Tuesday, October 14, 2003

A virtual strategic planning process model...

I've been working with a unit that wants to implement the CPEC (well, actually, they're really concerned about the award, but I'll take what I can get)... anyway, it's been nearly impossible to get time with them for an offsite or even time with their senior leadership team, so I'm going to try a virtual approach. Here's what I've sent to them to get them started. Your thoughts?

The Commandant has mandated the use of the Performance Excellence Criteria (PEC)as the management framework for the entire Coast Guard. The Commandant’s PEC mandates what we must do for successful management; it does not specify the how.

Note from Peter: Before I go any further, let me set one thing straight. The Commandant’s Performance Excellence Criteria is associated with the Commandant’s Quality Award. While the CQA will not help us or any other unit get better; the CPEC will. This isn’t about the award; this is about good management. Nothing more. If you want my unadulterated opinion about the CQA, ask me off-line. I will say this about the CPEC though: it is the balls. There’s no rocket science here, and good leaders and good managers have been doing some or all of this stuff intuitively for years. The CPEC creates a system and it institutionalizes good management; it provides a framework which is bigger than any one of us. This is excellent stuff. This thing works.

We will begin to use the CPEC for the strategic and tactical management of UNIT NAME. We will work through a series of exercises which will take us from management by gut – the usual management style in the Coast Guard – to management by fact, a core principle of the CPEC.

Our process will be fairly simple and will involve the UNIT staff’s ward room and chief’s mess. Periodically over the next several weeks you will be asked to do some thinking and completing a worksheet or two. Peter Stinson will collect and collate the information from the worksheets. Each exercise should take 20-40 minutes of your time. Please set aside time to work on this initiative. Your thoughtful responses are critical to our creation of a management system which does more than sit in a binder on a shelf gathering dust.

We will be using a balanced approach, first popularized by two smart guys from Boston: Kaplan & Norton. They developed a planning, measurement, and management model which they call the balanced scorecard. We’ll be working through a modified approach, the Coast Guard’s Performance Planning Model, sometimes known as the 2-4-7 Model.

As you work through this exercise – and future exercises – you’ll need to put aside your tactical/divisional/unit role. You’re not the XO, ops officer, admin officer, watch supervisor, assistant EO, officer-in-charge, or anything else; you’re an equal member of the UNIT’s senior leadership cadre. You need to think globally here. Sure, you have the specific knowledge – and baggage – that comes from your tactical/divisional/unit role. You need to put it aside, as much as you can. You’re the board of directors; think with that had on your head.

Please trust the process.

First, you’ll need to accept some givens. These are from earlier UNIT NAME planning documents. They may not be perfect, but they provide a set of givens for the current assignment.

Mission: UNIT NAME is a multi-mission organization dedicated to serving the public interests within the LOCATION Area of Responsibility. Our goal is to provide World-Class service to the public we serve, leading the way in the protection of life and property at sea, the protection of our ports and critical infrastructure, the enforcement of maritime laws and regulations, and protection of the marine environment.

For this exercise, please consider the UNIT staff and subordinate stations, ants, and cutters to be the organization. We are suppliers; our customers are outside this organization.

Thinking about our mission – not only the mission statement above, but what you know our day-to-day mission to be & that which we are tasked to do – project into the future. What do you envision the future, say 3 to 4 years from now, to be like here at UNIT NAME.

Here’s what I think the future holds for UNIT NAME; this is what we’ll look like & be doing:

Remember back a few years ago when you might have learned about TQM? Oh, I’m sorry, you thought TQM was dead? Not so. There’s plenty of stuff from TQM which is still valid, still relevant, still helping us as an organization, and still used. One of those things is the SIPOC model:


Perhaps you remember this? We do stuff – that’s the process – and create outputs which we give to customers. Those outputs are products and services; they’re things.

What are our products and services we provide? Who are our customers? Limit yourself to the top 6 products & services you think UNIT NAME produces; who are the customers (or customer segments) for each of those products?

List Product/Services that we create and Customers or Customer UNITs or Customer Segments who get what we produce:

Now, thinking about each of these customers/customer segments, what outcomes do we create for the customers? Focus on macro outcomes. In my travels, I frequent Marriott Hotels; their product is hotel rooms; their outcome is, perhaps, a good night’s sleep. For NESU Portsmouth, their desired customer outcome might be well maintained cutters. D5 might claim a desired outcome is subordinate units who understand and follow policy & direction.

What are our top three outcomes we create for our customers?

Now, thinking about where you think we’re going to be in 3 to 4 years (the kind of place UNIT NAME should be), and thinking about what we produce and who are customers are, and thinking about the outcomes we create… what do we need to do well as an organization to succeed? This is stuff we must do inside the organization. If we don’t do this stuff, we fail; we fall flat.

What must we do well as an organization in order to succeed?

Please complete this worksheet and return it to Peter Stinson by COB on 20 October. Ideally, you’d complete your answers in this word document and forward it to Peter at both addy@hotmail.com and addy@juno.com. If you’d rather do this by hand, please fax your completed forms to 999-999-9999.

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with Peter at 999-6666 or addy@my2way.com or addy@hotmail.com.

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