When I use the SALES SDCA approach in Lean Marketing, I emphasize the use of sales and marketing teams. It is one of the underlying principles that are needed. A few basic team development structures need to be identified at the very beginning of the project.
I discuss Leans around the three processes of SDCA, PDCA, EDCA. First, we must address everyone’s standard work. If we do not, there is limited work that can get accomplished and seldom can a team come together to accomplish the other work of PDCA and EDCA.
The amount of Standard Work that each person has differs from organization to organization and from person to person but we all have some. My thoughts about Standard Work:
- Standard Work should only encompass part of your time.
- Every person wants some form of standard work. Most enjoy doing tasks that they are comfortable with and it gives them a sense of accomplishment when completed.
- Standard Work is what provides line of sight for your team. It enables support and provides opportunity for managers to serve you.
- Standardizing your work makes it easier for customers to go deeper into your organization for knowledge sharing. This provides a flood of new ideas for innovation and co-creation opportunities. More importantly, it secures a vendor-customer relationship or partnership that is difficult for others to replicate.
- Standard Work does not need to be boring, remember Zappos.
I have been a longtime fan and practitioner of Franklin Covey’s, The 4 Disciplines of Execution. In 4DEx, they use the term the “Whirlwind” in the same manner as I think about Standard Work. As they describe operating outside the whirlwind (SDCA) think of that as PDCA or EDCA depending on if you are looking for incremental or breakthrough type improvement.
People can be participating on one type of team, two or all three teams. Even though it is hard to imagine that there would not be both SDCA and PDCA in everyone’s job, there may not be EDCA. Or, it may only be on an infrequent basis. What I encourage though is that the time spent is clearly defined with emphasis on handling one hour of EDCA a week as there is thirty hours of SDCA. It should be a very fluid process. I am not trying to split hairs about time just trying to reinforce a point that is described in the video above from Franklin Covey.
One of the key considerations in developing a team is to determine the objective of the cycle. Is it primarily problem resolution, creativity, or tactical execution? Team structure needs to be considered as well as the participants. You will find a variety of structures will work for you, but the typical model is one of a business team that has a team leader, and all others are on equal footing. Many times the team leader is really just a participant but has the administrative work as an added responsibility.
Think about the kind of team needed: Tactical execution(SDCA), Problem Resolution (PDCA), and Creativity (EDCA). Separate the sessions so people know which hat they are wearing when. Without this process, you may have creative teams working on tactical execution or on the other hand a problem-solving team working on a creative solution.
Once you’ve identified the team’s broadest objective—problem resolution, creativity, or tactical execution—then you set up a team structure that emphasizes the characteristic that is most important for that kind of team. For a problem-resolution team, you emphasize trust for a creativity team, autonomy, and for a tactical-execution team, clarity. Listed below is an outline identifying the team structure needed for Standard Work (adapted from Teamwork and the Rapid Development books):
SDCA: Tactical-Execution Team
- Objective: Focuses on carrying out a well-defined plan.
- Dominant Feature: Clarity
- Sales Process Example: Upgrade to an existing product
- Process emphasis: Highly focused task with clear roles
- Lifecycle Models: Waterfall, design to schedule, spiral, staged delivery
- Team Members: Loyal, committed, action-orientated, sense of urgency, responsiveness
- Team Models: Business team, feature team, SWAT
Lean Engagement Team (More Info): The ability to share and create knowledge with your customer is the strongest marketing tool possible.