn’t waste time trying to recall, reconstruct and recreate what he already knew from other sources.  Lastly, he did much of his work with the aid of officeware, which he carefully filed in his on-line library, so that he could recall past documents easily.  Ed exhibits basic self-management and empowerment skills because he:

·         explicitly defined the tasks to be completed by viewing them as a project,

·         created a transaction history by dating and recording the time to complete a task.

·         evaluated and judged past performance to automate repetitive tasks and perform new tasks.

Corollaries to Axiom 3

Documents provide facts to manage (and empower) people because documents provide knowledge for people to:

1.Perform their tasks with critical enterprise knowledge documents.

2.Analyze their tasks with performance statistics derived from transaction documents.

3.Improve and direct their tasks with guidelines and metrics in management (and quality) documents.

Method for Axiom 3

Management abandons rather than empowers people unless a document metaphor is used to help by:

·         Defining and understanding management as a process -- lead, improve, direct and enable.

·         Deriving the facts to manage using transaction knowledge from monitoring support cycles.

·         Installing metrics to define, audit and benchmark process performance.

·         Teaching project management and continuous improvement methods within a continuous learning program.

Consequences of Axiom 3

·         Self-managed workgroups and employees manage tasks as well as perform them.

·         Performance measures can be computed automatically using project, document and workflow management.

·         Effective improvement requires local metrics that support enterprise performance.

Copyright 2007 by Jim I. Jones / email: