FutureWeek™: The Future is No Longer Defined in Months and Years

A Look at How NEOS Is Revolutionizing Process and Capability Implementation

June Quarterly 2According to recent studies, the implementation of process excellence frameworks and application of lean six sigma practices to drive rapid change is a top priority in 2016 as companies begin to realize a competitive differentiator in their ability to go to market and realign core processes to improve the customer experience quickly and cost effectively. Unfortunately, traditional methods pose significant challenges. Most process improvement approaches, including DMAIC, can be too cumbersome resulting in projects that are large and costly, political, and yield value too slowly to keep pace with customer, market and business demands. With the added strain of ‘too much change,’ companies are being forced to define methods that make it even faster, easier and more cost effective to drive critical improvements in core processes and business capabilities.

At NEOS, we’ve developed a more agile approach that can lead to new business process and capability designs with key performance measures and design documentation in just weeks, not months or years. We’ve successfully simplified deliverables and tools to cut through the clutter and capture exactly – and only – what leaders and project teams need to make informed decisions and begin executing against incremental wins that add up to big gains quickly.

In this newsletter, we’ll examine our proprietary methodology, what we refer to as Future Week. FutureWeek™ is a proprietary workshop that we use to help clients achieve business strategy through process and core capability redesign. It fits within a simple four-to-six-week framework that can be broken down into three segments, which naturally alleviate the usual suspects of organizational pain and failure when designing for the future state. We’ll take a look at each segment in the approach and highlight how it differs from other contemporary methods. It is important to note that not all deliverables are required for each client. NEOS works with each client to right-size the approach for each engagement.

Segment 1: Pre-Work

Pre-Work is characterized by assessments that lay the groundwork and set the vision and direction by establishing anticipated business value and how that value will be measured. Business value statements serve as design criteria during FutureWeek™. Deliverables include:

a. Identify, define, and prioritize the major pain points through user observations, interviews, and documentation reviews

b. Establish the business strategy and objectives to be achieved with associated metrics

c. Gain executive buy-in early in the redesign process

d. Prepare and distribute the FutureWeek™ pre-read materials to bring focus to the effort

  • How our Pre-Work is different: The secret sauce is in the Business Value Linkage, or BVL scorecard. The BVL is a proprietary method for defining exactly how your redesign effort will align to, and positively affect, the broader business strategy. The scorecard includes key indicators, measures for success, and clearly defined operating objectives in plain English that get all key leaders aligned, on board, and behind the effort early. Gaining early buy-in from key leaders is crucial for securing funding, resources, and ensuring competing priorities do not become risk later on when the project team is ready to begin executing against designs. We also combine this with a special pre-read packet that inspires, educates, and enables stakeholders to come focused and ready to work in a safe, collaborative environment to successfully design their future state.

Segment 2: FutureWeek™(Redesign Workshop)

The star of the show is the Redesign Workshop. This workshop is where we do the design work, and you guessed it — it only takes a week. In just a matter of a few days, we can:

a. Define the desired business experience and operating model

b. Redesign the business process
c. Assess the impact of the future state on the existing organization

  • How the FutureWeek™ redesign workshop is different from other workshops: The Future Week redesign workshop cuts through political strain, departmental bias and fear of change to create a safe environment that dissolves barriers, minimizes discomfort and enhances meaningful collaboration to generate a future state design in record time. The result is a set of concrete answers to the question, “How can we redesign this process or capability to achieve our business strategy and capture the critical people, process and technology enablers needed in just the right detail?”

Segment 3: Post-Work

Our consultants go to work producing the materials your leaders and teams will need to achieve the future state coming out of the FutureWeek™ session. Deliverables include:

a. Generate process designs, impact assessments, service models, technology requirements, and other outcomes

b. Plan next steps for implementation, additional processes, software selection, requirements, etc.

  • How our Post-Work is different: Key deliverables resulting from homegrown methodologies and DMAIC hybrids often result in a cumbersome documentation. Also, key information is not always actionable, meaningful data is obscured in excess detail, and the process for creating these deliverables is both time consuming and costly. The FutureWeek™ Post-Work takes an average of two weeks and produces a concise set of proprietary tools and documents that enable leaders and project teams to engage in immediate process-improvement initiatives. Details include key people, process and technology enablers, gaps in current state process, impacts, risks, the right level process designs, and more depending on the complexity of the transformation impacts coming out of the workshop. Project teams know exactly where to start and do not have to ask for more information.

In all, a FutureWeek™ engagement can be executed from pre-work through post-work executive readouts in as little as four to six weeks. By securing the right executive buy-in from day one and defining clear measures for success, teams are armed with operating targets for the future state while the FutureWeek™ workshop gives them the inspiration, flexibility, and mechanism for capturing innovative solutions. When a process improvement workshop is rounded out with crisp, clear, actionable information, the only limit is how fast a company can assemble a team.

The old days are over. It’s time to start implementing the future.

Similar to other process solutions in the marketplace, Future Week was designed with industry neutrality in mind. NEOS has successfully demonstrated the application and power of FutureWeek™ across companies in three separate industries to date with more added every day. Industries include Insurance, Financial Services, and even Shipping and Transportation. In fact, Future Week has proven itself to be so practical, fast, and effective that we have seen more repeat engagements involving Future Week across multiple functions in the same company than any service offering we’ve ever provided. Imagine the power for a moment; leaders in all corners of your organization advocating for the use of Future Week means they trust the outcomes that your projects are producing. Securing resources, funding, and prioritizing initiatives will become easier than ever before.

Be sure to explore some of our additional blogs, whitepapers, and other collateral to learn more about individual tools and deliverables within the approach.