Interviews complete, and all of my dog-eared project management books referenced; I was ready to start designing D^5. I started where I often do—flow-charting.
First, I outlined the current process. There wasn’t any existing documentation, work-flows or flow-charts; just a few marketing pieces that touched on what was considered the process. This was a difficult step—mostly because there was variation upon variation of how work could flow through the studio.
I did my best, and with a rough sketch I started re-organizing the steps into swimlanes that outlined the whos, whats, whens and hows. Then, I created call-outs to every gripe, groan or issue that came up during the interviews. It was a graphical purge that put everything in one place—but was impossible to analyze or communicate.
Next, I took my flow-mind-map-craziness-chart and put it into a spreadsheet. I combined and reduced. I consolidated steps, problems and deliverables until the information was in an analytical friendly format. My purpose for analysis was to find relationships. I was seeking to breakout symptoms from problems.
And—as you might guess—I ended up with a long list of symptoms and very few problems.
Armed with data and ideas, I returned to the staff. I asked why—a lot. I borrowed the five-why from Six Sigma and applied it everywhere I could.
At this point I had a plan—it was time to start building.