With advances in modern technology and the vast sums that organizations spend to implement cutting edge solutions, isn’t it odd that passing a folder from person to person in order to approve something is still so common? You’ve seen it happen; perhaps you’ve even been part of those long conversations on the color of the folder to make it stand out on a desk. Those discussions are usually preceded by an agreement made by all involved that the material will never sit idle but get immediate attention and route quickly. In the end, it falls to some poor assistant to walk the halls in search of this folder, trying to track down approvers and keep things moving, usually taking much longer than any initial agreement. To further complicate matters, fingers may begin to point at suspected sources of bottleneck. Tensions mount and the innovative “folder method” had done more harm than good.
Allow me to walk you through the evolution of a project to complete a form initiating the Personal Care Product Development Process and have it approved by associates in five functions across two business units in three states. These hand-offs were necessary to pull critical knowledge from the organization determining the feasibility of a program before time and dollars were spent against it. Bear in mind, any time spent completing and approving the form is time not spent on developing the product. continue reading »