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User Group Meeting 9th March 2016
It was great to have so many attendees at the last meeting on 9th March, including some new faces, and our thanks go to Tony Turner and Mark Braham at the AA for hosting the meeting at their Oldbury site. We all enjoyed the tour of their service desk areas, which gave us a behind the scenes glimpse of their core services.
The AA presentation
Mark Braham, Head of Business Assurance, provided the group with an introduction to the AA and his role within the organisation before handing over to Tony Turner, Process Coordinator and Improvement Auditor. Tony explained how, as they have been migrating to the Triaster System, they have been reducing the number of process maps they need. (Tony's slides can be found within the User Group Secure page - please contact us if you require details for accessing this).
Tony then arranged for the group to be split into two and given a tour of the Service Delivery and Business Services areas. This provided a good insight into the internal workings of the AA and the users of their Process Library, as well as their need for processes to be documented fully for a number of their manufacturing customers.
Andrew Ridgeley provided the group with an update from a development perspective. He covered:
- More frequent releases - generally one feature per release (customers can upgrade when they want to, not necessary to upgrade on each release)
- 15.3 released in January
- 16.1 release end of March - Map Reviews
- 16.2 expected April or May
The next features to be released in order over the coming months are:
- Configuration Settings tool
- Active Directory Integration
- New Publication Format
- Process Metrics
New developments - Medium term:
- Hyperlink Integrity Check (from Customer Feature voting)
- Easier Configuration Changes
- Approvals - Increment version/revision number on Rework (from Customer Feature voting)
- Document Approvals
- News Page Enhancements
Currently planned - Long-term developments:
- Approvals Enhancements
- Greater Freedom to Customise Library Design
- Fully Customisable Reporting Tool
Jo Dolton then gave a general update and reminder to all about the following:
- Customer Journey assessments/Value report (detailing usage/project progress) have been very well received
- Customer Satisfaction - individual survey's to be created for all customers
- Visio 2013 - note that some customers have experienced their IT rolling out Visio 2013 through automatic updates, or via the provision of new machines which have a huge impact on any process maps which have to go through a one way upgrade. Therefore, please ensure users know not to upgrade maps as this will cause issues.
- Lean training - University of Winchester are running internal courses on Triaster and an intro to Lean which they purchased from OEE for £35 per person (usually £50). See: http://www.oee-training.com/ lean-training/. This is something other customers could do internally for their own employees if they want to.
Workshop - How do you ensure that people follow the processes in your library?
It was agreed that different organisations will need to use the methods that will work best for their organisation and culture. The following is a list of the main suggestions raised during this workshop, which we hope will help anyone considering how to approach this subject.
- Employees should be disciplined if they don't follow processes. One downside raised, is that it requires something to go wrong in order to identify such circumstances in the first place.
- Senior Management often say that they don't need to know the detail, however they do need to show that they have a good working knowledge of what happens within a process and many need to, in order to adhere to ISO requirements.
- Internal audits and peer reviews when any new maps are produced along with a full communication plan across the business (which could involve one-to-ones, posters, videos) to help engage staff.
- Including the Process library within a standard induction process for new staff, including completed forms for new starters etc. has made a huge difference in many organisations.
- Focus on the messaging around exceptions and what the consequences are for not following processes can maximise impact.
- Ensure a good balance of information: Processes, procedures and work instructions for full detail.
- It is important to allow enough flexibility for people to get on and do their jobs, but include an appropriate level of governance around the processes.
- Make it clear within your business that the (QA/Business Management) team owns the system and not the documents. This helps ensure subject matter experts take responsibility for their processes.
- The maps should show what you do and the procedure should show how you do it. It's all about identifying the key deliverables in your maps - e.g. mandatory testing, completion certificates for the clients etc.
- There has been success with providing Orientation diagrams in Visio which link from the maps.
- You could use the maps to show each Activity as having a role responsible for it, therefore this role will be responsible for all documentation around it, which will ensure your processes are accurate and people feel they own them.
- Running reports on process owners can be very helpful - they can be used to report on roles and thereby ensure that all process owners review their processes every 12 months; as required by the chief executive.
- The best way to run such reviews is to use a 'dead man's handle' - advise those consulted that if you don't hear back within a specified timeframe you will assume acceptance/confirmation/approval etc.
- Having Meta data associated with your processes often grabs the attention of senior management.
US User Group update
Further to the mention of a US User Group in the last Connector, Steve Moore from Microsoft in Seattle has agreed to act as Chair for this group and so we hope to be in a position to arrange either a physical or virtual meeting in the US later this year. Therefore, if anyone is interested in attending such a meeting, please let us know so that we can include you on all correspondence.
Next meeting date and forum
The next User Group meeting is being hosted by BAE Systems Maritime - Submarines at their site in Barrow-in-Furness on 5th October. Please be aware of strict security at this site therefore we will need to gather date of birth and nationality for all attendees as soon as possible. You can either register via the Triaster website here http://www.triaster.co.uk/connector-events-user-group.php or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a reminder, the User Group Forum on LinkedIn is the ideal place for airing your thoughts and raising new ideas. The forum can be both clicked to from the User Group's secure page and via this link: http://tinyurl.com/pv5vnkp if you aren't already a member of this group, please simply request to join and the group owners will approve your request.
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If you would like to host a meeting, or have any questions about the User Group please drop us an e-mail to email@example.com