“Baking in” SCD tools to our staff’s daily appetite

Recently I started scratching the surface of SCD here at Warwick University by reading a couple of online resources. Then last week I planned to and meet some of the core team. The chats we had introduced some really interesting new discussions and concepts to me around change programmes.

SCD is a massive change programme here at Warwick University and it stands for Simplify, Collaborate and Deliver. It’s the concept that we can reduce waste on our tasks, work with each other and deliver change rather than just talking about it.

Here are some initial theories I’ve been knocking about in my head since that first chat and I wanted to ruminate and share them. Please bear in mind they are all TOTALLY un-tested and un-researched. For me this write up is more a process of going with the raw thoughts and seeing what rises up from it.

The thoughts are all based on, how do you “Bake in” SCD to peoples’ daily working lives? I’m sure this programme is going to be very successful. However, in my mind the questions which rose to the top were, how do you make change programme in any institution more than just being a whim for staff, some training imposed from above or worse… a new expensive fad which fades! How do you “bake it in” so that when ANY staff member has a work problem there’s something in the SCD toolkit to call upon as naturally as picking up their phone?

btw. “Baking in” is a term to describe that there’s no extra input needed, you’ve got access to it easily. You’ve baked in cranberries to that pie so you don’t need to add any separately. It’s just there, baked in.

Herd immunity

A well known medical term and practice for immunising a population against disease is Herd Immunity. The theory and practice is, you don’t have to immunise everyone, but at least a certain percentage of the population to prevent widespread pandemic… Obviously I don’t think the staff are herd, or that there’s a disease, but the point is that the population is resilient even if not everyone is immunised. Is there cross over in the theory here where if enough of the staff are trained in dealing with Waste and Change (SCD) that as a University we are resilient?

How would we know when we’ve hit that point or herd immunity status, what KPI’s and monitoring would you introduce to know we are “immune”.

Trickle down SCD

In the same way that “Trickle down economics” doesn’t work, how do we make sure this programme doesn’t fail from “Trickle-down change”? How do we inspire, support and sell grass-roots change?

Is there a way to create equality of access and interest in SCD so it’s “Four Legs Good, Two Legs baaaaaad”?

How can we make a culture where everyone feels the same responsibility and expectation of each other to practice and learn from it?

How can we make make sure we use people’s skill and enthusiasm across a spectrum of the Payroll Grading, the Departments and Skill sets?

Culture eats process for breakfast

It just does.

So why would most people here care about LEAN and SCD? A lot of people just want to get on with their job. Would purposefully identifying enthusiastic people lead other people change their culture?

Include it as a DPR requisite

Well if it’s that freaking important, how do we back that up and make it more than an avoidable fad?

How do we make sure it doesn’t go away, could we include a couple of questions or tick boxes in staffs’ reviews to remind them if they’ve practised SCD this year or not?

People do like to learn and would enjoy SCD, however they also have their day jobs. How do we make it a common thing for everyone to muck in with? Could we attach it to merit pay? How could we highlight and celebrate people who have purposefully called on SCD to solve a problem?

Done!

Anyway, there’s my initial and wide-ranging thoughts on a new subject. No answers yet, just questions! Also, I really enjoyed these pictures from this blog, have a look

https://hakanforss.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/are-you-too-busy-to-improve/

are-you-too-busy-to-improve2 are-you-too-busy-to-innovate1

Author: Dan Course

Dan Course, E-Learning Development at Warwick University (WMG). Agile Scrum trained and full-stack development. Interested in E-learning, Democracy, Politics and Tech. All thoughts are mine and not of my employer.

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