Writen by Chris Anderson

Now we turn the corner to our final phase: Re-Discovery.

Last year marked the 200th anniversary of the expedition of Lewis & Clark, and much has been written about their remarkable journey up the Missouri River and on to the Pacific. This band of explorers was aptly named The Corps of Discovery. In reality, The Corps made two trips, the second being their return. It is likely that the unheralded return journey was more revealing and insightful than the outbound leg, offering them a chance to re-discover with clearer vision what they had already seen.

It is in this frame of mind that your organization will embark on the Re-Discovery Phase of building an effective management system.

Management Policies and Procedures

The Re-Discovery Phase completes the loop of the entire project, and then overlaps with The Discovery Phase of the next year. Therein lies the "never-ending cycle" of the project. The Re-Discovery Phase allows your organization to migrate from a "fix it and done!" mentality to one of continuous improvement. In Re-Discovery/Discovery Phases you will always be reviewing and assessing your organization for ways to improve performance, compliance, and effectiveness.

As in all Phases it is wise to identify a Project Leader to manage document controls, lead the audits and report to management.

Review the Audit Results and Process Measures

When we pass down a street for the first time, our minds are focused on reaching the destination. Upon returning, we are able to notice things that were previously missed. Returning allows us to go through the same path of the original Discovery Phase in this different light.

This will involve reviewing audit results, process measures and customer satisfaction to determine possible adjustments to the mission, objectives and action plans as well as effectiveness criteria. You will want to asses the appropriateness of these elements now that you have completed your "outbound journey" through the Planning, Development and Implementation Phases. What will you see differently? How will you prepare for the cycle to begin again next year?

Culmination of Policies and Procedures Project

In Phase I, we learned how your organization specifies the project mission, objectives and effectiveness criteria. Phase II entailed setting requirements for project tools, budgets and schedules to manage your project. Phase III taught us about identifying and testing processes within the system. And in Phase IV we learned about learning. So now the Re-Discovery Phase will culminate the project that started 6-12 months ago (time certainly does go by quickly, doesn't it?). And with these five phases completed, you will have undertaken perhaps quite a long process – but also one that will lead you to building (and maintaining) an effective management system.

Chris Anderson is the managing director of Bizmanualz, Inc. and co-author of policies and procedures manuals, producing the layout, process design and implementation to increase performance. To learn how to increase your business performance, visit: Bizmanualz, Inc.


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