Sunday, April 1, 2012


Why do teams that least need audits and management reviews want them the most and the ones that need them the most want them the least? The C-17 program is a high performing organization that has won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award twice. They viewed audits as opportunities to improve and management reviews as a chance to receive free consulting.

I was in India last week to review progress on two start-up projects at critical inflection points. Each asked for relief from the next management review in terms of timing, length and intensity. What causes this dichotomy? The difference seems to result from the cadence maturity of the organization. Some teams refer to this cadence as their operating rhythm or battle rhythm. Simply put, it is the normal report and review schedule conducted on a program. It seems the teams that look forward to the reviews do so because they are always ready (i.e., tour-ready, review-ready, etc.). They do not prepare to discuss about their performance metrics, progress, achievements and challenges.

Have you experience this same dichotomy? How have you helped teams mature to the review-ready state?


David said...

I have a phrase that I use a lot with organizations. To paraphrase it for this situation, it goes like this.

Every regular day is like a management review day. Every management review day is like a regular day.

Highly effective organizations operate in a manner that allows them to have unscheduled reviews at anytime. They are prepared welcome feedback to get different perspectives and understanding since they are so close to the situations.

On the other hand are organizations that seem to be fearful of reviews. When they know one is coming, the focus shifts away from the core job to "looking good". They prep, produce presentations, move resources, etc to show that they are in control of their destiny.

Anonymous said...

Excellent question, John. Of course you are right on target about the strange ways businesses (and people) operate. By the way, "cadence" is also a wonderful musical term, as you undoubtedly know.

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